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Wildlife Photographer of the Year announces international jury and new categories

Owned and operated by the Natural History Museum, Wildlife Photographer of the Year has announced its prestigious panel of international jury members and introduced important new categories ahead of its annual search for the world’s best nature and wildlife photography.

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

New Categories

Led by the Museum's declaration of a planetary emergency in January, Wildlife Photographer of the Year has added ‘Wetlands’ and ‘Oceans’ to its broad range of categories.

It is hoped that these additions will create a further 'call for action' and draw entries that have a strong message to share. 

Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition Manager Gemma Ward says: ‘We’re calling for powerful photography that will shine a spotlight on the vital role and importance of marine environments and freshwater ecosystems in tackling ecological crises. These images should truly engage the public with urgent issues facing the planet and inspire, inform and empower everyone to make a difference for nature’. 

Additional changes to this year’s sixteen categories include the formation of a new Natural Artistry category, to highlight imaginative approaches to beauty in the natural world. The Black and White category will no longer exist, but these images can be entered into every category. 

Whether photographers work from urban environments on their doorstep or in the remote wilderness, the competition’s categories encourage a breadth of interests: from captivating animal behaviours and portraits, to plant photography and compelling photojournalism.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year Programme Manager Soraia Salvador says: ‘The annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition is open to all ages, nationalities and abilities. We want to amplify the important work of photographers from around the world and showcase varying perspectives and approaches to nature and wildlife photography. There is so much talent and creativity out there, and so many stories that we have not seen yet. As with previous years, we’re really calling for more entries from girls and women, as well as from global regions that are currently under-represented in the competition.’

Jury Members

The panel of seven experts in their individual fields will come together, online, in February 2021 to select 100 of the finest nature and wildlife images. All entries are judged anonymously, and on their originality, narrative, and ethical practice.

This year’s esteemed international jury are:

Rosamund ‘Roz’ Kidman Cox OBE, Chair of the Jury, editor, photo-editor and writer (UK)

Jordi Chias, underwater photographer (Spain)

Dr Natalie Cooper, evolutionary biologist and researcher, Natural History Museum (UK)

Britta Jaschinski, photojournalist (Germany)

David Lindo, ‘Urban birder’, naturalist, broadcaster and writer (UK)

Piotr Naskrecki, entomologist, conservation biologist and photographer, (USA/Mozambique)

Staffan Widstrand, nature photographer and writer (Sweden)

Rosamund ‘Roz’ Kidman Cox OBE, Chair of the Jury, says ‘I’m expecting to see some very special images entered this year. Yes, travel plans have been cancelled, and photographers have been forced to spend time in one place. But for some, this will have both fired artistic imagination and allowed time to perfect ideas. Indeed, many of the most memorable wildlife pictures have resulted from spending time in one place, getting to know a subject and discovering fresh ways to depict it. The other gift has been the time to review with care those previous shoots – and to unearth the overlooked gems.’

Winning images will reach an audience of millions around the world through the exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London that goes on to tour internationally, the Museum’s digital platforms, global media coverage, and a limited-edition hardcover book. The overall winner and young winner will receive a substantial cash prize.

For full details on the jury, competition rules, prizes and important dates visit www.wildlifephotographeroftheyear.com


Media contact

For access to high-resolution images or to arrange interviews with jury members or spokespeople, please contact Josephine Higgins or Alex Killeen at the Natural History Museum Press Office.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 5106

Mobile: +44 (0) 7799 690151 

Email: wildpress@nhm.ac.uk

Facebook: www.facebook.com/wildlifephotographeroftheyear

Twitter: @NHM_WPY

Instagram: @nhm_wpy 

Hashtag for the 2021 competition: #WPY57

Notes for editors

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

Entrants to the adult competition may enter up to 25 images for a £30 fee, which increases to £35 in the final week of the entry period from 11.30am GMT 3 December to 11.30am GMT 10 December. Entrants aged 17 and under may enter up to 10 images for free.

Rules and categories are translated into 12 languages: Chinese, Japanese, Russian, French, Arabic, Finnish, German, Korean, Polish, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. 

The winners of the fifty-sixth Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition will be announced via a public, virtual ceremony on Tuesday 13 October 2020. 

Tickets are now on sale for the exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London, opening to the public on 16 October 2020. 

About Wildlife Photographer of the Year:

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 run and owned by the Natural History Museum. 

About the Natural History Museum:

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 the planet thrive, it is uniquely positioned to be a powerful champion for balancing humanity’s needs with those of the natural world.

It is custodian of one of the world’s most important scientific collections comprising over 80 million specimens. The scale of this collection enables researchers from all over the world to document how species have and continue to respond to environmental changes - which is vital in helping predict what might happen in the future and informing future policies and plans to help the planet.

The Museum’s 300 scientists continue to represent one of the largest groups in the world studying and enabling research into every aspect of the natural world. Their science is contributing critical data to help the global fight to save the future of the planet from the major threats of climate change and biodiversity loss through to finding solutions such as the sustainable extraction of natural resources.

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. We welcome over five million visitors each year; our digital output reaches hundreds of thousands of people in over 200 countries each month and our touring exhibitions have been seen by around 30 million people in the last 10 years.