Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2012

Wildlife Photographer of the Year harnesses the power of photography to promote the discovery, understanding, and responsible enjoyment of the natural world. Now in its 49th year, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year provides a global showcase of the very best nature photography. The is co-owned by two UK institutions that pride themselves on revealing and championing the diversity of life on Earth – the Natural History Museum and BBC Worldwide. Being shortlisted in this is something to which photographers across the world aspire. Every year emerging talents compete with established names for a chance to be hailed Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Each of the thousands of annual entries is evaluated individually by an international jury of photography experts, before being awarded a place in the top 100 images of the year. The 2013 competition is open until 25 February 2013.

More about entering the competition

Enter the competition

Enter Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013 and take part in one of the world’s most prestigious photography events.

The competition opens to professional photographers, amateurs, young and old, worldwide from 7 January 2013 until 25 February 2013.

Adults may enter up to 20 images for £20.00.

Entrants aged 17 and under may enter up to 10 images FREE.

Please make sure you read the 2013 adult rules and category definitions or young rules and category definitions and the image editing guidelines in advance.

Reasons to enter

  • Compete for one of 2 coveted grand winner titles, plus a share of the £30,000 prize fund.
  • Win a trip to London to attend the exclusive awards night at the Natural History Museum.
  • Be showcased in the world-renowned exhibition and delight millions in venues across 6 continents.
  • Revel in the critical acclaim of the global media spotlight.
  • Be published in a limited-edition hardcover portfolio book.

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition champions ethical wildlife photography, the faithful representation of the natural world, free from excessive digital adjustment, with honesty in all captioning, and with total regard for the welfare of the animals and their environment.

Adult categories

The award categories encourage a blend of technological innovation and artistic freedom, within the competition’s rules and image editing guidelines, while also emphasising integrity and truthfulness of interpretation.

If you’re 17 years old or under, find out about the Young categories.

Adult awards

  • Animal Portraits: A good portrait reveals something about its subject beyond the obvious. Images may be either close-up or mid-range, and should convey a sense of intimacy, personality and spirit – the very essence of the animal – in a fresh and imaginative way.
  • Behaviour: Mammals
  • Behaviour: Birds
  • Behaviour: Cold-Blooded Animals – Images should reveal memorable, unusual or dramatic behaviour with aesthetic impact.
  • Animals in their Environment – Images must convey a feeling of the relationship between an animal and the place where it lives, and have a great sense of atmosphere.
  • Botanical Realms – Recalling the traditional classification of the botanical kingdom, the focus of this category is plants, fungi, algae and slime moulds. Images should capture the beauty, mystery, majesty, fragility and diversity of the subject, whether in close-up or as part of the wider world.
  • Underwater Worlds- This category focuses on aquatic ecosystems and the marine and freshwater species that inhabit them. Images may be portraits, action shots or wide shots, but must always be photographed under the water.
  • Wildscapes – Images should reflect the scale and magnitude of land, sky and sea, as well as the diverse and breathtaking effects of the natural forces responsible for sculpting these environments.
  • Urban Wildlife – Images must capture the magic of the commonplace. They must be surprising, stirring, revelatory compositions that focus on nature’s occupation of the man-made environment.
  • Nature in Black and White – This category focuses on the skilful use of the black-and-white medium to enhance a striking composition. All subject matter covered in other categories is eligible.
  • Creative Visions – This category is for conceptual images – unexpected views of nature, whether figurative or abstract – which will be judged purely on their artistic merits.
  • Special awards

Eric Hosking Portfolio Award: Named after the pioneering natural history photographer, this award is open to aspiring young wildlife photographers between the ages of 18 and 26 with portfolios of between 6 to 10 images to submit. The Jury will select the portfolio of the strongest 6 images for the Eric Hosking Portfolio Award. All subject matter covered in other categories is eligible.

Gerald Durrell Award for Endangered Species: Named after the visionary naturalist and conservationist, this award seeks to raise awareness of those species in danger of extinction. Any species featured must be listed at an international or national level as critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable, or near threatened in the 2012 IUCN Red List.

Visit www.iucnredlist.org

World in Our Hands Award: This category explores the increasingly complex relationship between people and the environment by documenting both destructive and constructive influences. Images may be newsworthy, symbolic or graphic, but must always be thought-provoking and engender a greater awareness of how our actions affect the natural world.

Wildlife Photojournalist Award: This category seeks to develop the visual narrative through a series of 6 unique images that, together, tell a story without the need for words. All subject matter covered in other categories is eligible.

Prizes: Each category winner shares part of a £30,000 prize fund, with £10,000 for the overall grand title of Wildlife Photographer of the Year, £1000 for all category winners, and £1500 for winners of special award categories.

For terms of entry, please go to Adult rules and Image editing guidelines.

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition champions ethical wildlife photography, the faithful representation of the natural world, free from excessive digital adjustment, with honesty in all captioning, and with total regard for the welfare of the animals and their environment.

The young section of the competition aims to discover, encourage and reward the next generation of aspiring nature photographers.

You must be 17 years old or under at the closing date of the competition to enter the young competition. The closing date is 25 February 2013.

Young categories

There are 3 age group categories in the Young competition.

  • 15-17 Years
  • 11-14 Years
  • 10 Years and Under

Images entered in the 3 categories should feature any plant or animal in any subject area covered by the Adult categories, whether portrait or action, environmental or landscape. Care and consideration for the subject must always come first.


Winners of each age category will receive:

  • a trip to London for the awards night at the Natural History Museum
  • a prize of £500
  • a year’s subscription to BBC Wildlife Magazine
  • a copy of the Portfolio book featuring their winning image

Winners of each age category are in the running for the grand title of Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

The young grand title winner will also receive:

  • a prize of £1,000
  • a commemorative trophy and certificate of recognition
  • a masterclass with a leading nature photographer

Before entering the Young competition, please refer to the Young rules and Image editing guidelines.

Tips to help you capture the best possible images

  • explore your local environment to discover the multitude of species nearby
  • don’t just shoot everything in sight, choose an interesting subject and take as many different photos of it as you can
  • creatures or places you know well or have easy access to can often be the best subjects
  • the simpler the image and the less distracting the background, the greater its impact
  • immerse yourself in nature by getting down to the animal’s eye level, or even lower, for more intimate photos
  • use a tripod or find some other way of making sure your images are pin sharp
  • try to take photos in beautiful light, for example, at the beginning or end of the day, or just before or after a storm
  • the way you frame and crop your subject is as important as getting the focus right and the level and type of light is a vital ingredient
  • select your images carefully and ask your family and friends for their opinions too

 Dates for your diary

  • 7 January 2013: competition opens
  • 25 February 2013: competition closes
  • 2 – 17 April 2013: entrants with an image(s) in the Final Round will be notified and asked to submit original JPEGs / RAW files plus high-resolution files
  • Mid-May 2013: awarded entrants notified

 Web: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit-us/whats-on/temporary-exhibitions/wpy/index.jsp

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