First Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2019 images revealed

A sleeping seal, a zombie beetle and a tragic turtle are just some of the captivating and emotive images from the Natural History Museum's Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, which is now in its fifty-fifth year.

The world-renowned exhibition opens on Friday 18 October 2019 at the Natural History Museum in London.

The Natural History Museum's Wildlife Photographer of the Year showcases the world's best nature photography and photojournalism. Through their ability to inspire curiosity and wonder, the 100 images showcase wildlife photography as an art form and challenge us to consider both our place in the natural world and our responsibility to protect it.

Among the newly revealed Highly Commended images is a black-and-white photograph of a Weddell seal by German photographer Ralf Schneider, described by Chair of the jury Roz Kidman Cox as 'a portrait of pure, relaxed bliss'. Matthew Ware's disturbing image of a turtle fatally attached to a washed-up beach chair is a poignant reminder of the impact of waste ending up in the ocean.

The overall winners will be announced on 15 October at an awards ceremony in the Natural History Museum's iconic Hintze Hall. Winning images are selected for their creativity, originality, technical excellence. This year's competition attracted almost 50,000 entries from professionals and amateurs across 100 countries.

Beach waste by Matthew Ware, USA
Highly Commended 2019, Wildlife Photojournalism
© Matthew Ware - Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Dr Tim Littlewood, Director of Science at the Natural History Museum and member of the judging panel, says, 'For more than fifty years this competition has attracted the world's very best photographers, naturalists and young photographers, but there has never been a more important time for audiences all over the world to experience their work in our inspiring and impactful exhibition. Photography has a unique ability to spark conversation, debate and even action. We hope this year's exhibition will empower people to think differently about our planet and our critical role in its future.'

After the flagship exhibition opening at the competition's home, the Natural History Museum, the images will embark on a UK and international tour, bringing the beauty and fragility of the natural world to millions beyond London.

Associate sponsors for the upcoming exhibition at the Natural History Museum are renewable energy company Ørsted and digital camera manufacturer, Panasonic LUMIX.

Exhibition information
Dates and times: Friday 18 October 2019 - Summer 2020
10.00-17.50 (last admission 17.15)
To book tickets:
Prices from: Adult £15.50*, child £9.25*, concession £12.25*
Free for Members, Patrons and children under four
Visitor enquiries: 020 7942 5000
Nearest tube: South Kensington
Twitter: @NHM_WPY
Instagram: @nhm_wpy
Hashtag: #WPY55
Online booking is highly recommended to guarantee entry, particularly for weekends.
* Prices including optional Gift Aid donation to the Museum.

The fifty-sixth Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition will open for entries on Monday 21 October 2019 and close at 11.30am GMT on Thursday 12 December 2019.
Open to everyone, the competition welcomes entries from photographers of all ages and abilities:

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