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Snow Moment by Jasper Doest

‘Snow Moment’ by Jasper Doest. Winner of the ‘Creative Visions’ category. Starring a Japanese macaque.

When I was eighteen, after six months of backpacking around Europe I arrived back in London from where I’d set off. I was well and truly ready to fly home to Australia: to clean clothes, a warm bed, and a break from my steady diet of baguettes, cheese and cheap wine.

For all the discoveries I made on my travels, one of the stand-outs was the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, held annually at London’s Natural History Museum. A decade after my first visit, the images are still with me. I’ve been to several of the exhibitions now, each year as impressive as the other.

the water bear by paul souders

‘The Water Bear’ by Paul Souders. Winner of the ‘Animals in Their Environment’ category. Starring a sneaky Polar Bear.

The images produced by the participants are spectacular and highly varied. From action shots, to wildscapes, to photojournalism–the breadth of the photographs is as diverse as nature itself, and nothing short of awe-inspiring.

confusing beauty by julian cohen

‘Confusing Beauty’ by Julian Cohen. Runner-up of the ‘Behaviour: Cold-Blooded Animals’ category. Starring a school of creative Silverside fish.

I also love the design of the exhibition — a gallery for each of the nineteen categories, the main lighting comes from the backlights of the photographs themselves. By blotting out the world around, the viewer becomes immersed in the presentation in front of them.

survivors by valeriy maleev

‘Survivors’ by Valeriy Maleev. Runner-up of The Gerald Durrell Award for Endangered Wildlife. The striking Amur leopards pictured here are tragically three out of only THIRTY left in the wild.

This season’s exhibition is now in its final weeks, closing March 23. Be sure to catch it if you are in, or can get to, London in time. I practically plan my trips around it.

mother's little headful by udayan rao power

‘Mother’s Little Headful’ by Udayan Rao Pawar. Winner of the ‘Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year’ award. Udayan, who is fourteen years old, captured this fantastic family photo of a mother gharial with her hatchlings in the Chambal River, India.

the greeting by richard packwood

‘The Greeting’ by Richard Packwood. Winner of the ‘Nature in Black and White’ category. Starring a couple of elephant friends having a chat by Lake Kariba.