Living in the concrete jungle, people in Hong Kong don't often get a chance to look at nature close up. So don't miss a great opportunity to see amazing images of wild animals and the natural world at the "Wildlife Photographer of the Year" exhibition at the Leisure and Cultural Services Department's Hong Kong Science Museum.
Running from tomorrow (June 1) to September 1, the exhibition showcases 100 winning pictures from the 2012 "Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition" co-organised by the Natural History Museum in London (UK) and BBC Worldwide. Now in its 48th year, this internationally recognised competition showcases the very best in innovative nature photography and highlights important environmental messages.
Selected from more than 48 000 images taken by amateur and professional photographers from 98 countries, these striking images are chosen for their aesthetic qualities and also for their extraordinary, often technically amazing and shocking, reflections of events in nature.
Each photograph on display includes a photo caption describing the subject and details of how the photograph was taken. Furthermore, to maximise their presentation the photographs will be displayed using duratrans with backlit images, adding an outstanding cinematic dimension to the dramatic wildlife stills.
The exhibition is divided into eight broad sections, namely "Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year", "The Eric Hosking Portfolio Award, The Gerald Durrell Award for Endangered Species, Wildscapes", "The Wildlife Photojournalist Award, Creative Visions, The World in Our Hands", "Underwater Worlds, Nature in Black and White, Animals in Their Environment", "Urban Wildlife, Botanical Realms, Animal Portraits", "Behaviour: Cold-Blooded Animals, Birds, Mammals", "Young Wildlife Photographers" and "Slide Show".
The title Wildlife Photographer of the Year is given to the photographer whose picture is chosen as the most striking and memorable of all the competition entries. There is also a special category for young photographers aged 17 or under and the winner is given the title the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year.
The Eric Hosking Portfolio Award, named after the pioneering natural history photographer, aims to inspire, reward and empower young photographers aged 18 to 26.
The Gerald Durrell Award for Endangered Species seeks to raise awareness, through photographic excellence, of wildlife in danger of extinction. The photographs are of species critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable or near-threatened, as officially listed in the IUCN Red List.
The Wildlife Photojournalist Award is given for a series of six unique images that together tell a memorable story without the need for words. Images are judged on their story-telling power as well as the quality of the individual photographs.
Photographs shown under the category Wildscapes reflect the scale and magnitude of our land, sky and seas, as well as the diverse and breathtaking effects of the natural forces that sculpt these environments.
Creative Visions is a category for conceptual pictures - original and surprising views of nature, whether figurative or abstract - which are judged purely on their artistic merits and execution.
Photographs in The World in Our Hands explore the complex relationship between people and the environment, both constructive and destructive. They can be newsworthy, symbolic or graphic, but should all inspire a greater awareness of how our actions affect the natural world.
The subjects in the Underwater Worlds category are aquatic environments and the marine and freshwater species that inhabit them. Images may be portraits, action shots or wide shots, but must always be photographed under the water.
Nature in Black and White looks for skillful use of the black-and-white medium to enhance a striking composition. Any wild landscape, plant, animal or behaviour can be featured.
In Animals in Their Environment, photographs must convey a feeling of the relationship between an animal and the place it lives, and have a great sense of atmosphere.
Urban Wildlife highlights nature's occupation of the human-made environment and seeks to capture the magic of the commonplace. Images should be surprising, stirring and revelatory.
Recalling the traditional classification of the botanical kingdom, the category of Botanical Realms features plants, fungi, algae and slime moulds. Images should capture the beauty, mystery, majesty and fragility of the subject, whether in close-up or as part of the wider world.
A good portrait reveals something about its subject beyond the obvious. Photographs in the category of Animal Portraits should all convey a sense of intimacy and capture the personality and spirit of the animal in a fresh and imaginative way.
Photographs in the Behaviour: Cold-Blooded Animals, Birds, Mammals category must capture memorable, unusual or dramatic behavior of the animals and have interest value as well as visual appeal.
There are three sub-categories in the Young Wildlife Photographers category (17 years old or under). The photographs can show plants or animals, using any of the themes covered by the adult categories, whether portrait, action or landscape.
The Hong Kong Science Museum is located at 2 Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon. It is open from 10am to 7pm on weekdays, and from 10am to 9pm on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. It is closed on Thursdays (except public holidays). Admission is $25 with a half-price concession for full-time students, people with disabilities and senior citizens aged 60 or above. Group tickets at $17.5 each are available to groups of 20 persons or more. Admission is free on Wednesdays.
For details of the exhibition and related programmes, please visit the Hong Kong Science Museum's website ( http://hk.science.museum/ms/wpy/eindex.html ) or call 2732 3232.
Ends/Friday, May 31, 2013
Issued at HKT 16:46
"Fluff-up", the first runner-up in the Animal Portraits category. Something fluffy and black was squatting in the middle of a snow-covered road. As the photographer drove towards it, he realised it was a raven. This funny looking bird looks as if it has just got out of bed. The raven was most likely taking a moment to warm itself up - raising its feathers helps to trap air under the plumage, creating an extra layer of insulation against the cold. © John Marriott (Canada)
"Lookout for lions", a specially commended work in the Nature in Black and White category. The photographer was filming lions when he came across these cheetahs, who were also watching the lions. Once the danger had gone they took up this gloriously relaxed pose, with the curved rocks and clouds forming a lovely symmetry. The photographer used a converted infrared lens, making the sky appear dark and dramatic. © Charlie Hamilton James (UK)
"Fairy Lake fir", a commended work in the Botanical Realms category. The area around Port Renfrew has been heavily logged, and this miniature Douglas fir growing in the middle of Fairy Lake caught the photographer's eye for its resilience and tenacity. The photographer focused on the tree to exclude the vegetation around the lake, and waited for a mirror-still moment. © Adam Gibbs (Canada)