The winners of the world-renowned Wildlife Photographer of the Year (WPY) competition were revealed this week at a ceremony at the Natural History Museum in London, England.
The Wildlife Photographer of the Year grand title winner is Sergey Gorshkov of Russia, for his ethereal image of a Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) scent-marking a gnarled fir tree in the Russian Far East. It took Gorshkov almost a year to capture this tiger — a species hunted to the verge of extinction in the past century — using motion-sensor cameras.
The top prize for Young Photographer of the Year has been awarded to Liina Heikkinen of Finland, for her dramatic picture of a young red fox (Vulpes vulpes) fiercely defending the remains of a barnacle goose from its five rival siblings.
Visitors to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) will be able to see these striking images, along with nearly 100 more finalists, starting Nov. 21. Presented by the Natural History Museum (NHM) in London, the ROM is the exclusive Canadian venue for WPY 2020, and its North American debut venue. The exhibition is on display at the ROM until May 2, 2021.
“These photographs from the world’s best nature photographers will leave visitors with a deep appreciation for the stunning beauty of nature,” says Josh Basseches, ROM Director & CEO. “This extraordinary exhibition is a timely reminder of the precariousness of our natural world and the importance of preserving it for future generations.”
Included in the exhibition of the world’s best nature photographs is The Perfect Catch by Hannah Vijayan, of Oakville, Ontario, which was recognized as “Highly Commended” in the Youth Photographer category for 15- to 17-year-olds. Fellow Canadian Matthew Henry of Manitoba was similarly honored for his work, Snow Moose, in the Youth category, while World of Tar by Garth Lenzand The Price of Oil by Andrew S. Wright, both from British Columbia, each earned “Highly Commended” status in the Wildlife Photojournalism category.
The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition will be on display in the ROM’s Third Floor Centre Block. Each image in the show is installed with custom-built LED light box frames creating a dramatic display that lets visitors reflect on the astonishing diversity and fragility of our natural world. Competition categories include Animals in their Environment, Urban Wildlife, Behaviour: Mammals, and Under Water, and many more, and the hard-hitting Wildlife Photojournalism category.
“Wildlife Photographer of the Year is a very special exhibition each and every year,” says Dr. Burton Lim, Assistant Curator of Mammalogy and curator for the ROM presentation of the exhibition. “Photography is a hugely important tool in conservation efforts — not just in this competition, but in the ROM’s programming and research efforts as well. These photographs convey to the viewer snapshots of times and places in an irreplaceable nature. It’s not just the visual information — it’s the emotion captured by the photographer.”
Featuring captivating images ranging from fascinating animal behavior to breathtaking wild landscapes, this exhibition brings visitors face to face with the power and beauty of nature. This annual photography competition draws nearly 50,000 entries from around the globe by amateur and professional photographers, with winning entries selected by a panel of international judges based on creativity, artistry and technical complexity.
Admission to the museum is limited and time-ticketed; visitors are encouraged to buy tickets online ahead of their visit. All visitors and staff are required to wear a face mask and respect social distancing (some exceptions apply). For all Covid-19 safety measures in place, please see https://www.rom.on.ca/en/visit-us/visitor-info/visitor-policies.