Like many other people, I am a subscriber to the BBC Wildlife Magazine and just received my annual Wildlife Photographer of the year portfolio, beautiful as always. Now they say a picture is worth a thousand words, but, which words?
Victorian gentlemen naturalists such as Charles Darwin, collected, eggs, insects and animals which were stuffed, and this fascination for the natural world still persists today, but- thank goodness- in a more sustainable form.
Humans seem to be obsessed with collection, whether it’s collecting money, cars, clothes, stamps, and this translates to the natural world too. Twitchers collect bird sightings, photographers collect images, moments in time, and the more difficult the moment to capture or the rarer the bird, the greater the accolade.
But wildlife photography seems to be evolving, its not only about capturing that perfect moment, or that elusive creature anymore. The photos in the portfolio that comes through my door every year are getting more political, more evocative.
The categories give you an intimate insight into the animal’s world and behaviour, whether it is up close and personal with sparring jaguar or the exhaustion of a noddy tern caught in a spiders web after a long migration. The beautiful images show the animals in the context of their environment and more often than not are highly endangered, coincidence, I don’t think so.
This competition can be a real chance to inform and educate as well as bring wonder at the natural world. Often a least photo will usually feature a polar bear, the poster child of global warming. A couple of years ago, many of the photos featured oiled birds, this year, an Amur leopard and cubs the most critically endangered big cat and a gruesome scene of ivory poaching.
So, enjoy the photographs, yes, marvel at the nature world, yes, but we should not be complacent, these amazing images highlight the beauty if the natural world, are we are it’s keepers. If we fail to conserve, protect and respect, these wonders will be gone, and in the not too distant future.
For a sneak peak of this years entrants and winners, please follow this link http://bbc.in/19GfXyK
Thanks for reading,
Photo credit Udayan Rao Pawar
#conservation #wildlife photography