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Camera House : Better Pictures 14
Workers at Dong Gang Fish Market process thousands of frozen shark fins to meet the demand for shark- fin soup; a grey-headed flying fox swoops over water, seeking a drink; a red kite eagle shares air space with an airliner – these, and more stunning images, can all be found in the current Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition on show at the Australian Museum. Now in its 49th year, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition was established in 1965. With a reputation for showcasing the most glorious images of nature from around the world, the competition attracts thousands of entries annually as shooters vie for the prestigious title. In 1984, the Natural History Museum joined forces with BBC Worldwide to create the competition as it stands today. Over the ensuing years the exhibition has grown to encompass nearly 48,000 entries from over 98 countries. An international jury of photography experts evaluates each entry before narrowing down the field to the top 100 finalists, whose works then tour the globe. The exhibition is a popular attraction wherever it tours. Australian Museum project manager Louise Berg says oftentimes the juxtaposition of man and nature make for the most powerful images that resonate for the viewer. “The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition is a rich and entertaining experience,” says Berg. “Through the powerful and illuminating images, visitors will be able to comprehend man’s relationship with his environment, and see the beauty and vulnerability of the natural world.” Recently, more and more photographers are using the competition to highlight the impact of man on nature, turning their lenses on the environmental and social issues mankind and nature face. Acclaimed photographer and filmmaker Yann Arthus-Bertrand, who presented the 2012, awards said, “The event puts the spotlight on wildlife, showing us how beautiful and strong it can be, but also how fragile.” This year, Canadian photographer Paul Nicklen came away with the top honour for his enchanting image of emperor penguins at play, while emerging photographer Owen Hearn won Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year for his image, ‘Flight Paths’. WILD AT HEART The annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition unveils a world of wonder at the Australian Museum this spring. ■LastWildPicture,SteveWinter,USA 24 Feature WILD AT ART 024_Bpics14_wildlife_v2.indd 24 27/08/13 10:08 AM
Better Pictures 13