BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year 02 - the bigger picture

THE ANNUAL BG Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition, organised by BBC Wildlife Magazine and The Natural History Museum and sponsored by the BG Group, is now in its 19th year at the London venue.

In this special feature, Indielondon's Jack Foley picks out two of his favourite images (and the text which accompanies them) to give readers a greater insight into the delights on show and, hopefully, persuade them to visit...

Humpback whales blowing by Duncan Murrell (UK) (Gerald Durrell Award for Endangered Wildlife; Highly Commended)
South-east Alaska is the perfect backdrop for photographing whales, with its dramatic combination of coastal mountains and dynamic weather. Overcast most of the time, sunlight occasionally penetrates the gloom to make the whales shimmer in their monotone world. If you are downwind when the whales blow, there is no mistaking the content of their gargantuan diet. As well as a foul, fishy odour, their breath contains many pathogens and an emulsion of oil droplets, mucus and a surfactant that leaves an unpleasant, greasy film on exposed skin and camera equipment.
Canon EOS 1N with 75-300mm lens; 1/500 sec at f5.6; Fujichrome Provia 100.

Bottlenose dolphins surfing by Gavin Parsons (UK) (Animal Behaviour: Mammals; Specially Commended)
Waves begin building up from quite a long way off the shore of Forster, in New South Wales, Australia. They roll up in sets, with calm periods in between. During one quiet moment, I saw two dolphins playing together, splashing around, flicking their tails in the air and twisting and leaping. Then they started surfing. Both of them missed the first wave. But they turned around, caught the next one in the set and surfed all the way to shore, jumping in and out and veering away just as the wave was about to crash.
Nikon F90x with 75-300mm lens; 1/250 sec at f5.6; Fujichrome Velvia 50.

WEBLINKS: Click here to visit the Natural History Museum website...

RELATED STORIES: Click here to return to the main article...
Click here for the Life of Mammals exhibition details...
Click here for the Earth From The Air exhibition...
Click here for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2001 exhibition overview...
Click here for the T-Rex experience at the Natural History Museum...