Portrait of a winner
As well as being a favourite time of year for many photographers, autumn is also the season of photo festivals, prizes and major exhibitions. The most prestigious of these is the Wildlife Photographer of the Year award and the accompanying exhibition in London that has become one of the world’s most popular showcases of photography.
To be named Wildlife Photographer of the Year is the dream of many but a reality for only a few. One of these is Bence Máté, who was just 25 years old when he won the title in 2010. Many of his peers believe Bence will become the first person to win the prestigious title twice, such is his reputation for innovative wildlife imagery. Time is certainly on his side. When seeking an interview with Bence for this issue (page 30), I wanted to find out what motivates him and the other characteristics that might help explain the reason behind his extraordinary success. His quiet, yet steely determination and unshakeable self-belief were clearly apparent. He is also not one to rest on his laurels, more of which will come his way for many years yet.
The power of photography
Wildlife photography strikes many emotional chords in people’s hearts, particularly when depicting scenes of slaughter through poaching and hunting. It’s one thing to raise public awareness, but quite another to harness that emotion and turn it into effective action. In the past few weeks, such an action has transpired in the form of Remembering Elephants (page 20), a campaign founded by one wildlife photographer, Margot Raggett, to galvanise a group of 50 of her peers into donating their images to raise funds for the fight against ivory poaching. Profits from the sale of the book Remembering Elephants, to be published this time next year, will be used by the Born Free Foundation to help fund its anti-poaching initiatives. Wild Planet is a partner in this tremendous initiative that has already raised nearly £50,000 and seen hundreds of advance books sales. If you haven’t already done so, please join the fight and order your book now.
Keith Wilson, Editor