For 10 years, the British Wildlife Photography Awards have celebrated the rich ecosystems found across Britain. The 2019 winners take a diverse approach to wildlife photography; but, in their own way, they help pay homage to local fauna and prove that award-winning photography doesn’t require an exotic location.
In celebration of its ten-year anniversary, the competition honors the sea by expanding its Coast and Marine category into four divisions based on the British coastline. By including special awards for Wales, Scotland, England, and Northern Ireland and the Coast of Ireland, the contest hopes to increase conservation awareness. An additional 11 categories, including two youth awards, allow photographers to highlight everything from a garden spider to the dramatic plight of an injured European hedgehog.
Interestingly, the top photograph doesn’t take place in a lush green setting, as one might imagine. Instead, Daniel Trim’s haunting image of a Grey heron in urban London took home the overall award. Hunting for small fish trapped in the cover of a bridge, the bird wades through litter and leaves, as rays of light beam onto its face. Standing behind the grill, it appears to be trapped behind bars. Technically stunning and artistically moving, Trim’s photograph earned him a £5,000 prize.
“Who needs penguins or polar bears when we have puffins and badgers? With so many photographers scouring the globe for exotic megafauna, it’s easy to forget how much wildlife we have in our own small and densely populated backyard,” says zoologist Mark Carwadine, who is part of the judging panel. “Just look up–from behind your desk, the kitchen sink or inside your car–and the chances are you will see a wild creature of one kind or another. A red fox running across a field, a blue tit on the bird table, or a red kite over the motorway. We are very fortunate in having an outstanding biodiversity in this country.”
A traveling exhibition of over 100 images, including the winning and commended entries, is currently on view across Britain. The British Wildlife Photography Awards 10 coffee table book published by Ammonite is also available online and in bookstores across Britain.
2019 is the tenth anniversary of the British Wildlife Photography Awards.
This year there is a special focus on Britain’s coasts and marine life, with four categories spotlighting this topic.
Paul Sawer’s four-photo series of a Blue Tit won the Seasons category.
The plight and recovery of a European hedgehog took home the top prize in the Documentary series category.
My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos from British Wildlife Photography Awards.
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