I’m sorry, I really am.
But I just can’t stand wildlife photography. In fact, I find people showing me their backyard shots of red-breasted robins, feeding squirrels and vast skies with small speck (look, an owl!) yawn-inducing and an offensive waste of time. Again, I’m so sorry.
Unfortunately the practice attracts a truck load of cliche, done-to-death images of birds resting on snow-layered branches and foxes feeding in suburban gardens. They just don’t do it for me.
However, the prestigious Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition has attracted a plethora of talented wildlife photographers who endeavor to push boundaries and get creative shots. The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition rarely displays your usual, cliche shots.
I came across the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition in 2009 when I stumbled upon a photography exhibition being held in a small venue in Gloucestershire, UK: the exhibition was on tour. To my surprise, I spent a nice afternoon enjoying the photographs. The winning shot of 2009 was taken by photographer José Luis Rodríguez*:
Bence Máté won 2010’s the Winner’s title with this image:
Year after year, professional and amateur wildlife photographers produce stunning photographs often evoking an enjoyable oooh and wonderful woaah.
A few favourites:
You can’t argue with photographs like these. Although I consider wildlife photography a very separate discipline to fine art photography, when the wildlife photograph truly stretches its wings and is taken with an artist’s eye it can fly high*. I find myself (begrudgingly) looking forward to seeing 2011′s finalists.
*update: The Storybook Wolf’ by Jose Luis Rodríguez was disqualified from the competition after claims that wolf was actually tame and the shot was staged. I’ve not removed it from the blog item as I still think it’s a pretty awesome shot (thanks for the heads up wernerpriller).
better decent metaphors gratefully received.