The British Wildlife Photography Awards (BWPA) are in their 7th year, and have just released their 6th collection book of the winning and commended images from this years competition. After being successful in the past 4 years, I have been asked many times over the summer if I entered this year and if I got anything in.
To answer the first, yes... of course I entered! I love the BWPA. It celebrates both British wildlife and photography, one being a keen interest of mine and the other being my main passion in life! A competition like this needs to be supported, and I encourage photographers to the Centre every year to enter if they can.
To answer the second... unfortunately no... this is the first year I did not get recognised, in fact I didn't even get any shortlisted this year. Am I disappointed? Well yes of course, a little, but I think it would be a little weird if I wasn't being as proud of my photos as I am. But am I surprised?.. No, not really... I had heard rumours that they were really clamping down on photos that had been taken in captivity, which of course all of mine are, plus I entered photos this year that were a bit more unusual than perhaps I had in previous years.
The photos in this post are a few of the ones I did enter. The dormouse at the top peering through the hazel. Rare not to see an awake dormouse in a photo, and the secretive nature of this image lent itself well to the dormouse's nature I thought.
The badger above taken last summer. One of my favourites, and a very similar styled image actually did make it in to the awards this year.
Below taking the light and exposure a bit further on a flying barn owl, and at the bottom some dancing adders. I entered a few dancing adder photos, some straight forward ones, a couple of "arty" ones, but this being perhaps the most unique in terms of angle and view.
So, the collection book of this years BWPA arrived at the Centre yesterday and I couldn't wait to have a look through. It is an amazing collection of photographs of our wildlife... as with all competitions of course there were some I thought perhaps shouldn't of been in there, some that I thought were truly stunning and others that I wish I had seen/taken myself.
A lot of names in there that I recognise from photographers that have visited the Centre, a couple of professionals that are friends of the Centre... Andy Rouse and Danny Green did well this year too, but the photo that caught my eye the most was the front cover!
A beautiful photo of a bee sat on a flower and covered in pollen. It is a stunning photo, and taken by a friend of the Centre... Andy Sands.
Will I enter next year?.. Of course! But I will have to make sure I get some photos that are truly special and unique for a chance if taken here at the Centre. I often get people saying "Well, you're not a real wildlife photographer are you?" and my answer has always been "No, I'm an Animals I care for photographer" I have little desire to photograph "wild" animals, I prefer to just see them. I do however enjoy taking photographs of the animals I care for as souvenirs of my life and work.
So whats next... A few of my pictures have been used in books recently, one in particular which I am very excited about and will mention when published. I am also working on a couple of projects I hope to have out there early next year.
Thanks for looking :-) And if you do get the chance to see the BWPA book this year, or even better get to the exhibition, please do. Some amazing photographs on show!