Wildlife Photographer of the Year's reputation is reinforced by the expertise of our jury and the vigour of our judging process. Meet the sixtieth year's international panel.
- Luciano Candisani (Brazil) Photographer and Cinematographer
- Paula Kahumbu (Kenya) Storyteller, Ecologist and Wildlife Conservationist
- Rosamund (Roz) Kidman Cox OBE (UK) Editor, Photo Editor and Writer
- Chien Lee (Malaysia) Wildlife Photographer and Biologist
- Miranda Lowe CBE (UK) Principal Curator of Crustacea and Cnidaria at the Natural History Museum
- Kathy Moran (USA) Editor and Chair of the Jury
- Tony Wu (Japan) Photonaturalist
An invitation from the Chair of the Jury, Kathy Moran
'It is my honor to invite you to participate in a momentous event – the 60th anniversary of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. While the Royal Photographic Society might have the longest running contest at 169 years, Wildlife Photographer of the Year was the only competition at the time dedicated to wildlife, the natural world and conservation. Being a member of the WPY community, whether awarded honorable mention, category winner or overall winner can have an enormous impact on a photographer’s career. You are honored by your colleagues, noticed by editors and your winning image is seen by millions. Or, as one photographer told me, “Watching people have a visible reaction to your work is a profound experience.” Another said, “Your career changes after you win the overall award. There is life before WPY and then after.”
Like the natural world, WPY has evolved since its founding. What began as a magazine competition is now, solely owned and run by the Natural History Museum in London, as an internationally recognised, must-enter event. As the competition has evolved so have the rules and categories. There are several updates to the rules this year so do take care as you decide which images and categories to enter. Of particular note under Ethical Requirements please consider that the use of wide angle photography and/or low flying drones at or over nests is not allowed. Additionally there are important changes within Photographic Specifications. For all categories photographs must have been made within the last five years with a capture date after October 2018. Most importantly we want photographers to enter the competition, not chatbots. AI generated images will be disqualified. Please, keep it real.
One aspect of the competition is bedrock – the deadline for entry – 11.30am GMT 7 December 2023. Sadly natural selection never seems to do away with procrastination! Confusion over time zones, conflicting schedules, incorrect files, one bad internet connection have all contributed to frustration for photographers and disappointment for the jury. We want to see your photographs so please mark your calendars and enter as soon as possible. Be original. Trust in your work. All species and landscapes, great and small have the potential to captivate and motivate. Highlighting solutions is just as valuable as documenting challenges. It is your vision that will shine. This year, we also want to encourage and reward wildlife photography that inspires hope and positive action for the natural world. To celebrate the 60th anniversary the jury will award a Special Prize, within the 100 winning images, in any category, to recognise a conservation success, a story of hope and/or positive change.
Remember that thorough captioning and full disclosure as to how a photograph was made are a tremendous help to the jury. A little background can go a long way in persuading the jury to move an image forward, so I recommend submitting a full caption when you enter the competition and not wait until you may reach the final round. Last year’s WPY believes that all of the competition’s winners are the planet’s eyes and ears, that your work truly makes a difference. Give us the opportunity to put your photographs to work.
Finally a former Wildlife Photographer of the Year winner shared these thoughts, “People do care and they want to be exposed to all facets of the natural world, WPY has ensured that for 60 years, I wish them 60 more." Please join us in making it so.
Kathy Moran, Chair of the Jury
Kathy is the former Deputy Director of Photography at National Geographic Magazine. As the magazine’s first Senior Editor for Natural History Projects, she’s been producing projects about terrestrial and underwater ecosystems for the magazine since 1990. She was the Project Manager for the partnership between the National Geographic Society and the Wildlife Conservation Society, documenting photographer Nick Nichols and Dr Michael Fay’s trek across Central Africa. The resulting stories were the impetus for the creation of Gabon’s national park system. More recently, Kathy produced two single-topic, conservation-focused issues of the magazine - one on Oceans in May 2021 and another on the Serengeti in December 2021.
In addition to her work at National Geographic, Kathy’s edited several books for the National Geographic Society, including Women Photographers at the National Geographic, The Africa Diaries: An Illustrated Life in the Bush, Cat Shots, Tigers Forever and the upcoming Secrets of the Elephants. She was the photo editor for the anthems 100 Best Wildlife Pictures and Wildlife: The Best Photos. Kathy also recently curated the exhibition 50 Best Wildlife Photographs for the society’s museum, which has travelled nationally and internationally. In addition to this, she’s produced numerous books with photographers from the International League of Conservation Photographers in collaboration with the University of Chicago Press. She was named Picture Editor of the Year for her winning portfolios in both the 2017 and 2006 Picture of the Year International competitions as well as the 2011 Best of Photo Competition.
Kathy is a founding member of the International League of Conservation Photographers and currently serves on the board. She’s on the advisory committee for Focused on Nature and as a member of Moran Griffin Studio she continues to edit books and photo projects, mentor photographers, serve on photo juries and work with the xPosure Festival in Sharjah, UAE. She lives in Maine, USA, with her husband and two bad cats.
Luciano is a photographer and cinematographer dedicated to producing narratives that interpret traditional cultures, vast wilderness areas and biodiversity around the world. The aesthetic identity of his images carries a strong commitment to his creative motivation - to alert audiences to the urgency of safeguarding territories and lives at risk.
His projects are commissioned and published by institutions such as National Geographic, UNESCO, the Smithsonian and the BBC and are visual chronicles about our relationship with the environment and other species. His work has been internationally awarded and appeared in exhibitions, art galleries and museums across the world and he’s had seven photographic books published.
Luciano’s projects have contributed to wildlife conservation in Brazil. In 2019, his exhibition Haenyeo: Women of the Sea occupied an entire floor of São Paulo’s Museu da Imagem e do som displaying 79 large-format photographs. The acclaimed exhibition allowed thousands of people to learn about the story of the women divers of the island of Jeju and the universal concepts emanating from this powerful story. A documentary film about this project was also screened by the National Geographic Channel in Latin America.
He started his career as a photographer for scientific expeditions while he was still a graduate student at the Biosciences Institution of São Paulo University. His first great professional opportunity came in 1996 with a three-month expedition to Antarctic’s frozen seas to document the marine life under the ice. Since then, his assignments have taken him to Earth’s most remote places, but his home will always be the island of São Sebastião on the Brazilian southeastern coast. Looking for a more sustainable way to work, in his most recent project, Luciano combined his three passions in life - sailing, diving and photography. Travelling the waters around his home island aboard his 34-foot sailing boat Oceanus, he’s producing a deep documentation of the area’s biodiversity and traditional cultures.
Paula is a Kenyan conservationist and wildlife film producer who’s worked on the award-winning television series Wildlife Warriors and partnered with Disney and USAID to produce Team Sayari on National Geographic Wild. In addition to this, she also presents National Geographic’s landmark series Secrets of the Elephants.
She has a PhD from Princeton University, where she studied Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and conducted her field research on elephants in Kenya. Now, Paula lectures on the university’s annual field trip in Kenya.
Paula is also CEO of WildlifeDirect - a Kenyan conservation NGO and sits on the boards of National Geographic, WWF Intl, Daughters of the Earth, The Kenya Producers Guild and Wildstar Academy. She was National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2011 and 10 years later in 2021 became National Geographic Explorer of the Year. Paula’s also won the National Geographic Conservation Leader for Africa in 2011, the Brand Kenya Ambassador Award in 2013, the Presidential Award Order of the Grand Warrior in 2013 and the Whitley Award in 2014.
Image credit: Amarula for WildlifeDirect
Miranda is the Principal Curator of Crustacea and Cnidaria at the Natural History Museum in London. Over the past 30 years at the Museum, she’s curated and produced scientific work on everything from corals to crustacea and has been responsible for caring for these historical collections.
As well as her work as a curator, Miranda lectures on science and curation, mentors students and conducts outreach in schools as a STEM ambassador. She’s the Chair of Culture& - an arts charity - and Co-founder of Museum Detox - a network for people of colour who work in museums, galleries, libraries, archives and the heritage sector. Miranda has a passion for photography and has been a keen amateur photographer since childhood.
In 2020, she was awarded a place on BBC Radio Four’s Women’s Hour Power List 2020: Our Planet as a woman whose work is making a significant positive contribution to the environment and the sustainability of our planet. In the same year she was also listed in 100 Great Black Britons, a book honouring the achievements of black British individuals. She also received the Society for the History of Natural History President’s Award 2021.
In 2022 Miranda was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for her services to science communication and diversity in natural history and became British Science Association Scientific President representing Biological Sciences.
Tony’s lifelong association with the sea started when he was a child. A crab pinched his toe, and it was love at first ouch. Now that he’s - somewhat - grown up, Tony devotes most of his time to researching and documenting rarely seen marine animals and environments. Tony owns more pairs of fins than he does shoes.
In recent years, Tony’s devoted the bulk of his time to the challenging pursuits of photographing large cetaceans, such as humpback whales, sperm whales and blue whales, and documenting spawning aggregations, which are essentially orgies involving thousands of sex-crazed fish. His latest project is exploring the varied and diverse marine environments of Japan, which encompass everything from tropical to Arctic environments.
Tony’s philosophy for observing and documenting nature is encapsulated in his motto ars gratia scientiae, which translates from Latin as art for the sake of knowledge. When not at sea, Tony spends much of his time reading books, articles and scientific papers relevant to his chosen subjects. He records observations and shares information with researcher friends. Tony also writes about nature, carries out public speaking in English and Japanese and enjoys engaging children and inspiring the next generation.
He’s received a number of awards, including the Grand Prize in Japan’s largest underwater photography contest, the prize for Best Book of the Year at the Festival of Marine Images in Antibes and first place in both the Underwater and Behaviour: Mammals categories of the annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. Nature Picture Library represents his images.