Fantatstic exhibition on the occasion of 46 anniversary of "Wildlife Photographer of the Year" in Brighton.
I got the copyrigth to publish this article form "Daily Sunday Times online" from April 1, 2010 on my website
Link to exhibition
Link to original article
These prize-winning images, the best of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competitions, will excite and enthral Madeleine Penny, Eureka picture editor
It is a grey afternoon on Brighton seafront, grey but not dull. With the fire-ravaged, twisted remains of the West Pier to my right and the flashing lights of Brighton Pier to my left, this is the setting for the beautiful, colourful and dramatic photography showcase, Wild Planet, a celebration of the best of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.
Now in its 46th season, Wildlife Photographer of the Year is a testament to those photographers who went the extra mile, who waited for weeks to capture a moment that passed so quickly that a blinking of the eye could miss it, but hopefully not the shutter of the camera. It is the International Year of Biodiversity this year and Wild Planet is a fine example of how diverse our planet is.
As a picture editor, I have the privilege of working with some of the best photographers in the world, seeing at first hand the triumph and tragedy of Man, the newest developments in scientific imagery, and wildlife photography that heightens our awareness, pulls at our heart strings and shows us the true beauty of nature.
From its beginnings at the turn of the 19th century, when photography was a means of documentation, wildlife photography has played an essential role in our understanding of the natural world. More so than ever, photography has moved on from purely allowing us to see the previously unseen to providing us with evidence of Man’s impact on the planet, as the human population swells and encroaches ever farther.
Solvin Zankl’s image of a Celebes black ape — one of the 80 works on show here — is an example of our need for greater conservation. They are found only on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia and are critically endangered by logging, farming and mining. Zankl had been following a group of black apes for several weeks. “One day I noticed a male fall behind the rest,” he says. “It had found a car wing-mirror and was seeing his own image for the first time.” A great image, and a poignant reminder of Man’s impact on wildlife. (Incidentally, Zankl was the photographer behind last month’s Eureka cover, a deep-sea smelt found at 4,000m below sea level.)
From conservation to drama, which this exhibition has in abundance. I am struck by Ben Osborne’s Elephant Creation. Having spent weeks staking out the waterhole in Chobe National Park, Botswana, Osborne was rewarded with the opportunity of taking this photograph. “Sometimes the waterhole overflowed and this huge bull was the first to indulge in an energetic mud bath,” he writes. The result is striking: Osborne captures the energy and power of the beast, while using great colour, texture and composition.
As the Sun begins to dip, the images are illuminated for night-time amblers on the promenade and I can hear a few giggles as I approach the next photograph. Rival Kings by Andy Rouse seemingly depicts animals imitating human behaviour. Reminiscent of a scene at closing time at a less than salubrious venue, two rival male King penguins are seen slapping one another with their flippers as they fight over a female. “You looking at my penguin?” one of them seems to be saying. However, it’s their clarinet-style call that Rouse says he will never forget.
There are many more opportunities to admire the beauty of wildlife photography. From Helmut Moik’s Dalmatian Pelican to the Golden Jackal Chasing a Lesser Flamingo, by Anup Shah, you will be overwhelmed with the variety of species on land and sea.
This exhibition has something for everyone, whether you are an enthusiast looking for inspiration, or just someone who likes to admire great photography; you will not be disappointed.
Bring the children. Judging by the number of youngsters who were rushing past me pointing out their favourites, awed by the sharks bearing down on their prey or touched by the orang-utan mother protecting her baby, pictured left, there is plenty here for them too. You nevezr know, it could strike a chord with one or two and maybe inspire a conservationist of the future.
Daily (lit from dusk until 11pm),
With kind regards
Helmut Moik, Dec 03, 2010