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51st Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition opens

Open to young, amateur and professional photographers worldwide, the 51st Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition launches for entries on Monday 5 January 2015 for eight weeks.

Critiquing the many tens of thousands of submissions to find the winning 101 will be an international jury of experts including National Geographic Senior Editor Kathy Moran, master of nature photographer, Tom Mangelsen, French aerial photographer, Thierry Vezon, and underwater photographer, Dr Alex Mustard.   

After 50 years, Wildlife Photographer of the Year (WPY) has remained at the forefront of contemporary photography, championing the ethics, while also recognising and awarding artistic composition, narrative form, and technical excellence. 

Sir David Attenborough, who has presented the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards on many occasions, says: ‘Great pictures of nature have one thing in common – they are unforgettable. They can also be a profound source of beauty, wonder and joy.’

Truly great images of nature can transform the way people look at the natural world, challenge opinion and stimulate debate. Whether shot in the remote wilderness, a bustling metropolis, or a backgarden, wildlife photography has the power to inspire, excite and amaze.  

WPY 2015 judge, Dr Alexander Mustard, says: ‘Like all judges I’m hoping and expecting to see amazing images, the likes of which I’ve not seen before. My best advice for impressing the panel is to make sure your basics are exemplary and then to dare to be different.’

There are 21 categories for both adults and younger photographers exploring the diversity of the world’s flora and fauna, together with the urban and wild environments that both frame the species and play host to dramatic natural events. 

In addition, there are two special awards introduced for WPY 2014:  TIMElapse calls on adult entrants to submit up to three sequences each lasting between 45 to 90 seconds, which tell a story or reveal something unique from the natural world, be it behaviour or an event; and WILD-I seeks natural world stories caught on mobile devices from young citizen reporters.

By taking part, photographers get the chance to win a trip to London to take centre stage at the 51st Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards, as well as enjoy public exposure of their image as it tours across the world in the annual exhibition. Award winning images will also be published in a limited edition hardcover book, which is translated into many international languages and sold all over the world. The overall winner and young winner will receive a substantial cash prize.

The current exhibition displays the 2014 winners alongside images from Wildlife Photographer of the Year’s archive, a good place to seek inspiration and find innovative ways of capturing the beauty, mystery, fragility and diversity of life. For full details and to enter visit

Media contact

For a wider selection of images or to arrange interviews with photographers or spokespeople, please contact Laura Horton at the Natural History Museum Press Office. Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 5106 Mobile: +44 (0)7799 690151 Email:


Twitter: @NHM_WPY

Notes to editors

• The competition will open on Monday 5 January and close at 11.30 GMT on the morning of Thursday 26 February 2015.

• For tips on entering the competition, and interviews with our judges, read our blog at

• Entrants to the adult competition may enter up to 20 images for a £30 fee. Entrants aged 17 and under may enter up to 10 images, plus an additional story told in pictures taken on a mobile device, for free.

• To enter the competition and for information on competition rules and prizes please visit

• Rules and categories are translated into 12 languages including Chinese, Japanese, Russian and French.

• The Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014 exhibition is open at the Natural History Museum in London until 30 August 2015 and is now touring worldwide. For tickets and more information please visit

• 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.