This week some of the commended images from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition have been published. I have picked out a few to discuss in more detail:
I love this image as not only does it capture an elusive creature, but rather than crop the image or frame it tight, the photographer shows the environment in which the animal lives. The title of the image “Tigerland” suggests this was a explicit choice on the part of the author. The shape of the large branch frames the subject perfectly and acts as a window into the tiger’s world. The slightly misty background, the shapes of the leaves and the hanging moss all serve to create an atmospheric image.
I was drawn to this image because I relate to the choice of composition and approach of the photographer. It is not always appropriate to put the animal in the centre of the image but in this case it works. It is a tight crop of the animals head, a portrait – there is a connection through the eyes and the author has caught the decisive moment as the tongue touches the water and creates the ripple.
On balance I think this is my favourite. I love the dominant head of the walrus and the amazing detail in the animal’s face. However, this image would not have been as strong were it not for the other walrus further away from the camera. This provides a sense of the immediate environment of the animal. The sky is very interesting and the small amount of water bottom left brings the image together.
When I saw this image it reminded me of the photographs below by Justin Hofman bringing attention to the plight of underwater creatures affected by human waste and rubbish and particularly plastic. At first I didn’t think the image by Lecour was as poignant as those below but I believe they tell a different story. The image above is about the sheer volume and extent of the litter in our oceans and shows a multiplicity of objects floating in the water. Hofman’s images on the other hand work because of their simplicity and isolation of the animal and the waste with a clear blue background giving a very clear narrative.
I am looking forward to seeing the winning images.
Potenza, A (2017), How a Photographer snapped this tragic photo of a seahorse lugging a Q-Tip https://www.theverge.com/2017/9/15/16314928/justin-hofman-seahorse-plastic-pollution-photography