The British Wildlife Photography Awards have announced the winners for 2017. The Awards celebrate both the work of amateur and professional photographers and the beauty and diversity of British wildlife. Winning images are chosen from thousands of entries in fifteen separate categories including a category for film and two junior categories designed to encourage young people to connect with nature through photography.
Included in the winners and highly commended images are some stunning underwater photos from the UK coastline. These images were spread across several of the categories, from Coastal and Marine to Habitats.
The Winner of the Coastal and Marine category was Caron Steele with Emergence (Northern gannet, Morus bassanus), taken at Bempton Cliffs, Yorkshire.
“Having seen many diving gannet photographs I wanted to try and capture something a bit different. I watched the birds fishing and was fascinated by the way the gannets would emerge from nowhere to steal another bird’s prey. I was keen to capture the moment just before they broke the surface, while they were still in ‘stealth mode’. A combination of bright sunshine and cloud made setting the exposure difficult, but the result has some lovely patterns on the water.” Caron Steele
Highly Commended in the Coastal and Marine Category was Melvin Redeker with Inquisitive Porpoise (Harbour porpoise, Phocoena phocoena), taken at Yell, Shetland Islands.
“Harbour porpoises have a reputation as shy and elusive sea mammals. My view on this changed drastically when we found a pod swimming straight at our boat, moving with the speed of little torpedoes. We slipped quietly into the water. They were making sharp turns and approaching me from behind, which made it very hard to anticipate and photograph them. After the encounter, I found a bunch of blurred porpoise images on my memory card. But this one came out well. Because of this fantastic experience, I now think of the elusive harbour porpoises as being more like a small North Sea dolphin because they are so inquisitive and playful.” Melvin Redeker
Highly commended in the Animal Portrait category was Robin Goodlad with A Ring in Bright Water (Eurasian otter, Lutra lutra) taken at the Buckfast Otter Sanctuary, Devon.
Highly commended in the Animal Portrait Category was Trevor Rees with A Blue in the Green (Blue shark, Prionace glauca), Penzance, Cornwall.
“I teamed up with a group of shark enthusiasts on a small boat from Penzance. Our skipper took us 10 miles or so offshore where there was a strong chance we would find some blue sharks that we could safely snorkel in the water with. The sharks were there, and this individual came and gently bumped into me a couple of times to check me out – I felt privileged to get so up-close and personal.” Trevor Rees
You can see over 100 images from the competition including the winning and commended entries in a nationwide tour which launched at the Mall Galleries, London on 7th November and is open until 1pm on 12th November. Visit the website for more information and to find the closest venue to you: www.bwpawards.org/c/galleries/exhibitions
These images have been published from British Wildlife Photography Awards 8 published by Ammonite Press, RRP £25. This stunning coffee table book showcases the very best entries from the British Wildlife Photography Awards 2017 and celebrates British wildlife as captured on camera by today’s best amateur and professional photographers. The book is available online and from all good bookshops.
Find out more at www.bwpawards.org.