Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Wildlife Photographer of the Year - BBC Publishing

On my return from LA, I rushed to see this exhibition on show at the Australian Museum in Sydney as it closes on the 26th April.  The exhibition, now in its 45th year,  is “owned” by the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine, and is designed to promote a wider awareness of wildlife conservation, and to “encourage interpretations of the natural world through art”. There is huge international participation and interest, with many categories and various age groups.

Eyes in the Oasis - Lee Slabber

Eyes in the Oasis - Photographer Lee Slabber

As the exhibition consists of the winning, runner-up and specially commended photographs, the standard is extremely high. I had read in the media that the Overall Winner was disqualified and withdrawn, (although the image is in the accompanying handsome publications) as the wolf jumping over the farmer’s fence was possibly a trained animal rather than a wild one.

The exhibition space was very dark, and with all photographs back lit, they really stood out. I felt the world was still a pristine and beautiful place, and although many images were about survival or full of drama, it was life-affirming. From close-ups of ants and locusts, to a wide variety of animals and birds, plants and landscapes. I felt inspired, refreshed, and calmed – all at once. While not the best photograph, there was a cat frightening off a much bigger fox, and of course big cats featured prominently, including a well known tiger Machali in India’s Ranthambore National Park, that has supposedly contributed $10 million to the local economy, which I hope secures her safety.

Flight of the Locust - Photographer Chris Van Rooyen

Flight of the Locust - Photographer Chris Van Rooyen

Look out for the exhibition (or Google the images) as it travels to over 60 cities around the world,  or if you are a nature photographer, enter yourself  next  year!