Image by Isak Pretorius. Highly commended 2018, Wildlife Photographer of the Year. 

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First Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2018 images revealed

A magnificent lioness, a glowing firefly larva and a fish looking for love are the focus of some phenomenal images from Wildlife Photographer of the Year's fifty-fourth competition

The world-renowned exhibition opens on 19 October at the Natural History Museum in London, which runs the annual competition. 

Wildlife Photographer of the Year showcases the world's best nature photography and photojournalism. Through their ability to inspire curiosity and wonder, the 100 images showcase wildlife photography as an art form. They also challenge us to consider both our place in the natural world and our responsibility to protect it.

The overall winners will be announced on 16 October at an awards ceremony in the Natural History Museum's iconic Hintze Hall. Winning images are selected for their creativity, originality and technical excellence. This year's competition attracted over 45,000 entries from professionals and amateurs across 95 countries.

Ian Owens, Director of Science at the Natural History Museum and member of the judging panel, says, 'We were captivated by the outstanding quality of the images entered into this year's competition, which spoke volumes to us about the passion for nature shared by talented photographers across the world. I look forward to seeing the winning selection on beautiful lightbox displays in the exhibition. I'm sure the images will surprise and inspire our visitors, and raise awareness for threatened species and ecosystems.'  

After the flagship exhibition opening at the Natural History Museum, the images will embark on a UK and international tour, bringing the beauty and fragility of the natural world to millions beyond London.

Associate sponsors for the upcoming exhibition at the Natural History Museum are renewable energy company Ørsted and LUMIX, Panasonic’s brand of digital cameras. 

Find out more about the exhibition.

The Look of Love

Image by Tony Wu. Highly commended 2018, Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

South Kensington exhibition sponsors

About Ørsted

The Ørsted vision is a world that runs entirely on green energy. Ørsted develops, constructs and operates offshore wind farms, bioenergy plants and innovative waste-to-energy solutions and provides smart energy products to its customers. Headquartered in Denmark, Ørsted employs 5,600 people, including over 900 in the UK. Ørsted's shares are listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen (Orsted). In 2017, the group's revenue was DKK 59.5 billion (EUR 8.0 billion)

About Panasonic and LUMIX

Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development of diverse electronics technologies and solutions for customers in the consumer electronics, housing, automotive, and B2B businesses. Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2018, the company has expanded globally and now operates 591 subsidiaries and 88 associated companies worldwide, recording consolidated net sales of Euro 61.4 billion for the year ended March 31, 2018. Committed to pursuing new value through innovation across divisional lines, the company uses its technologies to create a better life and a better world for its customers. To learn more about Panasonic:

Since the first LUMIX digital single lens mirrorless camera, the LUMIX G1, was launched in 2008, Panasonic is the only manufacturer to have devoted 10 years to the development of this innovative camera system. Panasonic will continue to focus on developing high-end digital cameras that meet the stringent standards of professional photographers and video creators. To find out more about Panasonic’s line-up of cutting-edge digital cameras:

Images and media contact

For access to images or to arrange interviews with photographers or judges, please contact Zoë Summers at the Natural History Museum press office:

Email: Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 5156 Mob: +44 (0)7799 690151

Notes to editors

  • The acclaimed Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition ignites curiosity about the natural world by showcasing Earth's extraordinary diversity and highlighting the fragility of wildlife on our planet. 
  • Wildlife Photographer of the Year was founded in 1965 by BBC Wildlife Magazine, then called Animals. The Natural History Museum joined forces in 1984 to create the competition as it is known today. The competition is now solely run and owned by the Natural History Museum.
  • Open to photographers of all ages and abilities, the competition opens for entries every October. The 2019 competition opens on 22 October 2018.
  • Wildlife Photographer of the Year Portfolio 28, edited by Rosamund Kidman-Cox, is published by the Natural History Museum and will be on sale as of 17 October 2018, priced £25.
  • New for 2018, Wildlife Photographer of the Year has an updated visual identity. Designed to celebrate the outstanding photography, the monochromatic look emphasises the incredible imagery awarded in the competition.
  • The Natural History Museum exists to inspire a love of the natural world and unlock answers to the big issues facing humanity and the planet. It is a world-leading science research centre, and through its unique collection and unrivalled expertise it is tackling issues such as food security, eradicating diseases and managing resource scarcity. It is the most visited natural history museum in Europe and the top science attraction in the UK; we welcome more than 4.5 million visitors each year and our website receives over 500,000 unique visitors a month. People come from around the world to enjoy our galleries and events and engage both in person and online with our science and learning activities and through innovative programmes such as citizen science and family festivals.