Shoppers have been flocking to see amazing images by the world’s top wildlife photographers which are now on display in Queensgate for the first time.
Queensgate Shopping Centre in Peterborough is hosting the 51st Wildlife Photographer of the Year tour; the first time the prestigious exhibition has been to Peterborough.
The world-renowned exhibition, on loan from the Natural History Museum in London, is completely FREE for the public to enjoy and open in Queensgate’s Central Square now through until Tuesday August 16. Featuring 100 awe-inspiring images, from fascinating animal behaviour to breath-taking wild landscapes it’s already attracted visitors from far and wide.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum, London. It is the most prestigious photography event of its kind, providing a global platform that showcases the natural world’s most astonishing and challenging sights for over 50 years. Launching in 1965 and attracting 361 entries, today the competition receives over 42,000 entries from 96 countries highlighting its enduring appeal. This year’s 100 award-winning images are being included in an international tour that allows them to be seen by millions of people across six continents.
Mark Broadhead, Centre Director at Queensgate Shopping Centre said: “We are extremely excited to welcome one of the world’s most prestigious photography exhibitions to Queensgate and equally excited that it’s a first for Peterborough. The exhibition brings together stunning imagery captured by photographers from across the globe and presents them in an inspiring showcase of the very best.
“The Wildlife Photographer of the Year is completely free for the public to enjoy throughout the summer and I welcome people of all ages to enjoy this once in a lifetime experience.”
Jan English, Head of Touring Exhibitions, Natural History Museum added, “Wildlife Photographer of the Year celebrates the very best nature photography, and it is consistently one of our most successful touring exhibitions, enjoyed by millions every year. These images tell thought-provoking stories about our planet that prompt us all to think differently about the natural world and the future we want to create.”
The exhibition can be viewed in Queensgate during the centre’s opening times:
Monday-Wednesday: 9am – 5:30pm
Thursday & Friday: 9am – 8pm
Saturday: 9am – 6pm
Sunday: 10:30am – 4:30pm
Lead featured image – 74. Natural frame
Morkel Erasmus, SOUTH AFRICA, Finalist, Black & White
Morkel could hear every rumble. He could even smell the elephants. But his view was limited to the viewing slit of a cramped bunker sunk into the ground beside a remote waterhole in Namibia’s Etosha National Park. Giraffes, zebras and kudu wandered in and out of view, but the elephants were right in front, sometimes so close that his view was blocked. Morkel used black and white to place the emphasis on the composition. His moment came when a mother framed his shot with her legs just as her calf walked into view framing a giraffe. Having caught his ‘dream moment’, Morkel put down his camera and just sat and enjoyed the ‘bliss’ of watching wild animals taking their turn to drink from this life-giving waterhole.
Nikon D800 + 70-200mm f2.8 lens at 200mm; 1/640 sec at f8; ISO 360.
03. To drink or not
Carlos Perez Naval, SPAIN, Finalist, 10 Years and Under
Carlos was down on the beach at Morro Bay in California, on holiday with his family, when he witnessed a fascinating interaction between two different species. A colony of California ground squirrels lives among the rocks at one side of the bay, fed by locals, who also put out dishes of water for them. What Carlos noticed was that western gulls were monopolizing the water. Whenever a ground squirrel dared to get too close, a gull would chase it away, aiming its powerful beak at the squirrel’s head. Carlos was fascinated by the way the ground squirrels would try to sneak in for a sip when the gulls weren’t looking. Here, the two competitors’ eyes lock over the coveted fresh water. Carlos took the shot just before the gull lunged forwards and the squirrel fled.
Nikon D7100 + 200-400mm f4 lens at 400mm; 1/2500 sec at f5; ISO 500.
26. Great egret awakening
Zsolt Kudich, HUNGARY, Finalist, Birds
When the River Danube flooded into Hungary’s Gemenc Forest, more than a thousand great egrets flocked to the lake to feed on the stranded amphibians, fish and invertebrates. Working on a project to document the last untouched regions of the Danube, including the floodplains, Zsolt was delighted to find a sixth of Hungary’s great egret population in the one place. By 1921, hunting had reduced their number to just 31 pairs. Today, habitat loss is the big threat. Using the soft dawn light, Zsolt wanted to convey the impression of a multitude of birds. So he pitched his camouflaged tent nearby, sleeping just a few hours a night for five nights. His chance came when a fishing white-tailed eagle sent some of the egrets into the air. With a slow shutter speed to blur the wings and a large depth of field to keep in focus those standing, Zsolt got his memorable image.
Nikon D300 + 70-200mm f2.8 lens at 125mm; 0.4 sec at f11; ISO 1000; Gitzo tripod.
21. Snow hare
Rosamund Macfarlane, UK, Finalist, Mammals
One of Rosamund’s photographic ambitions was to photograph Scottish mountain hares in the snow, camouflaged in their winter coats. Native to Britain, mountain hares moult from brown to white or partially white in winter, depending on temperature. With a local expert, Rosamund climbed a valley in the Scottish Cairngorms, ‘at times through knee-deep snow’, until they came across a couple of hares that allowed them to approach within photographic range. Their mottled, snow-dusted coats echoed the colours of the snow-covered hillside. For several hours, Rosamund lay on the ground in freezing temperatures, observing the hares snuggled into their forms (shallow depressions) as fine snow blew over them and rime coated their pelts. In the late afternoon, the hares finally became active and started to feed, scraping the snow from the heather and then nibbling the shoots. Positioning herself so that she was looking up a gentle incline directly at one hare, Rosamund captured its determined scrabbling in a head-on portrait.
Canon EOS-1D X + 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 lens + 1.4x extender at 560mm; 1/320 sec
at f8; ISO 800.