© Arshdeep Singh, Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2020

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First Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2020 images revealed

A perching primate, perishing habitats and peeking possums are just some of the fascinating and thought-provoking images from the Natural History Museum's Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, now in its fifty-sixth year. 

The world-renowned exhibition opens on Friday 16 October 2020 at the Natural History Museum in London. 

The overall winners, including the prestigious Grand Title winners, will be announced on 13 October. For the first time, the awards ceremony will be conducted virtually from the Natural History Museum's iconic Hintze Hall. Winning images are selected for their creativity, originality, and technical excellence by an international panel of industry experts. This year's competition attracted almost 50,000 entries from professionals and amateurs across the world.

The Natural History Museum's Wildlife Photographer of the Year showcases the world's best nature photography and photojournalism, offering a global platform for amateur and professional photographers alike. Using photography's unique emotive power to engage and inspire audiences, the 100 images shine a light on stories and species around the world and encourage a future of advocating for the planet.

Among the newly revealed Highly Commended images is thirteen-year-old Arshdeep Singh's image of a douc, a critically-endangered primate, surrounded by the lush and verdant greens of its environment and maintaining eye contact with the viewer. Charlie Hamilton James's image of a lone tree surrounded by the vicious flames of a forest fire stands as a testament to human impact upon the Amazon rainforest and the damage being done to the natural world.

Chair of the judging panel, Roz Kidman Cox, says 'Several of my favourite images from the competition – the ones that I can look at again and again – are among the commended pictures. But then all the commended images are effectively winners, being among the top 100 awarded by the jury out of more than 49,000. The diversity of subjects and styles this year is memorable, with more than 25 different nationalities represented. But what especially stands out are the images from the young photographers – the next generation of image-makers passionate about the natural world.'

Dr Tim Littlewood, Executive Director of Science at the Natural History Museum and member of the judging panel, says, 'This competition has an outstanding reputation in attracting the world's very best photographers, naturalists and young photographers. But there has never been a more vital time for audiences all over the world to re-engage with the natural world, and what better way than this inspiring and provocative exhibition. Photography's unique ability to spark conversation and curiosity is certainly special. We hope that this year's exhibition will provide an opportunity for audiences to pause, reflect and ignite a passion of advocating for the natural world.’

After the flagship exhibition is unveiled 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 of people.

Associate sponsors for the upcoming exhibition at the Natural History Museum are renewable energy company Ørsted and camera manufacturer, Leica.

Exhibition information:

Dates and times: Friday 16 October 2020 – Sunday 06 June 2021

11.00-17.50 (last admission at 17.15)

Tickets go on sale to members and supporters on the 1st of September, to ticket holders for WPY55 who were unable to attend the exhibition due lockdown on the 2nd and on general sale on the 3rd.

To book tickets: https://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/exhibitions/wildlife-photographer-of-the-year.html

Prices from: Adult £16.50*, child £9.95*, concession £13.25*

Visitor Enquiries: 020 7942 500

Nearest tube: South Kensington

Facebook: www.facebook.com/wildlifephotographeroftheyear

Twitter: @NHM_WPY

Instagram: @nhm_wpy

Hashtag: #WPY56

Online booking is required for entry.

* Prices including optional Gift Aid donation to the Museum.


Competition opens for entries

The fifty-seventh Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition will open for entries on Monday 19 October 2020 and close at 11.30am GMT on Thursday 10 December 2020.

Open to everyone, the competition is judged anonymously and welcomes entries from photographers of all ages and abilities. This year will see new categories added to the competition to encourage entries focussed on our impact on the planet: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/wpy/competition.html

South Kensington exhibition sponsors

About Ørsted

Orsted Logo

The Ørsted vision is a world that runs entirely on green energy. Ørsted develops, constructs and operates offshore and onshore wind farms, solar farms, energy storage facilities, and bioenergy plants, and provides energy products to its customers. Globally, Ørsted is the market leader in offshore wind and it is constructing the world’s biggest offshore wind farms off the East Coast of the UK. Its UK offshore wind farms generate enough clean electricity for over three million UK homes. Ørsted ranks #1 in Corporate Knights' 2020 index of the Global 100 most sustainable corporations in the world and is recognised on the CDP Climate Change A List as a global leader on climate action. Headquartered in Denmark, Ørsted employs 6,700 people, including over 1000 in the UK. Ørsted's shares are listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen (Orsted). In 2019, the group's revenue was DKK 67.8 billion (EUR 9.1 billion).


About Leica

Leica Logo

Leica stands for craftsmanship, design and experience. With over 100 years of history, the brand represents a beautiful combination of art and engineering with the future of form and functionality. Based in Wetzlar, the original birthplace of Leica, the German company is an internationally operating, premium-segment manufacturer of cameras

and sport optics products. Leica’s legendary status is founded on its long tradition of excellence and supreme quality found in their cameras and lenses. Leica are committed to supporting the creation and preservation of iconic photography, past, present and future and the artists behind them.


Images and media contact

Download photographs for print and online use: https://bit.ly/WPY56-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 Josephine Higgins or Alex Killeen at the Natural History Museum press office:

Email: wildpress@nhm.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 5654

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: https://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/exhibitions/wildlife-photographer-of-the-year.html

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 2021 competition opens on 19 October 2019Wildlife Photographer of the Year Portfolio 30, edited by Rosamund Kidman-Cox and with a foreword by Chris Packham, is published by the Natural History Museum and will be on sale as of 15 October 2020, 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: https://www.nhm.ac.uk/support-us/membership.html

The Natural History Museum is both a world-leading science research centre and the most visited natural history museum in Europe. With a vision of a future in which both people and planet thrive, it is uniquely positioned to be a powerful champion for balancing humanity's needs with those of the natural world. The Museum uses its enormous global reach and influence to meet its mission to create advocates for the planet – to inform, inspire and empower everyone to make a difference for nature: www.nhm.ac.uk