I have been to previous year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibitions before and enjoyed it, so when I spotted adverts for the exhibition of the 2018 competition I immediately asked my mum if I could go to it. I knew what to expect and knew I would like it.
The exhibition was held at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, and I attended on Friday 23rd August 2019. It was a display of the winning and highly commended entries in the Wildlife Photographer of The Year Competition 2018, which is held every year by the Natural History Museum.
The artist are all photographers and they create images using photography of nature and wildlife, which often have a message about how animals are affected by humans. Over 45,000 photographers from around the world entered the competition, but only around fifty were exhibited.
There were lots of stunning photos back lit in a dark room, which really made the images stand out. I couldn’t pick a favourite as they were all good photos, I wouldn’t like to be a judge! There was a big emphasis on animals.
I liked Glass House Guard by Wayne Jones, because it was very eye catching in a combination of blue and bright yellow. I found it quite a silly photo, because of the fish's giant mouth and his small body!
My favourite categories were about animal behaviour. Kuhirwa Mourns Her Baby by Ricardo Nunez Montero was very thought provoking. The text explained how the poor light had forced the photographer to open the lens wide which meant he couldn’t focus on her face, so he decided to focus on the corpse of the baby. My mum helped to explain this to me because it was written more technically.
Photography is partly an art form and partly a way of documenting the world. It is not always easy to tell which is which, and both were in this exhibition. With photography you are working with more limited materials because you have to work with the real world in front of you, even if you are adding to it in an artistic way.
An example of this is The Upside Down Flamingos by Paul Mckenzie. He has cropped it very closely on the legs and reflection, and he has also rotated it 180 degrees to create a more abstract image.
It was nice to go to the 2018 exhibition and see what the photographers have created this year. Overall, it was a brilliant experience! I recommend that you go and visit if you can. I will definitely want to go and see the exhibition next year.