51st Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition

Rosamund Macfarlane. Snow hare

Snow Hare: Rosamund Macfarlane (UK) Finalist in the WIldlife Photographer of the Year 2015 competition.

This year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition, which is on loan from the Natural History Museum of London, is being shown at the Chavonnes Battery Museum, Clocktower, V&A Waterfront, from now until 15 April 2016. Featuring over 100 breathtaking images, from incredible animal shots to wild landscapes, the exhibition launched in the UK in 1965 when it attracted 361 entries – today the competition receives over 42 000 entries from 96 countries around the world.

Carlos Perez Naval/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015

Carlos Perez Naval/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015

[Above]: To Drink or Not: Carlos Perez Naval, Spain, Finalist, 10 Years and Under

Shot on the beach at Morro Bay in California where a colony of California ground squirrels lives among the rocks. He noticed that whenever a ground squirrel dared to get too close, a western gull would chase it away. Carlos took the shot just before the gull lunged forward and the squirrel fled.

 Zsolt Kudich, Great Egret Awakening

Zsolt Kudich/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015.

Great Egret Awakening: Zsolt Kudich, Hungary, Finalist, Birds

Working on a project to document the last untouched regions of the Danube, including the floodplains, Zsolt was delighted to find a sixth of Hungary’s great egret population in the one place. His chance came when a fishing white-tailed eagle sent some of the egrets into the air.

Andrey Gudkov, Komodo judo

Andrey Gudkov/Wildlife Photographer of the year 2015.

Komodo judo: Andrey Gudkov, Russia, Finalist, Amphibians & Reptiles

The fight was fast and unexpected. On this December morning, on Rinca Island, he had found two large males hissing angrily at each other. When the fight escalated and he saw the two formidable dragons “dancing the tango” against a beautiful backdrop, Andrey seized his chance.

Fabien Michenet. It came from the deep.

Fabien Michenet/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015.

It Came from the Deep: Fabien Michenet, France, Finalist, Underwater

Fabien spends many hours diving at night in deep water off the coast of Tahiti, French Polynesia, where he lives. One night, about 20 metres below the surface, in water 1 000 metres deep, some juvenile octopi (2cm in diameter) swam into view. By keeping as close as possible and drifting the same speed as the diminutive octopus, Fabien was able to capture his eye-to-eye portrait.

Floris van Breugel/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015.

Floris van Breugel/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015.

Jagged Peace: Floris van Breugel, USA, Finalist, Land

Argentina’s Los Glaciares National Park boasts the largest ice mantle outside Antarctica, with numerous glaciers, lakes and towering mountains. Mount Fitz Roy is the highest, rising a jagged 3 375 metres above sea level. With fresh snow and muted light evoking the quiet wilderness, a black-billed shrike-tyrant completed the shot, adding a sense of scale and connection to the landscape.

Francisco Mingorance. Stork Art

Francisco Mingorance/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015.

Stork Art: Francisco Mingorance, Spain, Finalist, Urban Wildlife

White storks seem equally at home on artificial structures as they are in trees, often nesting on rooftops and telegraph poles. Francisco discovered three pairs high on this sculpture outside the Vostell-Malpartida Museum near Cáceres in Spain. Using a long exposure, he got just one shot he liked, with the storks quietly asserting their place in the modern world that Vostell depicted.

Morkel Erasmus/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015.

Morkel Erasmus/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015.

Natural frame: Morkel Erasmus, South Africa, Finalist, Black & White

Morkel could hear every rumble. He could even smell the elephants. But his view was limited to the viewing slit of a cramped bunker sunk into the ground beside a remote waterhole in Namibia’s Etosha National Park. His moment came when a mother framed his shot with her legs just as her calf walked into view, framing a giraffe.

Thomas P Peschak, The shark surfer

Thomas P Peschak

The Shark Surfer: Thomas P Peschak, Germany/South Africa, Finalist, Photojournalism Award: Single Image

Aliwal Shoal near Durban, South Africa, is popular dive site – the perfect place to test a prototype surfboard with an electromagnetic shark deterrent. When the board was switched off, the curious blacktip sharks swam close, but when it was activated they stayed at a distance. To avoid bubbles in the picture, Tom free-dived, framing the complementary forms to suggest peaceful coexistence rather than conflict.

Marcus Westberg, Gorilla care

Marcus Westberg/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015.

Gorilla Care: Marcus Westberg, Sweden, Finalist, Photojournalism Award: Single Image

Ndeze, a nine-year-old orphan mountain gorilla, watches with concern as veterinarians check the health of her female companion, 12-year-old Maisha, in the Senkwekwe Centre at the headquarters of the Virunga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

All images courtesy Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015.

The exhibition will move from the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town onto Johannesburg in May and Durban later in 2016. Tickets are available from Webtickets

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