The exhibition plunges the viewer into the very heart of the animal world and animal behavior. The 55th Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest focuses on the intensity of animal existence. From one picture to the next we see the magic of rare, often poetical, sometimes tragic moments unfold before our eyes. We witness the ferocity, danger, expectation, emotion, tenderness, or serenity that punctuate the life of animals. We emerge from the exhibition enthralled by the beauty of nature and the different species that populate it, as well as more aware of the need to preserve them. As a whole, the images convey a sense of privilege: the privilege of getting a glimpse of another, parallel life.
Into the white
The diversity of landscapes and weather conditions add to the uniqueness the photographs. It’s as if the omnipresent nature were a protagonist in these photos, right, alongside the portrayed subject. Thus in Jérémie Villet’s series Into the White snow plays a main role, enveloping animals in pristine whiteness; it helps to underscore their unapproachability even as it complements the composition of the image. In Canada, Jason Bantle immortalized a raccoon with its head sticking out of the windshield of an abandoned car: here, again, nature (embodied by the surrounding forest) contributes to the offbeat energy of the photo. It’s not unlike the inseparability of the animal and its natural environment.
By Anastasia Chelini
Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2019
Until May 31, 2020
The Natural History Museum
Crowmwell Road, London