Archive for Competition

I am the 2014 European Wildlife Photographer of the Year!

Posted in African Wildlife, European Wildlife, Photography, Wildlife, Wildlife Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2014 by Neil Aldridge

It’s with humility and immense pride that I can announce that my photograph ‘Living Rock Art‘ has won me the overall title of 2014 GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

The photograph is an artistic take on two blesbok antelope stampeding across the plains of South Africa’s Kariega Game Reserve. The shot was entered in the competition’s Nature’s Studio category before being awarded the overall title by the panel of judges. However, it’s a photo that very nearly didn’t happen…

I was in South Africa working on a story about the rhino poaching crisis and one particular rhino named Thandi that had survived a brutal attack by poachers. I think I had photographed Thandi from every possible angle so my guide – and now good friend – Brendon Jennings and I decided to take a break and explore the floodplains of the Bushman’s River. That’s when we found the herd of blesbok.

With the light on the plains fading fast, I decided to switch to a longer exposure and shoot in a more artistic style than my usual documentary approach. I stepped off the side of the vehicle to use the vehicle as a blind and to get a ground-level angle of the animals stampeding past. That’s when I heard a loud crack…

My ankle had turned in a hole. I landed in a heap in the dust. The pain was unbelievable but, fortunately, I had somehow planted my tripod and camera safely as I fell. I was able to sit up just in time to see the blesbok approaching. I grabbed my camera, locked my focus on them and panned smoothly as they careered past. Only once they had disappeared in a cloud of dust did I turn my attention to my injuries.

My fall may have been but the picture was no accident. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, I know that, but I was working hard to capture their movement in a still photograph. What I hadn’t banked on was that the shapes created by their striking black and white leg markings would so closely resemble Bushman rock art, which influenced the title of the image.

I collected my prize in Lunen, Germany at a ceremony marking the competition’s 14th year surrounded by incredibly talented photographers that I have nothing but respect for…which makes this win all the more special.

I’m pleased to say that my success in the competition was not just restricted to Africa’s plains. My photograph of a shoal of tiny Okavango robber fish swimming up the Selinda Spillway in northern Botswana was selected as Highly Commended in the Underwater category too.

All of the winning images can be seen on the competition’s website www.gdtfoto.de

You can see my winning shots and more on my website www.conservationphotojournalism.com

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Vote for the meerkat…

Posted in African Wildlife, Photography, Take Action, Wildlife Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2014 by Neil Aldridge

My black and white photograph of a meerkat standing on the edge of Botswana’s Makgadikgadi Pans has been selected in a special 50th anniversary People’s Choice vote in the coveted Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. There are some exceptional pictures in the shortlist taken by some great photographers but please visit the voting page and vote for the picture as your favourite.

(c) Neil Aldridge

The photograph was selected as a finalist in the competition alongside ten more of my pictures. While it would have been nice to have had more success after having so many make the final, it’s a pleasure and privilege to be involved in this special 50th anniversary competition. You can vote for the meerkat and see the other shortlisted shots on the competition website at:

http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit-us/wpy/community/peoples-choice/2014/28/sentry-duty.html

Badger vaccination story wins BWPA

Posted in Conservation, Conservation Photography, European Wildlife, Exhibition, Photography, UK Wildlife, Wildlife, Wildlife Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 8, 2013 by Neil Aldridge

I’m proud and excited to announce that my badger vaccination story the alternative is a winner of the 2013 British Wildlife Photography Awards. The six-image portfolio picked up the top award in the Documentary category – my second win in as many years of entering the category (my last win was in 2011 as I served as a judge of the competition in 2012).

The set of photographs documents the process of trapping and vaccinating badgers against bovine TB. Many of the UK’s most influential scientists, NGOs and landowners – such as The Wildlife Trusts and The National Trust – believe vaccination is a viable alternative to culling. Yet, the government has chosen to press ahead with a cull in England, claiming that culling badgers is the best method for controlling bovine TB in Britain’s cattle. Find out more on the Badger Trust website.

This six image edit is taken from my autumn 2011 BBC Wildlife magazine cover feature Kill or Cure, which also featured as an online gallery on their website discoverwildlife.com. You can also see a more complete set of images on my website conservationphotojournalism.com

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the awards in London as I am currently working in Africa but I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to all winners in the 2013 British Wildlife Photography Awards. Please support the awards by attending the exhibition as it travels around the UK and by buying the book on the BWPA website.

Six images in the Share The View competition…

Posted in Photography, Wildlife, Wildlife Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 23, 2012 by Neil Aldridge

©NeilAldridge

Six of my photographs have been selected in the winning portfolio of the Audubon Society’s Share the View International Nature Photography Competition. It’s a shame not to have been amongst the winners but my sincere congratulations to Bence Mate (Grand Prize, Best Bird winner) and Suzi Eszterhas (Grand Prize, Overall winner).

©NeilAldridge

Those of my entries which made it into the top portfolio include a portrait of a Canadian bald eagle feeding, two little terns in courtship display, a zebra stallion biting the neck of an adversary, a portrait of a meerkat, a close-up wide-angle shot of a colourful painted reed frog in Botswana’s Okavango Delta and an intimate portrait of a white rhinoceros – a shot which also features in BBC Wildlife magazine’s 2013 calendar.

The winners and top 250 will be featured on the Share the View website in early January 2013, so be sure to check back then.

©NeilAldridge

International Conservation Photography Awards

Posted in Conservation, Conservation Photography, Exhibition, Photography, Wildlife, Wildlife Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2012 by Neil Aldridge

Six photographs from my African wild dog book Underdogs have won an award at the International Conservation Photography Awards in Seattle, USA.

In total, seven of my images feature in the winning portfolio currently exhibited at Seattle’s Burke Museum. You can also see the images on the competition’s website icpawards.com. The six African wild dog photographs feature in the Documenting a Conservation Project category. My image of the colourful Viru bog in Estonia features as highly commended in the Landscape category (join me in Estonia in 2013).

The awards were held at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture on Friday the 29th of June. I also presented a talk to visitors and fellow photographers on my work with fellow ICPA winner and conservation photographer Sam Owen at the public opening of the exhibition on Saturday 30 June.

The Underdogs project has enjoyed great success internationally. This prestigious award is the project’s latest achievement in a list that includes the 2010 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition and an ILCP exhibition in the United States.

See the Underdogs gallery on my website or get your signed copy of the book via the online shop.

Enter the 2012 British Wildlife Photography Awards…

Posted in European Wildlife, Photography, Wildlife Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2012 by Neil Aldridge

Don’t forget to enter the 2012 British Wildlife Photography Awards before the closing date for entries on the 12th of May. This year the twelve categories feature, for the first time in the competition’s four year life, a category dedicated solely to Britain’s woods and forests sponsored by VisitWoods. Why not use the VisitWoods website to find your nearest wood and shoot some late entries?

I’m looking forward to joining the excellent panel of judges and to helping recognise the talents of wildlife photographers practising in Britain and to celebrating the best of British wildlife.

Visit my main website at ConservationPhotojournalism.com

British Wildlife Photography Awards 2011

Posted in Conservation, Conservation Photography, European Wildlife, Exhibition, Photography, UK Wildlife, Wildlife, Wildlife Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2011 by Neil Aldridge

Building on the buzz created around the badger vaccination story published in BBC Wildlife Magazine earlier this month, I’m really pleased to announce that another of my conservation portfolios has won the documentary category in the British Wildlife Photography Awards. Six shots entitled It’s Only a Game from my country shoot portfolio will be exhibited at the WildlifeXpo event at Alexandra Palace in London from the 14th of October. They will then tour the country as part of the BWPA exhibition over the coming year – find out where you can catch the exhibition by going to the exhibitions page of the BWPA website.

Winning this category is made all the more rewarding when thinking how I photographed the story. I challenged myself to photograph for the day’s shoot in reportage/documentary style with only one camera body and a fixed 50mm lens set on fully manual settings. This was a challenge I set myself as a break from typical long-lens wildlife photography and to fine-tune my skills as a photojournalist. The skills used to get these shots have helped me shoot subsequent stories, such as my African wild dog book Underdogs.

The category win builds on my commended white-tailed eagle image in the 2010 competition. You can view a more comprehensive edit of the country shoot portfolio in the ‘stories‘ section of my main website. Or you could support the competition by finding the portfolio in the latest BWPA book ‘Collection 2‘.

Visit my main website at www.conservationphotojournalism.com