The Museum of Tropical Queensland is hosting a great travelling exhibition at the moment – prints from the 2014 Wildlife Photographer of the Year award presented by the Natural History Museum and the BBC. It opened in Townsville on March 21 and will be on display until May 17. It is one of the world’s top competitions so it’s no surprise that the photos are amazing for both content and technical excellence.
What I noticed, time after time, was the effort and persistence expended by the photographers in their quest for the perfect shot: putting the camera lens within inches of a flow of molten lava to capture surface details, setting up a series of infra-red photo traps in the Hollywood hills and waiting for a year before to get a good shot of a cougar, diving with sharks, travelling with tribal lion hunters in Africa – whatever it took. The photo at the top of this page was achieved comparatively easily:
Cheese and sausage are what Siberian jays like, so Edwin discovered on a skiing holiday with his family in northern Sweden. He dug a pit in the snow deep enough to climb into, scattered the food around the edge and waited.
I doubt that I will ever be inspired to go even that far, but I may be inspired by the beauty and drama found in some of the more accessible subjects. It should challenge me for about the next twenty years, actually.
I may not have bothered to write here about the show (its limited time and single location mean that it won’t be relevant for many readers) except that prints from the NHM in London can be previewed and ordered online.