The British Wildlife Photography Awards 2018 – The Winners in Pictures
5 November 2018
From a ghostly shot of bats at night in southern England to a mountain hare hunkered down in a snow storm in Scotland’s Cairngorm National Park, the winners of this year’s British Wildlife Photography Awards (BWPA) are a celebration of the diverse fauna from across the UK.
Out of 15 categories, the overall winning image was taken by Paul Colley. Named ‘Contrails at Dawn’ the infrared photograph pictures the ghostly flight paths of Daubenton’s bats at Coate Water Country Park in Wiltshire.
Colley spent 14 months developing his infrared camera and lighting system to overcome the challenge of photographing these high-speed flying mammals in the dark. The in-camera double exposure caught the foreground bat milliseconds before it intercepted an insect.
Colley said of the image: ‘No other image in my portfolio had been so clearly conceived and yet so difficult to achieve. My artistic intent was to capture this extraordinary little bat’s speed of movement and hunting flight path, but the journey to success was littered with disappointing failures.
‘There were the lows felt during months of long, cold and exhausting dusk-to-dawn sessions, sometimes waist deep in water and often without getting a single useable image. And then the natural highs of those light bulb moments, when new ideas blossomed, problems were solved and the project inched closer towards the potential to win this exceptional accolade.’
After receiving thousands of entries from both amateur and professional photographers, prizes were awarded in 15 categories, including animal portraits, black and white and HD video.
Wildlife filmmaker Sam Oakes won the HD Video category, with his film ‘Industrial Evolution’, shot in Teesside. You can view this and other highly commended video entrants on the BWPA website.
In the junior categories, Ivan Carter, 17, from Deal in Kent, won the 12-18 years category for his shot of common tadpoles.
And nine-year-old Lucy Farrell, from Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, was named winner of the under 12 category for a close-up of a cockchafer beetle.
All of the top entries from the awards will be published in the ‘British Wildlife Photography Awards 9’ book available to buy for £25.
Over 100 images will be included in an exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London for a limited time from Tuesday 6 November to Sunday 11 November and will tour around the UK until September next year (full list of dates and locations below).
You too could be in with a chance of winning cash prizes, cameras, and, of course, the kudos, by entering the 2019 competition. Entry opened on 4 November 2018 and will close on 6 April 2019. You can find out more about the submission guidelines and how to enter on the British Wildlife Photography Awards website.
THE EXHIBITION TOUR
The Mall Galleries, London – 6 to 11 November 2018
Astley Hall, Chorley – 24 November to 31 December 2018
Luton Stockwood Discovery Centre – 21 January to 24 March 2019
Nunnington Hall, Yorkshire – 11 May to 7 July 2019
Nature in Art, Gloucester – 6 November 2018 to 6 January 2019
St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery – 19 January to 17 March 2019
Canterbury Museums & Galleries – 10 November 2018 to 17 February 2019
The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust – 11 May to 10 September 2019
To view all the winners and the highly commended entrants, visit the BWPA website.