Australian Museum: Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibit (Review)

Each year I return to the new summer exhibition at the Australian Museum and marvel at the skill of the photographers whose work is displayed in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year photography exhibition. In 2003 I lived for a year in the UK and saw that years Wildlife Photographer exhibition at London’s Natural History Museum.

That was the year I first became really interested in photography, particularly of wildlife and natural landscapes and I think my photography has improved a lot since then.

From vivid, colourful landscapes to intimate portraits of animal behaviour, the exhibition offers an extraordinary insight into the beauty and diversity of the natural world.

Enjoy captivating wildlife images from the world’s largest and most prestigious photography competition when this popular exhibition returns each year to the Australian Museum during Summer.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year is owned by the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine.

Now in its 46th year, this exhibition showcases incredible stories and evocative images which capture the diversity and wonder of the natural world such as the winner Hungarian photographer Bence Màté for his stunning image, a marvel of ants, capturing ant behaviour in the Costa Rican rainforest shown below, selected from over 31,000 entries / 81 countries.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2010

Bence’s winning photograph is taken from a portfolio of six images which also won the Erik Hosking Award for the best work from a young photographer aged between 18 – 26.

Speaking about Bence’s impressive work, Mark Carwardine, Chair of the Judging Panel commented that ‘these strong images show Bence is clearly a master of his craft with an artist’s eye.’

Four Australians are amongst the line-up of Highly Commended photographers including Kah Kit Yoong who was awarded Runner Up in the Creative Visions of Nature category for a stirring image of an Australian Southern Swell.

Wildlife, photography and travel enthusiasts of all ages will enjoy the stunning display which is FREE with general Museum entry.

Starts: 4 December 2010
Ends: 13 March 2011.

Where: Level 2, Australian Museum, 6 College Street (opposite Hyde Park), Sydney
Cost: Free with Museum entry ticket

If you can’t go there you can view the Wildlife Photographer of the Year online at the Natural History Museum website although the photos are only done true justice when seen as large prints in the exhibition

2009 Competition

These are 3 of the finalists for 2009: Ethiopian mountain king, Joe McDonald (USA), Eyes in the oasis, Lee Slabber (South Africa) and Puffin in the snow, Jan Vermeer (The Netherlands).

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2009

The 2009 winner of Wildlife Photographer of the Year “The storybook wolf” by José Luis Rodríguez (Spain) was controversially disqualified and stripped of his status as the judges suspected the wolf in the photo was tame and trained to create the photo.

The competition rules clearly state that photographs of animal models may not be entered into the competition and that images will be disqualified if they are entered in breach of this rule.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year is the world’s most prestigious photography competition of its kind. Any transgression of the competition rules is taken very seriously and if entries are suspected of breaching the rules they are disqualified. José Luis Rodríguez’s image will be removed from the exhibition and tour.

Mr Rodriguez strongly denies that the wolf in the image is a model wolf.

2008 Competition

An image of a jewel-like leaf drop glistening in the far north Queensland sun has earned Australian photographer, Darran Leal, a highly commended in the prestigious 2008 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

  • The image, ‘Leaf drop,’ is one of 83 chosen from a record 32,351 entries and is included in the montage below (top left) with 3 other images from the exhibition
  • Deadlock, David Maitland, United Kingdom (top right)
  • Daddy long legs, Jordi Chias, Spain (bottom left)
  • Troublemaker, Stefano Unterthiner, Italy (bottom right)
Copyright 2008 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
credit: 2008 Wildlife Photographer of the Year – Australian Museum

2007 Competition

2007 Highlights included the winning image by UK photographer Ben Osborne “Elephant Creation” which features a large bull elephant kicking and spraying mud in a waterhole. This reminded me of an underwater photo on the December 2004 National Geographic website of an Elephant swimming in the Okavango Delta.

Elephant Creation - by Ben Osborne / Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2007

Rajan, the 60-year-old Asian elephant in Jeff’s winning picture, was rescued from the banned Andaman Islands logging trade. Today he takes daily swims in the ocean with his handler and Jeff was privileged to join them in the water for a dip.

When asked about his experience Jeff said: “Swimming under water with such a massive land animal was one of those unforgettable life experiences

24 thoughts on “Australian Museum: Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibit (Review)”

  1. excellent picture taken , the photographer must have been an expert swimmer as well as a photographer

  2. Amazing photography indeed. I’ve seen some great videos of wildlife in action on youtube, but on occasion, a still-shot surpasses anything a videocam can do. I can imagine shooting something like that through a glass wall, but not in scuba gear next to an elephant.

    EDITOR: yeah that photo took serious effort

  3. Thanks for the article! The pictures are really amazing. You can see many in the NHM online gallary. I wish I could go there and visit the exhibition, but Australia is just too far away 🙁

  4. An animal with a “handler” is not WILD in my opinion. This just violates the whole concept of wildlife photography for me.
    A wildlife photography award should recognize just that, otherwise why bother venturing into the wild at all? we could just shoot away in zoos and “wildlife” game parks.

  5. I really enjoyed reading it. I would like to read more on this topic…I keep admiring time and effort you put in your blog, because it is obviously one great place where I can find lot of useful info.

  6. Cool picture… I think I saw that in National Geographic once… if I’m not mistaken. If I could take a picture that awesome, I’d be content for life!

    Chris

  7. I can imagine shooting a bit like that through a glass wall, but not in scuba gear next to an elephant.

  8. @ Number 9 anonymous
    If you read the text above the picture, the picture of Rajan was not an entry into the wildlife photographer of the year, the writer of this page saw an entry of an elephant splashing in the wildlife award and this reminded him of the picture of Rajan which he has seen in National Geographic. Therefore not violating any ‘conditions’ of wildlife photography, also National Geographic is quite good at captioning their pictures so we would be fully aware direct from them that this is a captive animal.

  9. @ Number 9 anonymous
    If you read the text above the picture, the picture of Rajan was not an entry into the wildlife photographer of the year, the writer of this page saw an entry of an elephant splashing in the wildlife award and this reminded him of the picture of Rajan which he has seen in National Geographic. Therefore not violating any ‘conditions’ of wildlife photography, also National Geographic is quite good at captioning their pictures so we would be fully aware direct from them that this is a captive animal. Cheers

  10. i am new to this photography but i was passionate towards it….
    and it gives me more satisfaction but …
    this is really amazing one i think i have to put on my whole life to catch such one shot..

  11. Hi Neerav, Another great post. Thank you. As you know, I work at the AM, but alas, have not seen the exhibition yet. I’ll pop up there soon and check it out. You are spot on about needing to see the originals. In past years, some of the photos have been truely spectacular. I just hope that this year’s selection includes some great fish shots :).

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