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First Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2019 images revealed

A sleeping seal, a zombie beetle and a tragic turtle are just some of the captivating and emotive images from the Natural History Museum's Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, which is now in its fifty-fifth year. 

The Natural History Museum's 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 and challenge us to consider both our place in the natural world and our responsibility to protect it.

Among the newly revealed Highly Commended images is a black-and-white photograph of a Weddell seal by German photographer Ralf Schneider, described by Chair of the jury Roz Kidman Cox as 'a portrait of pure, relaxed bliss'. Matthew Ware's disturbing image of a turtle fatally attached to a washed-up beach chair is a poignant reminder of the impact of waste ending up in the ocean.

The overall winners will be announced on 15 October at an awards ceremony in the Natural History Museum's iconic Hintze Hall. Winning images are selected for their creativity, originality, technical excellence. This year's competition attracted almost 50,000 entries from professionals and amateurs across 100 countries.

Dr Tim Littlewood, Director of Science at the Natural History Museum and member of the judging panel, says, 'For more than fifty years this competition has attracted the world's very best photographers, naturalists and young photographers, but there has never been a more important time for audiences all over the world to experience their work in our inspiring and impactful exhibition. Photography has a unique ability to spark conversation, debate and even action. We hope this year's exhibition will empower people to think differently about our planet and our critical role in its future.'

After the flagship exhibition opening at the competition's home, 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 digital camera manufacturer, Panasonic LUMIX. 

Exhibition information

Dates and times: Friday 18 October 2019 - Summer 2020

10.00-17.50 (last admission 17.15)

To book tickets: www.nhm.ac.uk/wpy  

Prices from: Adult £15.50*, child £9.25*, concession £12.25*

Free for Members, Patrons and children under four

Visitor enquiries: 020 7942 5000

Nearest tube: South Kensington

Facebook: www.facebook.com/wildlifephotographeroftheyear  

Twitter: @NHM_WPY

Instagram: @nhm_wpy

Hashtag: #WPY55

Online booking is highly recommended to guarantee entry, particularly for weekends.

* Prices including optional Gift Aid donation to the Museum.


The fifty-sixth Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition will open for entries on Monday 21 October 2019 and close at 11.30am GMT on Thursday 12 December 2019.

Open to everyone, the competition welcomes entries from photographers of all ages and abilities: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/wpy/competition.html

South Kensington exhibition sponsors

About Ørsted

The Ørsted vision is a world that runs entirely on green energy. Ørsted develops, constructs and operates offshore and onshore wind farms, bioenergy plants and provides energy products to its customers. Headquartered in Denmark, Ørsted employs 6,300 people. Ørsted’s shares are listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen (Orsted). In 2018, the group’s revenue was DKK 76.9 billion (EUR 10.3 billion). https://orsted.co.uk/en/About-us

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: www.panasonic.co.uk/lumix

Images and media contact

Download photographs for print use: http://bit.ly/WPY55-preview-press-pack  (password protected)

To obtain the password, arrange interviews with photographers or judges or express interest in attending the exhibition media preview, please contact Zoë Summers or Alex Killeen at the Natural History Museum press office:

Email: wildpress@nhm.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 5156 Mob: +44 (0)7799 690151

Notes to editors

  • The Natural History Museum’s acclaimed Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition and exhibition ignites curiosity about the natural world by showcasing Earth's extraordinary diversity and highlighting the fragility of wildlife on our planet. Using the unique emotive power of photography, the competition inspires people to think differently about their relationship with nature and become advocates for the 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 2020 competition opens on 21 October 2019.
  • Wildlife Photographer of the Year Portfolio 29, edited by Rosamund Kidman-Cox, is published by the Natural History Museum and will be on sale as of 17 October 2019, priced £25.
  • Natural History Museum members enjoy free, unlimited entry to every exhibition at the Museum including Wildlife Photographer of the Year, with access to a range of exclusive discounts and benefits.
  • 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 around five million visitors each year and our website receives over 850,000 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 educational activities through innovative programmes and citizen science projects.