The winners of the 52nd Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition were revealed at a lavish event, held inside the world famous Natural History Museum in London (Tue 18th Oct 2016) and catered for by leading event caterers Moving Venue by Smart. American photographer Tim Laman won the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2016 for his captivating image Entwined lives. The winning image frames a critically endangered Bornean orangutan above the Indonesian rainforest. Beating 50,000 entries from 95 countries, Tim’s picture will be on show along with 99 other selected by an international panel of judges at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition.
During the champagne reception, guests enjoyed a selection of canapés, provided by Moving Venue, which included parmesan and smoked paprika mille feuille straws and homemade pork scratching strips. During the two course seated dinner, a slow cooked shoulder of beef, with salt beef and confit shallot galette, parsnip puree, spiced red cabbage and braising jus was served. For vegetarians, guests enjoyed a roasted organic pumpkin filled gnocchi, Barkham blue cheese velouté and toasted walnut watercress pesto. For dessert, guests devoured a delicious Chardonnay spiced poached pear verrine with Madagascan vanilla panna cotta, warm chocolate air and cinnamon doughnuts.
Tim spent three days rope-climbing a 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. Speaking about the wild orangutans, Tim said “Protecting their remaining habitat is critical for orangutans to survive. If we want to preserve a great ape that retains its vast culturally transmitted knowledge of how to survive in the rainforest and the full richness of wild orangutan behaviour, then we need to protect orangutans in the wild, now”.
Sixteen-year-old Gideon Knight from the UK won the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year title for his image The Moon and the Crow. Shot near his London home, it shows the twigs of a sycamore tree silhouetted against the blue dusk sky and the full moon. This ‘makes it feel almost supernatural, like something out of a fairy tale,’ says Gideon.
The two images were selected from 16 category winners, depicting nature at its finest, from displays of rarely seen animal behaviour to exotic landscapes. The competition is judged by a panel of industry-recognised professionals. Images from professional and amateur photographers are selected for their creativity, artistry and technical complexity.
Sir Michael Dixon, Director of the Natural History Museum which runs the competition, said: ‘Wildlife Photographer of the Year highlights some of the big questions for society and the environment: How can we protect biodiversity? Can we learn to live in harmony with nature? The winning images touch our hearts, and challenge us to think differently about the natural world.’
The exhibition will tour the UK, then onto locations including Spain, Canada, the USA, Germany and Macau.
The 53rd Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition is now open for entries (Until 15th December 2016) - Find out more at nhm.ac.uk/wpy
Photo Credit: Entwined Lives by Tim Laman and The Moon and the Crow by Gideon Knight