Thursday, 23 October 2014

Natural History Museum Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

Zipped up the back
Here is my humble entry and semi-finalist photograph in this year's Natural History Museum Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. I never thought it would win, but it is good fun to take part and when we view the winners, there is lots of inspiration on what to shoot, or a good simple, 'I like that'.

Another shot I entered was a close up of a Tawny Frogmouth perched on a branch, showing how the plumage merges so well with the bark.Only the claw gives the game away, which I deliberately captured. I also kept a bit of bird shape to show the similar form of a branch, part of the bird's camouflage.

Bird and bark

I was tempted to crop in even closer, but even if I had I would not have caught such a powerful image as that by Jess Findlay, 'Pauraque study'.  His subject and lighting give a much more striking image - well done Jess. I won't submit any more 'brown' images in future.

Once again, the overall winning shot was of a top favourite animal species, in this case lions. The competition is linked and promoted by the BBC Wildlife Magazine and as any editor knows, competitions are partly run to promote the magazine and increase sales. So they would like popular animal subjects wouldn't they. The winning shot is a nice shot, but would it have won if the subjects were slugs? However, the important points are, the Museum gets publicity, which I agree with, the magazine gets a wider readership which is all good for the wildlife and conservation issues it promotes, and the photographers get media coverage. So we are all winners and what can I say but thank you to the promoters for inspiring we photographers and making us keep improving.

My pick of the shots are the arty ones by Andrew Lee, 'Edge of creation'. and Herfried Marek, 'Golden birch'.

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