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.