We finally got around to seeing the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition 2010 on the weekend of the 12th Feb, towards the end of its run, and it was well worth the wait. After the disqualification of the winner from last year, the Natural History Museum exhibition had some work cut out for itself this time around to reestablish its credibility as an exhibition featuring awe inspiring photographs of wildlife, and it did it brilliantly.
By far the two best areas covered in the exhibition were the children’s entries, which were a genuine wonder this year, and the photojournalist entries that are a complete eye opener. Together, they’re a series of excellent examples of the skill and dedication of the photographers that enter the competition, whether they’re kids just setting out to catch great shots of nature in all its beauty or a hardened photojournalist looking to create a poignant insight into issues relating to wildlife, whether it’s to do with environment issues or the impact of poaching on endangered species.
Fergus Gill’s Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year winning entry, Frozen Moments, in the 15-17 year old section, is an impressive shot of a thrush out on a cold branch of a rowan tree hunting for food, and his Highly Commended Eye for a Bird is even more iconic, with a little white ptarmigan in the deep snow of the Cairngorm Mountains. It’s up there with 10 Years and Under winner Haijun Pei’s Golden Monkey as candidate for best photo of the exhibition in our opinion, featuring China’s stunning, but endangered, golden snub nosed monkey and their incredible blue eyes.
The Wildlife Photojournalist of the Year award was taken by Mark Leong for his brutal account of the barbaric illegal trade in rare and endangered species internationally. While the shots are shocking, they are a damning indictment of the “do anything for a buck” mentality that fuels the illegal industry.
Overall the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition 2010 was an excellent display of photographic genius. The grand title 2010 was split between Fergus Gill’s Frozen Moments and Bence Máté for his shot of ants working away at a leaf, called A marvel of ants. While the winning entries is a little “not the ones we would have chosen” on first inspection, they becomes more interesting the more you look and think about it.
The exhibition closed on the 11th March 2011, so unfortunately you’ve missed it. However, you can find out more about the latest on the event at our Natural History Museum news page. You can also think about getting your own entry in for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year for the next installment of the competition.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition 2010 review: 4.4/5