Say cheese: image of mice scrapping on London Underground station platform wins Wildlife Photographer of the Year LUMIX People's Choice Award
A wonderfully timed and enchanting portrait of urban wildlife, showing combat between two mice on a London Underground station platform, is the winner of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year LUMIX People's Choice award.
28,000 nature photography fans voted and Bristol-based photographer Sam Rowley's ‘Station squabble’ emerged as the favourite.
Sam's image was selected from a shortlist of 25 images that were chosen by the Natural History Museum from over 48,000 images that were submitted for the 2019 competition. The image will be displayed in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum until it closes on 31 May 2020.
The mice were fighting over a few leftover crumbs and their encounter lasted just a split-second before one scurried away, triumphant. Sam visited multiple platforms every night over the course of a week, getting many curious looks from passengers while he lay in wait for the perfect shot. When he saw this, he knew his patience had paid off.
Sam says, 'I'm so pleased to win this award. It's been a lifetime dream to succeed in this competition in this way, with such a relatable photo taken in such an everyday environment in my hometown. I hope it shows people the unexpected drama found in the most familiar of urban environments.'
Director of the Natural History Museum, Sir Michael Dixon, says: 'Sam's image provides a fascinating glimpse into how wildlife functions in a human-dominated environment. The mice's behaviour is sculpted by our daily routine, the transport we use and the food we discard. This image reminds us that while we may wander past it every day, humans are inherently intertwined with the nature that is on our doorstep – I hope it inspires people to think about and value this relationship more.'
Mike Owen, Professional Imaging Marketing Manager from Panasonic Lumix UK, adds: 'Incredible photography is a combination of patience, luck and skill – Sam has managed the rare feat of pulling all three together in this single shot. The simultaneously recognisable and unknown world Sam has captured draws the viewer into the image - it makes me stop and do a double take, seeing something new every time I look at it. Congratulations to Sam on capturing an image that will stand the test of time because of the interest and intrigue it provokes.’
Four 'Highly Commended' images also won over nature photography enthusiasts and made it into the top five. These include Aaron Gekoski's heart-wrenching image of an Orangutan being exploited for performance, Michel Zoghzhogi's picture of a mother jaguar and her cub clutching a captured anaconda, Martin Buzora's touching portrait of the connection between a conservation ranger and the baby black rhino he protects, and Francis De Andres's charming shot of a group of curious white arctic reindeer.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum and offers a truly global platform for amateur and professional photographers alike. Using photography's unique emotive power to engage and inspire audiences, the exhibition shines a light on stories and species around the world and encourages a future of advocating for the planet. The fifty-sixth competition is currently being judged by an esteemed panel of experts, and the winners will be revealed in October 2020.
The LUMIX People’s Choice award is named as such to reflect LUMIX’s Associate Partnership with the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition in London. Renewable energy company Ørsted is also an Associate Sponsor for the exhibition, open now until 31 May 2020.
Notes to editors
View and download the winning image, plus the four ‘Highly commended’ images and their captions here.
Media contact: Alexander Killeen at the Natural History Museum press office.
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7942 6110
Mobile: +44 (0) 7799 690151
Wildlife Photographer of the Year channels
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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: http://www.panasonic.com/global
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
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) https://orsted.co.uk/en/About-us
Wildlife Photographer of the Year is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum and offers a truly global platform for amateur and professional photographers alike. The fifty-fifth exhibition will immerse you in the breath-taking diversity of the natural world. Encounter the beauty and fragility of wildlife, see fascinating animal behaviour and get to know extraordinary species, exhibited on 100 stunning lightbox displays. Go deeper and discover the surprising - and often challenging - stories behind the images during a time of environmental crisis. A panel of international experts selected the awarded images from almost 50,000 entries by the world's best photographers. Advance booking is highly recommended for this exhibition. Book online now to guarantee entry. · www.wildlifephotographeroftheyear.com
Wildlife Photographer of the Year gifts featuring images from the LUMIX People’s Choice shortlist are available now from the Natural History Museum online shop: http://www.nhmshop.co.uk/wildlife-photographer-of-the-year.html
Sam Rowley is a Bristol-based wildlife filmmaker and photographer. His photography has taken him across the globe and has helped his career in natural history filmmaking at the BBC Natural History Unit. London has made for particularly fertile ground for his photography and he first featured in Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition at the age of twelve. https://www.sam-rowley.com/
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.