The results for the annual internationally lauded Wildlife Photographer of the year Competition 2016 were announced at a ceremony in London last night. The Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition, now in its 52nd year, continues to be a showcase of the planets most extraordinary and revelatory sights. With each passing year the bar is raised that little bit higher and photographers must go that extra mile to impress a panel of international judges.
This year saw the competition receive over 50,000 entries from a spectrum of photography enthusiasts; young, old, professional and amateur. Photographers from across 95 different countries around the world submitted their images for a chance to be inculcated into the wildlife photography hall of fame.
It was American photographer Tim Laman who won the Grand Title award for his image ‘Entwined lives’. The image frames a critically endangered Bornean Orangutan above the Indonesian rainforest. To capture this award winning image Tim spent three days rope-climbing the 30 metre tall tree to set several GoPro cameras that he could trigger remotely. This captured the orangutan’s face from above within a wide-angle perspective of the forest below. Wild orangutans face a crisis of habitat loss due to agriculture and logging. Combined with increased poaching for the illegal pet trade the species’ future seems bleak.
Tim’s image will be on show along with 99 other shots selected by an international panel of judges that reveal the astonishing diversity of life on our planet and highlight our crucial role in protecting it.
Conservation themes often feature highly in the competition and the plight of Africa’s wildlife is captured amongst the various global endeavours to draw attention to declining species and environmental issues.
Notably in this year’s Wildlife Photojournalist Award: story category, photographer Charlie Hamilton James’s winning submission draws attention to the catastrophic decline in vulture populations across Africa, due to deliberate and incidental poisoning. Seven of the Africa’s eleven species of vulture are now endangered or critically endangered making them one of the fastest declining groups of animals in the world.
Described by Charlie as the ultimate anti-hero, this bird plays an indispensable role in a complex ecosystems.
Other notable African images include a ground hornbill foraging for food in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and a pride of lions that had discovered a critically endangered Temminck’s ground pangolin in South Africa’s Tswalu Kalahari Private Game Reserve.
The Wildlife Photographer of the Year is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum in London and sets a global standard for the very best in nature and wildlife photography. This year’s selection of 100 images ranges from intimate portraits to dramatic landscapes and imbues a passion for the natural world and the dedication of photographers to capture it. The winning images can now be viewed on the NHM website, enjoy!