Life in black and white

Vote For Fave Pic in Natural History Museum Photography Competition

The Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition showcases 25 glorious photographs that capture the natural world’s beauty and fragility. Here’s your chance to vote for your favourite one…

Photo: Life in black and white by Lucas Bustamante, Ecuador

The Natural History Museum is inviting you to vote for your favourite image in it’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year People’s Choice Award.

Now in its 58th year, the exhibition features just 25 images whittled down from more than 50,000 photographs submitted by professional and amateur photographers.

Each image shines a light on the precarious nature of our natural world and our relationship to it.

This includes an Alaskan black bear cub sleeping in a tree, waiting for its mother to return, under the watchful eye of a young bald eagle, and a family of Sichuan snub-nosed monkeys having a snuggle.

Other photographs capture a kangaroo with her joey in her pouch surrounded by bush devastated by Australia’s catastrophic 2020 bushfires, and the breath of a small Artic fox in Svalbard’s cold -35C air.

While the exhibition closes in June, voting in the People’s Choice Award ends on February 2, 2022.

To cast your vote visit

Meanwhile, here are just a handful of the photographs featured in the exhibition.

The eagle and the bear. Photo: Jeroen Hoekendijk, The Netherlands

1 The eagle and the bear by Jeroen Hoekendijk, The Netherlands
Black bear cubs will often climb trees, where they wait safely for their mother to return with food. Here, in the depths of the temperate rainforest of Anan in Alaska, this little cub decided to take an afternoon nap on a moss-covered branch under the watchful eye of a juvenile bald eagle. The eagle had been sitting in this pine tree for hours and Jeroen found the situation extraordinary. He quickly set out to capture the scene from eye-level and, with some difficulty and a lot of luck, was able to position himself a bit higher on the hill and take this image as the bear slept on, unaware.

Lake of ice. Photo: Cristiano Vendramin, Italy

2 Lake of ice by Cristiano Vendramin, Italy
Santa Croce Lake is a natural lake located in the province of Belluno, Italy. In winter 2019 Cristiano noticed the water was unusually high and the willow plants were partially submerged, creating a play of light and reflections. Waiting for colder conditions, he captured the scene in icy stillness. After taking the image, he was reminded of a dear friend, who had loved this place and is now no longer here, “I want to think he made me feel this feeling that I’ll never forget. For this reason, this photograph is dedicated to him”.

Breath of an Arctic fox. Photo: Marco Gaiotti, Italy

3 Breath of an Arctic fox by Marco Gaiotti, Italy
Marco was watching this little Arctic fox as it incessantly called another nearby. Gradually he noticed the fox’s wet breath was quickly freezing in the air after each call. It was late winter in Spitsbergen, Svalbard, and the cold arctic air was -35°C (-31°F). Photographing arctic foxes is often frustrating, as they are normally running around fast in search of food, but this one was very relaxed and let Marco get close enough to focus on it, with the light glowing perfectly in the background.

Hope in a burned plantation. Photo: Jo-Anne McArthur, Canada

4 Hope in a burned plantation by Jo-Anne McArthur, Canada
Jo-Anne flew to Australia in early 2020 to document the stories of animals affected by the devastating bushfires that were sweeping through the states of New South Wales and Victoria. Working exhaustively alongside Animals Australia (an animal protection organisation) she was given access to burn sites, rescues and veterinary missions. This eastern grey kangaroo and her joey pictured near Mallacoota, Victoria, were among the lucky ones. The kangaroo barely took her eyes off Jo-Anne as she walked calmly to the spot where she could get a great photo. She had just enough time to crouch down and press the shutter release before the kangaroo hopped away into the burned eucalyptus plantation.

Monkey cuddle. Photo: Zhang Qiang, China

5 Monkey cuddle by Zhang Qiang, China

Zhang was visiting China’s Qinling Mountains to observe the behaviour of the Sichuan snub-nosed monkey. The mountains’ temperate forests are the endangered monkeys’ only habitat, which in itself is under threat from forest disturbance. Zhang loves to watch the dynamics of the family group – how close and friendly they are to each other. And when it is time to rest, the females and young huddle together for warmth and protection. This image perfectly captures that moment of intimacy. The young monkey’s unmistakable blue face nestled between two females, their striking golden-orange fur dappled in light.

Meercats put on a pose. Photo: Thomas Peschak, Germany / South Africa

6 Meercats put on a pose by Thomas Peschak, Germany / South Africa
This group of meerkats in the Tswalu Kalahari Reserve in South Africa has been habituated to humans for over a decade, and is very relaxed around people. In fact, they mostly completely ignored Thomas’s presence, being way too preoccupied with lounging, hunting, grooming and fighting. He was therefore able to get in close and use a wide angle lens to include the arid savannah and mountains they call home. To capture the meercats features, he applied techniques used for people in a portrait session, and used studio lights to photograph them.

The ice bear cometh… Photo: Andy Skillen, UK

7 The ice bear cometh… by Andy Skillen, UK
It is a two-hour helicopter ride from the nearest town to this spot on the Fishing Branch River in Yukon, Canada – a location where the river never freezes however cold it gets. The salmon run occurs in the late autumn here and for the grizzly bears of the area this open water offers a final chance to feast before hibernating. It was averaging around -30°C (-22°F) and Andy had been waiting and hoping that one particular female bear would use this log to cross the stream. Eventually she did just that and he got the picture he’d envisioned – her fur, wet from fishing, had frozen into icicles and ‘you could hear them tinkle as she walked past’.

Exhibition Date: Showing until June 2022
Time: 10am-5.50pm
Address: Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, SW7 5BD
Tickets: From £17.50, concessions available


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