Wildlife Photographer of the Year
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 If you don’t send it, the picture will be withdrawn.’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