Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017 announced

18 October 2017

Exhibitions

Memorial to a species © Brent Stirton - Wildlife Photographer of the YearThe winners of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition were revealed today at a ceremony at the Natural History Museum, London, which runs the annual competition. 

Photojournalist Brent Stirton has won the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017 title for his compelling image Memorial to a species, which frames a recently shot and de-horned black rhino in South Africa’s Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve. Once the most numerous rhino species, black rhinos are now critically endangered due to poaching and the illegal international trade in rhino horn, one of the world’s most corrupt illegal wildlife networks. For the photographer, the crime scene was one of more than thirty he visited in the course of covering this tragic story. 

Competition judge Roz Kidman Cox says ‘To make such a tragic scene almost majestic in its sculptural power deserves the highest award. There is rawness, but there is also great poignancy and therefore dignity in the fallen giant. It’s also symbolic of one of the most wasteful, cruel and unnecessary environmental crimes, one that needs to provoke the greatest public outcry.’

Director Sir Michael Dixon says ‘Brent’s image highlights the urgent need for humanity to protect our planet and the species we share it with. The black rhino offers a sombre and challenging counterpart to the story of ‘Hope’ our blue whale. Like the critically endangered black rhinoceros, blue whales were once hunted to the brink of extinction, but humanity acted on a global scale to protect them. This shocking picture of ananimal butchered for its horns is a call to action for us all.’ 

The good life © Daniel Nelson - Wildlife Photographer of the YearDaniël Nelson took the award for Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017 with his charismatic portrait of a young western lowland gorilla from the Republic of Congo, lounging on the forest floor whilst feeding on fleshy African breadfruit. Daniël’s image captures the inextricable similarity between wild apes and humans, and the importance of the forest on which they depend. ‘This intimate scene of a gorilla lounging on the forest floor is peaceful, a state of being we would wish for all these magnificent creatures.’ says Daniel Beltra, competition judge and previous grand title winner. 

The two images were selected from 16 category winners, depicting the incredible diversity of life on our planet, from displays of rarely seen animal behaviour to hidden underwater worlds. Images from professional and amateur photographers are selected by a panel of industry-recognised professionals for their originality,artistry and technical complexity. 

Beating almost 50,000 entries from 92 countries, Brent’s image will be on show with 99 other images selected by an international panel of judges at the fifty-third Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. The exhibition opens at the NaturalHistory Museum on 20 October 2017 before touring across the UK and internationally to locations such as Canada,Spain, the USA, Australia and Germany. 

The next Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition opens for entries on Monday 23 October. Find out more at http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/wpy/competition.html

Exhibition information
Friday 20 October 2017 –28 May 2018 10.00-17.50 (last admission 17.15) To book tickets: www.nhm.ac.uk/wpy 
Prices from: Adult £14.00*, child and concession £8* Free for Members, Patrons and children under four
Visitor enquiries: 020 7942 5000 Nearest tube: South Kensington.

Images:
© Brent Stirton, Memorial to a species. Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017, Grand title winner.
© Daniël Nelson, The good life, Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017, Grand title winner.