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Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition 2012 - Winners - The most disappointing yet?

19/10/2012 09:26:08

Anna Henly, Winner, Ice Matters, The World in Our Hands

Dullest bunch of photos yet from Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition
October 2012. The winners of the annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition have been announced. Whilst, as ever, there are some fantastic images, we believe that the level across the board is not nearly as good this year. Perhaps it is that we haven't seen all the images, but the ones that we have seen didn't move us nearly as much as they should do. 

Where is the Wow! factor?
In the past, this competition has provided some fantastic images of the natural world, but perhaps it is becoming too hard to come up with something new and Wow! every year. Several of the winners don't actually feature any wildlife at all; ‘Trophy Room', whilst a striking and terribly sad image, is hardly a technical masterpiece; the polar bear is OK but hardly compares with some of the winning images from past years (Faked up photos of wolves excepted); and the ‘Flight Path' ‘Majestic eagle' (According to the organisers of the competition) looks suspiciously like a red kite from here.

Maybe the photos look better in the flesh and in a larger size, but on my screen, they are mostly yawn inducing.

The internationally-recognised competition has drawn over 48,000 entries from 98 countries, from amateur and professional photographers alike. The rigorous selection process brought together judges from across the globe, to pick the best entries based on creativity, artistry and technical complexity.

According to the press release from the Natural History Museum:

Chair of the panel, Jim Brandenburg says: ‘It amazes me to discover new and startling moments that have never been seen before. Secret moments in nature combined with a talented eye have given us rare photographs that we will truly be enjoyed forever and I am honoured to play a role in such an important competition.'

Eve Tucker's image of serene gull floating past Canary Wharf is in stark contrast to the chilling nonchalance of the hunter in David Chancellor's Trophy Room, while Owen Hearns' Flight Paths depicts just how close the relationship between man and nature has become as a majestic eagle (Shurely shum mishtake? Looks like a red kite near Heathrow? Ed.) mirrors an approaching aeroplane.

The exhibition also takes you from the microscopic intricacy of a singular grain of sand in David Maitland's Sands of Time, to the sheer vastness of our planet in Anna Henly's Ice Matters, showing the breadth and wonders of our planet.

The images will tour in venues across the world after their London premiere and be enjoyed by millions of visitors across the globe.

Through the lens of wildlife photography, the exhibition captures the intrigue and beauty of the natural world, but also points to the uncomfortable reality of our human impact on it. The exhibition of the winning images opens at the Natural History Museum on Friday 19 October, featuring 100 awe-inspiring images.


Eve Tucker, Winner, City Gull, 15 – 17 Years 



Glenn Upton-Fletcher, Winner, Painting with Snow, Botanical Realms 



Owen Hearn, Winner, Flight Paths,11-14 Years 



Anna Henly, Winner, Ice Matters, The World in Our Hands 


David Chancellor, Runner-Up, Trophy Room, The World in Our Hands 


David Maitland, Runner-Up, Sands of Time, Creative Visions 

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