Urban foxes and Arctic whales: nature in focus in wildlife photography exhibition

From left to right: Giuseppe Bonali, Markus Zadra, Matteo Lonati, Richard Peters

Winning photographs from the European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015 competition are being featured for the first in the UK at the Horniman Museum and Gardens in Forest Hill.

The exhibition, which opened this week, displays 84 images that show the beauty and diversity of nature around the world.

Jo Hatton, the curator, said: “There are photos that will fascinate and delight any nature-lover, as well as some that remind us of the fragility of our world.”

The competition attracted 17,300 photographers from 36 European countries. The ten categories include birds, mammals, landscapes, man and nature, and young photographer of the year.

The overall winner was Shadow Walker, a photo of an urban fox taken by Surrey-based photographer Richard Peters in his back garden.

Peters said: “It was a huge honour. European Wildlife Photographer of the Year is one of the biggest competitions of its type.”

“I spent over a year photographing on the Back Garden Safari project, trying to show others that creative wildlife photography doesn’t have to just be about travelling the world.”

“I [installed] a torch to photograph foxes that visit my garden at night. One evening a fox walked out through the torch light, projecting its shadow on the shed. I knew photographing just the shadow alone would make for a unique image of a common subject.”

Shadow Walker. Pic: Richard Peters

Shadow Walker. Pic: Richard Peters

Other winning pictures include a bird fishing in Hula Valley by the Spanish photographer Juan Carlos Muñoz, a humpback whale under the Arctic moon by Audun Rikardsen from Norway and a snow-laden tree under northern lights by Finnish photographer Esa Pekka Isomursu.

The Horniman Museum and Gardens is asking visitors to vote for their own favorite photo in the exhibition, with the result being announced on its website on January 20. The exhibition, continues until January 15.

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