The finest wildlife photography in the world

Brooke Boland

2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition starts Australian tour.
The finest wildlife photography in the world

Image: Resplendent delivery ® Tyohar Kastiel. Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

The finest wildlife photography in the world is now showing in Geelong at the National Wool Museum. The exhibition brings together 100 of the best photographs entered in the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year 53.

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We don’t see many large exhibitions of wildlife photography in Australia, so its arrival is a rare opportunity to see work of a high calibre.

‘There is something like 40-50,000 photographs submitted each year and then the top 100 of them become part of this tour. It is not only exhibited in London, but then tours around the world for a year,’ said Director of the National Wool Museum, Padraic Fisher.

‘Exhibitions like this are important, particularly in years like this year, where there is a running theme about conservation and preservation.’

The National Wool Museum is the only venue to present the exhibition in Victoria. The exhibition closes on 13 May 2018.

Find out more here. 

The incubator bird by Gerry Pearce. Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

Australian photographer Gerry Pearce was awarded in the Bird Behaviour category for his photograph of a male brush turkey. Pearce photographed the male turkey for four months, following closely as the bird tended his nest mound. Underneath the rotting vegetation were his eggs, which had to be kept at a balmy 33°C.  

Originally from the UK, Pearce moved to Australia in 2004, at which point he started working as a wildlife photographer full time. Receiving an award in the 2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition was a long-held dream, Pearce told ArtsHub.

‘It took a while for the news to really sink in. The awards were something I have tried to win, or at least get my picture on the wall in, for a really long time. For that to finally happen, it was a great thrill,’ he said.

‘Undoubtedly, they are the most prestigious awards you can win in wildlife photography. How important it is I guess depends on how much change it makes to your life afterwards. There has been a lot of recognition, a number of important people in the industry have been in touch and expressed interest in my pictures, but long term we’ll see how much of a difference it will make.’

The exhibition is an example of how a major touring partnership is a boon to regional presenters in Australia. In becoming the exhibition’s Victorian home, the National Wool Museum signed a multi-year contract with the Natural History Museum to bring the exhibition to Geelong each year.  

Fisher said the exhibition engages the local community and also draws people from Melbourne to Geelong, but the National Wool Museum takes this engagement a step further with a series of public programs.

‘Right from the very beginning, Wildlife Photographer has been something the community has embraced. It’s not just the exhibition itself, but also the programs we run around it,’ he explained. 

‘For instance, this year we have internationally acclaimed conservation and wildlife photographer and Wildlife Photographer of the Year 52 Finalist, Doug Gimesy coming to the National Wool Museum on 3 March 2018 (9:30am–12pm) for an exclusive masterclass for photographers. Opportunities like this gives our residents and visitors an opportunity to actually learn a bit of the craft. We’re encouraging people to book early for this masterclass, to avoid disappointment.’

To find out more about the 2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, visit nwm.vic.gov.au or phone 03 5272 4701.

About the author

Brooke Boland is a Melbourne-based freelance writer.

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