Review: Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer of the Year, 2011

Bankfield Museum, Boothtown
Bankfield Museum, Boothtown

Bankfield Museum, Halifax, until Sunday 25th November. Admission free.

I’m face to face with an assassin: the merlin glares back at me, a surprised snipe dead at its feet in the snow-covered moors of North Yorkshire.

Behind me, a lustrous whale glides through an ultramarine, silky ocean. Yet I am only minutes away from bustling Halifax?

I’m looking through the lens of winners in the Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer of the Year award, 2011.

On display are over 50 glorious images in varying categories each judged by an award-winning panel. Each has a caption giving a judge’s comments on why it was chosen, some technical details, and tips from the photographer

on how they managed to be in the right place at the right time. Some were taken by children under 10 in their back garden, others by professionals using specialist underwater equipment and in one case even chartering a helicopter

to find a specific whale off the coast of Australia.

Dennis, visiting to see the permanent Duke of Wellington’s Regiment Museum has decided to spend the rest of the day here. “I’m transported to another world”, he says, “so many of us wander around with our eyes shut!” Hui Yiu Kim the winner of the 10 years and under category with a shot of a longhorn beetle in Malaysia has achieved her aim: “I want people to know that all creatures, even small ones count”. I leave feeling inspired to try out some of these ideas in my own garden.

Whether you are a keen photographer, wildlife enthusiast, or love nature on screen or in art don’t miss this last chance to see a quality exhibition of stunning and breathtaking photos, before its final day on Sunday 25th November.