[Images courtesy of The Guardian]
If you want to see nature as it is: wild, free, beautiful and indomitable, you should visit “The Wildlife Photographer of the Year” at the Natural History Museum in London. The exhibition starts in London and then moves on to another 60 cities both in the UK and across the globe.
“The Wildlife Photographer of the Year” is an iconic and emblematic event for photographers and is well known for its fame and prestige throughout the photography world. Last year the exhibition celebrated its 50th anniversary, sharing beautiful wildlife pictures with the world. Every year, thousands of people enter this prestigious contest that values the different sides of nature and the variations from one part of the globe to the other. This exhibition also strives to make us aware of the damage that we are inflicting upon our beautiful planet. The pictures illustrate why we should stop destroying the Earth before is too late and we lose all these magnificent natural gems that we are surrounded by.
[Touché by Jan van der Greef (The Netherlands)]
If you are interested in participating in this year’s contest you still have time, as the competition is open until the 20th of February. You need only to take your camera out and go surround yourself with the beauty of nature.
The museum, as a temple of history and nature is an ideal location for the exhibition to take place. The gallery provides the public with the chance to see pictures taken not only by professionals, but also by amateurs as young as 6 years old and you will be surprised by just how talented these young photographers are. Do not underestimate the children’s section just because “they are children”, as there’s no more pure and authentic vision as that seen through the eyes of a child. Their pictures are simply breathtaking and they capture real and specific moments that have captured their attention. As for the adults, their pictures are nonetheless beautiful or captivating: they capture different sides of nature; from landscapes, to natural catastrophes, storms, animal portraits, aquatic images… the possibilities are boundless, as is the imagination of those that have taken them.
[Apocalypse by Francisco Negroni (Chile)]
The exhibition is located in a dark room where the pictures are displayed in bright frames. There’s no music or sounds and the public are so captivated by the images, that you hardly hear anyone speaking. That’s the power of these pictures; they literally leave you speechless.
Some of my favourite pictures from the exhibition illustrate quite simple moments: “A mouse, the Moon and a mosquito” shows exactly that, but it is the beautiful composition and the contrasting lighting that gives this picture its special essence.
[The mouse, the moon and the mosquito by Alex Badyaev (Russia/USA)]
“Communal warmth” resembles a kind of mirror as the primates within the picture look directly into our eyes and their body language and appearance highlight the intrinsic similarities humans and apes.
“Birds” is a phantasmagoria and, at the same time, an extraordinarily beautiful picture that combines both Earth and space as the herons gaze at the night’s sky.
There’s a section in the exhibition that is dedicated to the Special Award: Wildlife Photographer of the Year Portfolio Award. Last year Tim Laman was awarded this prestigious prize and in the gallery you can see his pictures of birds-of-paradise. Laman took pictures of these exotic creatures over ten years and you can see a sample of this collection at the museum. His work is spectacular, as are the amazing birds found in his pictures.
Technology might have evolved and the world is moving faster than ever, but these amazing pictures takes us to a place where we are insignificant in comparison to the vastness of the universe and its immense beauty.
Lucía Vázquez Bonome
The exhibition is at Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road London between the 24 October 2014 – 30 August 2015
• Adult £12.60
• Child and concession £6.30
• Family £34.45 (up to 2 adults and 3 children)
• Free for Members, Patrons and children under 4
More information can be found at: