Wildlife Pho­tog­ra­pher of the Year

Amateur Photographer - - Technique -

The world’s largest com­pe­ti­tion cham­pi­oning wildlife and en­vi­ron­men­tal im­agery has a huge num­ber of en­tries – over 45,000 ev­ery year. The over­all winner of the com­pe­ti­tion takes home a whop­ping £10,000, while each cat­e­gory winner re­ceives £1,250. The win­ning im­ages are dis­played in a large an­nual ex­hi­bi­tion at the Nat­u­ral His­tory Mu­seum, Lon­don.

From among all the en­tries, only 4,000-5,000 im­ages ac­tu­ally make it through to the fi­nals, with the jury meet­ing for a week to debate the choice of the fi­nal 100 pic­tures. As you can imag­ine, this lengthy process makes it quite dif­fi­cult for in­di­vid­ual im­ages to make the grade.

Chair of the jury, Roz Kid­man Cox, says, ‘Some im­ages al­ways jump out at you, but they need to be more than one- glance wonders to stay the course. They need to have the same im­pact when you re­turn to them again. The best pic­tures hold your in­ter­est ev­ery time you look at them.

‘Never copy the style or con­tent of pre­vi­ous win­ning im­ages. It is sel­dom that a pho­tog­ra­pher tops what’s been awarded be­fore. Ask your­self if your pic­ture is merely a copy of sim­i­lar pic­tures you have seen pub­lished over and over again. It may be a good shot, but it won’t win a prize. To win re­quires an orig­i­nal view­point, es­pe­cially if the sub­ject is a fa­mil­iar one.’

Al­though the rules for this com­pe­ti­tion don’t stip­u­late that the im­age must have been taken re­cently, Wildlife Pho­tog­ra­pher of the Year re­quires sub­mis­sion of the orig­i­nal raw file if it makes it through to the win­ning stage, so it’s cru­cial that you still have it. Kid­man Cox ex­plains, ‘If a pic­ture reaches the fi nals, the orig­i­nal will be re­quested so the au­then­tic­ity of the en­try can be checked. If you don’t send it, the pic­ture will be with­drawn.’

Wildlife Pho­tog­ra­pher of the Year 53 is cur­rently on dis­play at the Nat­u­ral His­tory Mu­seum un­til 1 July 2018; it will then tour var­i­ous UK venues un­til De­cem­ber. See www. nhm.ac.uk/visit/wpy/com­pe­ti­tion. html for in­for­ma­tion about how to en­ter the com­pe­ti­tion.

Steer clear of cliché shots. If it’s a pop­u­lar sub­ject, cap­ture it in a unique way

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