Now Open: Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition at Natural History Museum

Winners from the 2012 Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition were revealed after months of anticipation at a recent awards evening at the Natural History Museum in London.  Photographers young and old captured mesmerizing photographs of the world’s most beautiful wildlife.  The 100 prize-winning shots are now being displayed in a spectacular cinematic setting at the Natural History Museum.  Here’s a taste of what the exhibit has to offer:

Flight Paths-Owen Hearn

Captured at his grandparent’s farm, photographer Owen Hearn managed to snap a shot when the two objects were side by side flying in opposite directions.  The positioning and timing of the photograph is absolutely remarkable, and symbolic to Hearn in a multitude of ways.  The bird in the shot, also known as a British red kite, faced extinction in the past and was further threatened by the proposal to build an airport on its land in the 1960’s.  Opposition prevented the project from going through, and has allowed Owen to capture the wildlife that still remains there today.

The bird is the focus of the shot while the plane lies in the peripheral emphasizing nature’s superiority.  Hearn’s ability to capture these two fast-moving objects in such symbolic positions is absolutely incredible.  Either he lay paralyzed on the ground for days with a camera glued to his face or simply has impeccable timing.  Regardless, Hearns should be commended for his work which is not only beautiful, but also evocative.

The eye of the baitball-Cristobal Serrano

Another example of magnificent timing is Cristobal Serrano’s The eye of the baitball.  Serrano dove 20 meters down to the ocean floor and waited patiently for the best moment to capture the orb of gruntfish.  A pelagic cormorant, also observing the fish, doubled as the predator and the focal point of the shot.  Fish darted in opposite directions from their attacker, creating a hole through the globe-shaped colony.  This proved to be beneficial to Serrano as it also allowed a beam of light to pierce through and illuminate the shot.  Combined with a fisheye lens it created a brilliant glowing product.

The 2012 exhibition is now open at the Natural History Museum, located on Cromwell in South Kensington.  To find out more or view more photos visit

http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit-us/whats-on/temporary-exhibitions/wpy/

words by Samantha Lockhart

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