Yesterday, I had the pleasure of going to the Natural History Museum with Angharad – the reason for our visit was this year’s wonderful Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit. As I mentioned in a previous post, I didn’t go to last year’s and I thoroughly regretted it. I am so very glad that I went this time around.
Obviously, I cannot post any of the gallery’s images here: that would be seriously naughty. However, you can browse some of the winning images online at the NHM’s website. Maybe it will make you want to see the images up close at the exhibit: they are wonderfully presented, and with supporting text (some from the photographer, some information about the subject matter) which really gives the images extra depth. I particularly liked the Urban Wildlife category (bunnies in Paris!) and the ptarmigan in the snow also really caught my eye.
There were several upsetting images, especially the photojournalist Mark Leong’s winning entry “It’s just an animal”: a series of images observing the international markets for illegal animal products. However difficult these images were to look at, they also illustrate a very important point. I assume I do not need to spell it out here.
Angharad and I did disagree with the judges for some of the winning images, particularly the overall winner: perhaps we are just philistines, with no knowledge of artistic composition, but neither of us felt that the overall winner was the best of the lot. By all means, it was a great photo, but it didn’t inspire the same sense of wonder or amazement as some of the other images did. The landscape photos were particularly awe-inspiring.
So what are you waiting for? Take a look. GO AND SEE IT for real. While you’re there, take in some of the other, permanent galleries. NHM has a lot to offer, so off you trot. Tickets are only priced at Adult £9, Family £24 (up to 2 adults and up to 3 children), Child and concessions £4.50. It’s of course free to Members, Patrons and children aged 3 and under. Angharad and I took a good two hours to have a proper look at everything, so it’s like going to the flippin’ cinema. Then you can do the inevitable and browse the gift shop: your favourite images, on a puzzle etc. I bought three postcards – a very reasonable 50p each. If you want, you can go the whole hog and get one printed on canvas, a metre across. Now, that’d make a lovely piece of artwork in your home.
It won’t be around forever: 22 October 2010 – 11 March 2011. So what are you waiting for?
Image credits: get knotted! I took that myself!