Natural History Museum building exterior

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2012

So I am alive! I have just had a super-busy few weeks and this blog fell a little bit by the wayside. But I’ve given myself a talking to and am going to try to get back on track.

Yesterday I went to one of my favourite buildings in London – the Natural History Museum – to see the Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. It was brilliant to say the least and I highly recommend it for anyone in the London area. If you love nature, if you love animals, if you love photography or even if you just love looking at pretty things, you will love this exhibition.

Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum on a beautiful Autumn day.

Showcasing the finest wildlife photographers from around the world, the exhibit includes the top 100 photographs that were shortlisted from over 48 000 entries from 98 countries. The competition featured many different categories including Animal Portraits, Nature in Black and White, Botanical Realms and Urban Wildlife. I particularly enjoyed the Young Awards that featured photos from kids from under 10, up to 17 years of age. There were photos taken by under-10s that were better than anything I could ever dream of capturing!

This picture was taken by a child under 10! Amazing.
© “Squabbling Jays” by Liina Heikkinen

There were photographs that I could have stood staring at for hours, photos that made you think and photos that would look great on the living room wall. Then there were those that were hard to look at – the photos in the category “The World in Our Hands”. This category was about highlighting the impacts of our relationship with the natural world; global warming, hunting and animal cruelty were among the themes explored. Although some of the pictures were stunning, others were shocking – I found the photos of dolphins on the floor of an empty aquarium tank in Taiwan and the one of a distressed baby baboon, tied up and being carried to it’s death by children in Mozambique particularly difficult to look at.

The World in Our Hands Winner – © “Ice Matters” by Anna Henly

Overall, though the scenes of remote lakes, penguins and polar bears, African plains and even urban backyards left me wanting to whip my camera out and start shooting every plant and animal I see to try and capture just some of the beauty that these talented photographers managed to.

Overall Winner – © “Bubble-jetting emperors” by Paul Nicklen

The Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum runs until 3 March. For other exhibition locations around the UK and internationally, check here.


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