Colin's Journal

Colin's Journal: A place for thoughts about politics, software, and daily life.

March 20th, 2005

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

On Saturday we went to see the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2004 exhibition at The Natural History Museum. The photos themselves are, as you would expect, of a very high standard indeed. While a very small number had faults that I found visually annoying, the rest were of the level of quality that I would love my photos to one day reach.

SculptureOf the several photos that stuck in my mind I think my favourite is the “Bald eagles in mid-winter” by Klaus Nigge. The image on the competitions website doesn’t do the photo justice of course, but close examination does bring out the feel of the picture. Unlike most of the other entries in the category of Animals in Their Environment, this picture gives the environment the larger visual impact. The combination of snow, blue-grey seas, dark rocks and close horizon bring a real sense of cold and isolation. It’s only after this sense has been set that the birds themselves become interesting.

One disappointment with the exhibition is the quality of the curating. The room needed to be much larger for the number of pictures that were being shown. Photos were back-lit, an excellent way to show them, but facing one another. As a result you could rarely see the whole photo without the interference of a reflection from the picture on the opposite wall, and some pictures couldn’t be seen at all. In addition one of the light units had failed; staff had enough time to print out a specially labelled apology, but not actually change the light bulb. Finally the room was slightly over heated from the large number of visitors shuffling from picture to picture.

The photo is part of a sculpture between South Kensington tube station and The Natural History Museum.

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