WPY 2012

Photograph Details

Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2012

Grand title winner

Winner 2012

11-14 Years

Owen Hearn, UK

Flight paths

Harvest time at Owen’s grandparents’ farm draws in the birds of prey to feed on the fleeing small mammals, and it also attracts Owen, with his camera at the ready. ‘Seeing this red kite with an aeroplane in the distance was a moment I couldn’t miss,’ says Owen.

The shot is symbolic for him for two reasons. It was taken at the centre of the Bedfordshire site chosen for London’s third airport back in the late 1960s. ‘Opposition to the planned airport stopped it going ahead, which is why I can photograph the wildlife on the farm today.’ At the same time, British red kites also faced extinction following centuries of persecution. But following reintroductions, numbers have increased dramatically, spreading east from the Chilterns.

Technical specification

Nikon D90 + 300mm f4 lens + 1.4x teleconverter; 1/1000 sec at f5.6; ISO 500; Manfrotto monopod.


Stewkley, Bedfordshire, UK: latitude 51.9237, longitude -0.779882 Stewkley, Bedfordshire, UK: latitude 51.9237, longitude -0.779882

Stewkley, Bedfordshire, UK


Owen Hearn, UK

Owen’s interest in photography began when he got a point-and-shoot camera for Christmas. The next year he saved up and bought a bridge camera, moving on to a DSLR. He sold all his belongings to buy lenses, taught himself photography using internet tutorials and practised on his grandparents’ wildlife-rich dairy farm.

  • Snow hide