Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013

Posted on December 13, 2013

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Two male lions hunker down in the long bleached grass of the Serengeti plains as water soaks through their proud manes. Their expression says it all. The duo are outcasts and allies, usurped by a four-strong rival coalition nicknamed the ‘Killers’. A quick insight into the lion’s predatory world attached to a lasting image caught by one of the entrants to the 2013 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

I was lucky enough to be invited along to the preview of this year’s event at the Newcastle Centre For Life – what a treat. Each year amateurs and professionals submit the best of their shots for the judges and the range of work on display is breathtaking. Categories include behaviour, animals in their environment and a special portfolio award named after notable British bird photographer Eric Hosking.

Savage beauty
Each image demonstrates a different technical skill. A brown bear thrashes his live catch from side to side furiously as salmon race past on either side in the hope of spawning up-river. Abundance means that bears often only take one bite out of their prey before moving on to the next quick kill.

Orange sunlight diffracts on water and a lone frog waits patiently for sunset. Two gannets dance in courtship and the male throws a garland of meadow flowers around his mate’s neck. Hours of patient waiting from the photographer and for some it is a life’s work.

Each picture tells its own tale and one of the joys of the competition is picking a favourite. Below are three of this year’s category winners. Click on them to see the technical information on each shot.

If you live in or around Newcastle then I seriously suggest you go down to take a look – it is there until March 2014. Strolling around the exhibition looking at incredible wildlife photography is simply one of the best ways to spend a few spare hours. Life is holding the event in conjunction with London’s Natural History Museum so, if you are not a north east native, the pictures can be viewed on the NHM website.

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