Wildlife Photographer of the Year

On Tuesday 1st December 2015, I attended the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition Private preview at M Shed Bristol. Our lovely birding friend, Andy Pym, arranged the tickets for us.

I know I say it a lot, but I am so lucky to live in Bristol, where things like this are held.

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig

M Shed is a huge museum on the waterfront and the exhibition was still packed with local people involved in nature, conservation and the media as well as sponsors. It was lovely to talk to Matt Collis from the Avon Wildlife Trust, Maddy Bartlett from Bristol Nature Network, Ben Hoare from BBC Wildlife Magazine and Sam Hobson a great photographer, as well as lots of birding friends.

I also got to meet Mark Carwardine, one of the main judges, who also lives in Bristol. I saw Mark give a talk earlier in the year and it was great finally meeting him. After a few minutes of chatting, it turned out that Mark had just returned from Antarctica and had chartered the ship we were going to be travelling on, the Vavilov. That seemed a huge coincidence! Chatting to him, Mark asked me how many blog posts I had published and I had said about 225 in 18 months as a guess and he had said that was great, as it was one every two days. So when I got home and checked, intrigued, I had actually published 240 posts in just 2016.

The exhibition itself was absolutely fantastic, as always. I don’t want to give a spoiler to anyone going. However, in particular, I loved the black and white photos, the diverse earth ones, and the ones of animals having negative interactions with humans. In the last section, I felt really sad looking at one of an elephant chained up and one with ligers (a hybrid
of a lion and tiger), tigers and lions standing on podiums, drugged and with their teeth and claws pulled out. It was terrible and I’m sure will continue to haunt me. I also liked all the photographs from under 18’s, especially the ones from photographers under 10, which were awesome.

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