Snowy scenes from the 2018 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.
The Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition has grown exponentially since it first ran in 1965, in conjunction with BBC Wildlife magazine. The Natural History Museum joined the competition in 1984 and it is now run and owned by them. For the 2018 edition, more than 45 000 entries were received from around the world and the jury of six had the impossible task of choosing the best of the best. The winners were announced in October. Dutch photographer Marsel van Oosten won the overall prize in the adult category for his startling image of a pair of golden snub-nosed monkeys, and 16-year-old Skye Meaker from South Africa took home the big prize in the junior category for his beautiful portrait of a leopard in Mashatu Game Reserve. Two other South Africans also excelled: Thomas Peschak won the “Behaviour: Birds” category and Tertius Gous was highly commended in the “Behaviour: Mammals” category. Unfortunately we can’t publish all of the winning photos, so we’ve decided to showcase snowy scenes from earth’s rapidly changing polar regions – places at the front line of climate change. Bask in the glory of these images and remember that there’s still time to make a difference…
Silent skirmish Michel d’Oultremont, Belgium
In a winter white-out in Cambrai, France, two short-eared owls fly away after squabbling over a captured mouse. “The mouse fell and escaped alive,” says Michel, who took the photo from his car. Short-eared owls are solo hunters and detect their small prey by listening for rustling in vegetation. This photo is unique because it’s rare to see two owls fighting over prey. It might be because food was scarce in the snowcovered landscape. This photo was part of a selection that won Michel the Rising Star Portfolio Award for emerging photographers aged 18 – 26.
HOW? EOS 5D Mark III, 500 mm lens, shutter speed 1/640 second, aperture f4.5, ISO 1 250.
For a gallery of all the winners, visit nhm.ac.uk/wpy. You’ll also find details about how to enter the 2019 competition. Entries close on 13 December.