The winners of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition have been revealed at a ceremony at the Natural History Museum, London, which develops, produces and exhibits the international competition.
Hailing from the Chinese province of Qinghai, Yongqing Bao has won the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2019 title for his extraordinary image, The Moment, which frames the standoff between a Tibetan fox and a marmot, seemingly frozen in life-or-death deliberations. A powerful frame of both humour and horror, it captures the drama and intensity of nature.
Chair of the judging panel, Roz Kidman Cox, says, ‘Photographically, it is quite simply the perfect moment. The expressive intensity of the postures holds you transfixed, and the thread of energy between the raised paws seems to hold the protagonists in perfect balance. Images from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau are rare enough, but to have captured such a powerful interaction between a Tibetan fox and a marmot – two species key to the ecology of this high-grassland region – is extraordinary.’
Natural History Museum Director Sir Michael Dixon comments, ‘This compelling picture captures nature’s ultimate challenge – its battle for survival. The area in which this was taken, often referred to as the ‘third pole’, because of the enormous water reserves held by its ice fields, is under threat from dramatic temperature rises like those seen in the Arctic. At a time when precious habitats are facing increasing climate pressures, seeing these fleeting yet fascinating moments reminds us of what we need to protect.’
Fourteen-year-old Cruz Erdmann took the award for Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2019 with his serene portrait of an iridescent big fin reef squid captured on a night dive in the Lembeh Strait off North Sulawesi, Indonesia. From an early age Cruz has been in love with the ocean and gained his diving certification at the age of just ten years old. After inheriting his father’s old underwater camera, Cruz found the perfect medium to express his passion for all things aquatic.
Grand title winner Theo Bosboom, nature photographer and member of the judging panel for WPY55, says ‘To dive in the pitch dark, find this beautiful squid and to be able to photograph it so elegantly, to reveal its wonderful shapes and colours, takes so much skill. What a resounding achievement for such a young photographer.’
The two images were selected from 19 category winners, depicting the incredible diversity of life on our planet, from displays of rarely seen animal behaviour to hidden underwater worlds. Images from professional and amateur photographers are selected by a panel of industry-recognised professionals for their originality, creativity and technical excellence. The competition’s global platform sparks curiosity and wonder in millions of people each year allowing the unique emotive power of photography to sway hearts and minds and create advocates for the natural world.
Open to photographers of all ages and abilities, the next Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition opens for entries on Monday 21 October 2019.
Find out more at www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/wpy/competition.html
Associate sponsors for the upcoming exhibition at the Natural History Museum are renewable energy company Ørsted and digital camera manufacturer, Panasonic LUMIX. Beating over 48,000 entries from 100 countries, Cruz and Yongqing’s images will be on show in stunning lightbox displays with 98 other spectacular photographs. The exhibition at the Natural History Museum opens on 18 October 2019 before touring across the UK and internationally to locations such as Canada, Spain, the USA, Australia and Germany.
(Featured image – Land of the Eagle © Audun Rikardsen, Norway Winner 2019, Behaviour: Birds – Wildlife Photographer of the Year)
Dates and times: Friday 18th October 2019 – Sunday 31st May 2020 10.00-17.50 (last admission 17.15)
To book tickets: www.nhm.ac.uk/wpy
Prices from: Adult £15.50*, child £9.25*, concession £12.25* Free for Members, Patrons and children under four
Visitor enquiries: 020 7942 5000
Wildlife Photographer of the Year is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum, London. The fifty-sixth Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition will open for entries on Monday 21 October 2019 and close at 11.30am GMT on Thursday 12 December 2019. Open to everyone, the competition welcomes entries from photographers of all ages and abilities: www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/wpy/competition.html