Irishman scoops top wildlife photo award
By Fiachra Ó Cionnaith
Monday, October 24, 2011
HE turned a professional nightmare into an up close and personal insight into nature’s beauty, claiming a prestigious international wildlife photography award for his efforts.
Irish photographer Peter Delaney, who is based in Wicklow, received the accolade alongside colleagues in 17 categories during the Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2011 contest.
The award is specifically related to his Nature in Black and White image “Big Foot” — a rare close-up image of an elephant taken just when the opportunity seemed lost.
“Peter’s day didn’t start well. It was cold, he was sitting in a hide near a waterhole in South Africa’s Mapungubwe Game Reserve, Limpopo, and had forgotten not only his short lens but also his coffee flask,” the judging panel explained.
“The irritation magnified when a huge herd of elephants came to within 20 metres of the hide. ‘The elephants were playing and bathing, but the only thing I could do was shoot close-ups,’ he said. “Soon though, Peter became so engrossed in the detail of texture, tone and light that nothing else mattered. It made him realise that sometimes we can be spoilt by too much choice of equipment, and how creativity can often emerge from constraint.”
Among the other winners — whose work will be showcased at London’s Natural History Museum until March, before touring the world — were amateurs, professionals, youth awards and those for images focusing on the plight of endangered species.
This year’s overall winner was Daniel Beltrá of Spain, who was commended for his portrait of brown pelicans covered in crude oil after the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico last year.
The prestigious contest has been running for 47 years and is organised by the Natural History Museum and BBC’s Wildlife Magazine. The competition receives thousands of entries from across the globe every year and is regarded as one of the highest accolades in wildlife photography.
* Professional and amateur photographers are encouraged to enter the 2012 competition from December 5. This year’s winning images, including Mr Delaney’s, can be viewed at nhm.ac.uk.
Read more: http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/kfqlkfgbcwql/rss2/#ixzz1uAj2ESzC