The Veolia Environnement wildlife photographer of the year exhibition is on display at the Usher Gallery in Lincoln. This year Daniel Beltrá from Spain was named Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year after his image Still Life in Oil was voted the most striking and memorable of all the competition’s entries, writes George Cannon.
The competition has been running since 1965 and is one of the most well known and respected photograph exhibitions across the world with entries from countries worldwide ranging from the UK to Malaysia. I have never been a fan of art or taken a photograph for the fun of it and I could never understand why people do. That was until I saw this exhibition.
Some of the photographs are extraordinary and definitely worth going to see, many of them show the world from the animals’ point of view.
The winning photograph was taken by a journalist who had entered the competition with a series of six photographs that told a story of the BP oil disaster (2010) and the effect it had on wildlife. Together the six photos were so dramatic and powerful but as an individual photo Still Life in Oil, in my opinion, did not have the same effect. So instead of agreeing with the judges I chose my own favorite.
This was it. Believe it or not, it’s the winner of the Aged 10 and Under category. Commenting on the photo one of the judges remarked: “A picture to stop you in your tracks and make you marvel – an unforgettable portrait from an insect point of view.”
The photographer Hui Yu Kim said: “I want people to know that all creatures, even small ones, count.’’
This picture makes you wonder what the insect must have been thinking as a massive camera lens was being pointed in its face.
Some pictures look staged, like the animal is teasing the photographer with a chance of a lifetime opportunity to take a winning snap before it continues with whatever it was doing, be it casually taking a stroll or killing its dinner.
The whole collection boasts colour, emotion and natural beauty and I believe it proves that animals aren’t a lesser species of us humans as there’s no way we could express beauty, elegance, death and danger in the way that humans have captured animals expressing just that.
George Cannon is a Year 10 pupil at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Horncastle.