The British Wildlife Photography Awards celebrate the best of British wildlife as captured on camera by amateur and professional photographers. With 13 categories covering everything from marine life and animal behaviour to creepy crawlies and urban fauna, the awards reveal the surprising diversity of Britain's wildlife. The awards are entirely British, with all entries of British animals in their natural habitats.
Now in their sixth year, the British Wildlife Photography Awards were established to recognise the talents of wildlife photographers working in Britain, while at the same time highlighting the great wealth and diversity of Britain's natural history. The winning images are being exhibited at the Mall Galleries in London from 14 September, before going on a nationwide tour. There is also a coffee table book from AA Publishing.
In this gallery,
IBTimesUK presents the overall winner, some of the category winners and a few images that were highly commended by the judges. If you'd like to see more, you could visit the competition website, attend the exhibition or buy the book.
Barrie Williams, Habitat winner and overall winner of the British Wildlife Photography Awards 2015, On the Edge (Northern gannet, Morus bassanus), Noss NNR, Shetland Isles, Scotland: “Visiting Noss, I was blown away by the sheer volume of gannets surrounding me. I studied the scene for a while, soaking in the seabird orchestra and thinking about how to convey this. Looking down, it appeared to me that the gannets far below looked like stars against the dark backdrop of the sea. Add to this the nests scattered across the cliffs and I knew I had found my image.”
Barrie Williams/British Wildlife Photography Awards 2015
Tomos Brangwyn, Urban Wildlife winner, London Starling Gang (Common starling, Sturnus vulgaris), London, England: “I placed a fisheye lens in a car park favoured by starlings during the winter. Using a remote trigger and flash I sought an eye-level view as I wanted to bring out some of their cheeky and curious character. Starlings are often overlooked by birdwatchers and photographers and, as a bird in decline, need to be appreciated as highly intelligent, inquisitive and beautiful birds.”
Tomos Brangwyn/British Wildlife Photography Awards 2015
Alex Hyde, Hidden Britain winner, Dew-covered Crane Fly (Crane fly, Tipula paludosa), Peak District National Park, Derbyshire, England: “Early on a crisp September morning I noticed scores of crane flies clinging to the tops of grass stems. Dew drops covered every surface including their delicate bodies, each droplet creating a tiny inverted view of the surrounding landscape.”
Alex Hyde/British Wildlife Photography Awards 2015
Chris Speller, Close to Nature winner, Mite Walking in Frog Valley (Common frog, Rana temporaria), Bristol, England: “I enjoy photographing around the small pond in my urban back garden. After taking this close-up of a frog I realised I had also captured an orange mite-like creature. This is the only time I have seen such a relationship but I have been unable to identify the smaller animal. The macro photographic world is fascinating and I find the resulting scene reminiscent of a larger lone animal walking in a mountain valley.”
Chris Speller/British Wildlife Photography Awards 2015
Chaitanya Deshpande, Wild Woods winner, A Flutter in the Woods, London, England: “Taken on an autumn morning when I was in the woods early and had them to myself. Knowing there would be mist, I waited for the woods to wake up. In the silence of the morning I heard a flutter of wings. I wasn’t fast enough so missed a few opportunities. I finally came away with this image that represented my experience that morning. I can still hear the flutter of wings.”
Chaitanya Deshpande/British Wildlife Photography Awards 2015
Kevin Sawford, British Seasons winner, Summer Red Roe: “I knew from the previous year that roe deer frequented this field in the evenings. When I saw the field covered in flowering poppies I visited each evening for a few weeks and was rewarded with seeing and photographing the roe deer on a number of occasions. On this particular evening a female roe deer was wandering through the sea of poppies when she looked in my direction.”
Kevin Sawford/British Wildlife Photography Awards 2015
The following images were all highly commended by the judges, and also feature in the book.
Andy Rouse, Grebe Displaying (Great-crested grebe, Podiceps cristatus), Wales: "A pair of great-crested grebes during their courtship ritual, shot backlit to show the amazing colours on the water."
Andy Rouse.British Wildlife Photography Awards 2015
Sarah Kelman, Sparring Partners (Red deer, Cervus elaphus), Alvie Estate, Inverness-shire, Scotland: “Scottish landowners offer supplementary feed to the red deer in winter in the native pine woodlands. While these young stags were waiting for their dinner they practiced flexing their muscles, just as the snow began to fall.”
Sarah Kelman/British Wildlife Photography Awards 2015
Ellie Rothnie, Shetlands Common Rabbit (Rabbit, Oryctolagus cuniculus), Fair Isle, Shetland Isles, Scotland: "It was 7.30pm on a windy, overcast summer’s evening on Fair Isle and I was photographing one of the puffin colonies. I had spotted a rabbit grazing nearby, so carefully got myself into position and watched. The rabbit grazed for 10 minutes or so before hopping off; enough time for me to get a number of images. The pink thrift in the foreground and dark cliffs in the background provided an unusual setting for this common species."
Ellie Rothnie/British Wildlife Photography Awards 2015
Andrew Parkinson, Deer Fence (Red deer, Cervus elaphus), Cairngorms National Park, Scotland: “I was travelling up a remote Scottish valley when I noticed this long line of deer descending from the high tops in search of better, or any, grazing. I could see immediately the potential of the image and the similarity in form between the deer and the fences. I had to work fast to find a balanced composition but I like the continual flow of fence to deer.”
Andrew Parkinson/British Wildlife Photography Awards 2015
Russell Savory, Geronimo! (Little owl, Athene noctua), Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome, Essex, England: “I had been photographing the owls from my mobile hide for a number of months and watching their behaviour – how they would fly from the roof of the building they were roosting in to the dead branch. After about 10 days I was rewarded with this image.”
Russell Savory/British Wildlife Photography Awards 2015
Owen Humphreys, Starling Murmuration (Common starling, Sturnus vulgaris), Rigg, near Gretna Green, Scottish Borders: “This image took me four visits from Newcastle to Gretna Green, covering nearly 800 miles. I knew the starlings had arrived and had photographed them in the past but I hadn’t nailed the shot I wanted as every time is different. On this occasion, the last of the four visits, I had checked the weather and it looked like a good chance of some colour in the sky as the birds only perform for 20 minutes at dusk. I found a spot where I could get Criffel mountain as a backdrop, then the birds did their stuff, showing some amazing shapes as they moved across the skies. It was the best I had ever seen – tens of thousands of starlings making an incredible noise and resembling different animals. It was completely mesmerising to see and photograph.”
Owen Humphreys/British Wildlife Photography Awards 2015
The British Wildlife Photography Awards: Collection 6 (AA Publishing, £25), a coffee table book showcasing the best entries,
is available from Amazon.