Owned and operated by the Natural History Museum, Wildlife Photographer of the Year has announced its prestigious panel of international jury members and introduced important new categories ahead of its annual search for the world’s best nature and wildlife photography.
The fifty-seventh Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition will open for entries on Monday 19 October 2020, closing at 11.30am GMT on Thursday 10 December 2020.
Led by the Museum's declaration of a planetary emergency in January, Wildlife Photographer of the Year has added ‘Wetlands’ and ‘Oceans’ to its broad range of categories.
It is hoped that these additions will create a further 'call for action' and draw entries that have a strong message to share.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition Manager Gemma Ward says: ‘We’re calling for powerful photography that will shine a spotlight on the vital role and importance of marine environments and freshwater ecosystems in tackling ecological crises. These images should truly engage the public with urgent issues facing the planet and inspire, inform and empower everyone to make a difference for nature’.
Additional changes to this year’s sixteen categories include the formation of a new Natural Artistry category, to highlight imaginative approaches to beauty in the natural world. The Black and White category will no longer exist, but these images can be entered into every category.
Whether photographers work from urban environments on their doorstep or in the remote wilderness, the competition’s categories encourage a breadth of interests: from captivating animal behaviours and portraits, to plant photography and compelling photojournalism.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year Programme Manager Soraia Salvador says: ‘The annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition is open to all ages, nationalities and abilities. We want to amplify the important work of photographers from around the world and showcase varying perspectives and approaches to nature and wildlife photography. There is so much talent and creativity out there, and so many stories that we have not seen yet. As with previous years, we’re really calling for more entries from girls and women, as well as from global regions that are currently under-represented in the competition.’
The panel of seven experts in their individual fields will come together, online, in February 2021 to select 100 of the finest nature and wildlife images. All entries are judged anonymously, and on their originality, narrative, and ethical practice.
This year’s esteemed international jury are:
• Rosamund ‘Roz’ Kidman Cox OBE, Chair of the Jury, editor, photo-editor and writer (UK)
• Jordi Chias, underwater photographer (Spain)
• Dr Natalie Cooper, evolutionary biologist and researcher, Natural History Museum (UK)
• Britta Jaschinski, photojournalist (Germany)
• David Lindo, ‘Urban birder’, naturalist, broadcaster and writer (UK)
• Piotr Naskrecki, entomologist, conservation biologist and photographer, (USA/Mozambique)
• Staffan Widstrand, nature photographer and writer (Sweden)
Rosamund ‘Roz’ Kidman Cox OBE, Chair of the Jury, says ‘I’m expecting to see some very special images entered this year. Yes, travel plans have been cancelled, and photographers have been forced to spend time in one place. But for some, this will have both fired artistic imagination and allowed time to perfect ideas. Indeed, many of the most memorable wildlife pictures have resulted from spending time in one place, getting to know a subject and discovering fresh ways to depict it. The other gift has been the time to review with care those previous shoots – and to unearth the overlooked gems.’
Winning images will reach an audience of millions around the world through the exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London that goes on to tour internationally, the Museum’s digital platforms, global media coverage, and a limited-edition hardcover book. The overall winner and young winner will receive a substantial cash prize.
For full details on the jury, competition rules, prizes and important dates visit www.wildlifephotographeroftheyear.com