Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition

Snow moment. Jasper Doest, The Netherlands.
On Sunday I dragged Dave and Lucas along to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhbition at the M Shed in town.  Every year I admire the photographs which appear in all the newspapers but I had no idea that you could actually visit an exhibition. 

I've been known to take a decent photograph on occasion, but seeing the quality of the photographs in the exhibition was quite humbling.  Every picture was stunning, as you'd expect in a competition of this calibre, but some stood out for their technical wizardry, others for the sheer amount of emotion on display--a mother gorilla holding her twin babies and looking stressed, almost desperate--and some were just amazingly creative shots that I would never, ever have thought of.

After much deliberation, and almost two laps of the exhibition space, I decided that my favourite photograph was Snow Moment (above).  It is astonishingly beautiful; the snowflakes look three dimensional, as though they're going to swirl out of the screen and flutter against your face.  The image is reminiscent of an oil painting and I love the personality captured on the face of the Japanese macaque. You can read more about how Jasper captured this image here.

Possibly the most humbling section was the Young Photographers...


This shot, Wolf Moment, is by Lasse Kurkela from Finland.  He is ten.  Take a moment to let that sink in and have another look at his photograph.  It is so beautiful, and the low-res version I've unearthed just doesn't do it justice.  I can't conceive of a ten year old being capable of taking such an amazing photograph--when I was ten I could barely cope with a point and shoot camera, let alone a DSLR!  You can read more about Lasse, and see his other photographs here.  Lucas loved his shot of a wolverine stalking a magpie on a branch.

I really liked that each photograph had details of all the settings used on its information card.  Dave and I wandered around muttering about trying a higher ISO and faster shutter speed, and would a tripod or monopod be better...  I don't think we'll be trying wildlife photography any time soon--unless we spot the crocodile in the Avon--but I feel totally inspired to go to a park and try to create something beautiful.

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition will be at the M Shed until the 21st of February, but there are other exhibitions dotted around the country--the joy of photographs!--so there may well be one near you--see the tour schedule here.

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32 comments:

  1. I always feel like an underachiever after attending photo shows. "I can do this if I applied myself!" And then I forget all about it when I get home. :-)

    #SITSblog

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    1. Hah, I'm exactly the same! Still, it's their passion and career, so I can't feel too bad.

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  2. I used to want to be a wildlife photographer. Then I had kids and became a mostly kids photographer. The National Geographic dreams are still strong within me! I want to be their moose photographer, traveling the world on their dime.
    Perfection!
    (a girl can dream)

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    1. I now have the most vivid mental image of a globe-trotting moose drinking mint tea in Marrakesh while wearing a fez :)

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  3. Beautiful photos! What a fun idea for a day trip! Stopping by from #SITSBlogging!

    Alison
    Nancherrow

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  4. This is an amazing photo! I love the lighting and how it really brings depth to the monkey :)
    Coming from the Comment Love Tribe
    -Elle

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  5. What pretty photos! Must have been even better to see them in person! #SITSBlogging

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  6. Beautiful photographs! The snowflakes look so vibrant and almost 3-D. Coming over from the SITS Group.
    Joanie @ ZagLeft
    http://zagleft.com/

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  7. What an interesting exhibit to visit. And very cool to get see something like that in person. #SITSBlogging

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  8. Wow! That must have been an awesome exhibit. Loved the photos you posted. Yes, there is a ton of talent out there!

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  9. I really loved the Wolf picture and then when I read that it was taken by a ten year old? That's amazing. Thank you for sharing! #SITSblogging

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  10. Wow, what wonderful photography! These people have some serious talent.

    Cheers,

    Char

    #SITSBlogging

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  11. Love the pictures. Animals all are so cute.

    http://ahleessa4realz.blogspot.com/

    #SITSBlogging

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  12. I love the photo! We seen wild snow monkeys when we were in Japan & I heard there is a Monkey Mountain in France near us.

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  13. Lovely photos! I really love this exhibition, and I really love that it happens every year! You're right, the young photographers really blow me away. So much talent in such small people! X Jane http://janeheinrichs.blogspot.com

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  14. Beautiful photographs! Knowing the one was done by a 10 year old makes me feel like a total failure with my camera haha

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  15. Love the monkey photo. So neat. Photography is amazing when done well. #SITSblogging

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  16. Wow!! I am such a terrible photographer myself but I love looking at people who have talent. I am in awe of the ten year old!! #SITSBlogging

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  17. I love photography and I loved seeing the shots you posted! Amazing snow shot and amazing shot taken by a ten year old! I'm so glad I live in the digital age when I can just go out and take hundreds of shots to experiment without having to worry about paying for film and film developing. Makes the hobby even more a joy than it is!

    Becky
    SITSblogging

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  18. Wonderful pictures! Thanks for sharing these! Makes me want to take more pictures!

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  19. So pleased to connect with you and your blog through SITS! Thank you for sharing inspiration in this post.

    #SITSblogging

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  20. My dad has taught me how some about photography when we went camping together. I am always impressed by wildlife photos and the one of the wolf is amazing.

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  21. Wow! Such amazing photographs! I really like the wolf one! #SITSblogging

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    1. The wolf one was stunning. I suspect the kid who took it will become a big name in wildlife photography when he grows up!

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  22. Snow Moment is just beautiful, and I agree it looks three dimensional. And I really like the idea of the settings of each of the photographs being given. So envious as some friends and I tried to go and see this last Saturday and the queue was mahoosive! So we abandoned the idea and instead went to The Arnolfini. Just not as good. At. All. I really must go. The website says it's on until 23 February so hopefully I will manage to go before it finishes.

    Jen | gingerellaj.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. We got there about twenty past ten, and had to wait for about ten minutes to get in. When we came out the queue was massive, so we were very glad we'd gotten out of bed early. I've never actually been to The Arnolfini properly...I just popped in to see the Gromit that was there. I should probably make the effort some day!

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  23. Amazing pictures!!

    Amanda // Happily Ever After
    http://www.karlshappilyeverafter.blogspot.com/

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    1. Aren't they just? Thanks for stopping by, Amanda!

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  24. These are beautiful pictures. I'll definitely have to look if they are coming to our area! #SITSBlogging

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