I just got back from an amazing evening at the Natural History Museum here in London, where the 2008 BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards dinner was held. I can now announce that my Skeleton Coast of Namibia photograph won this year’s Wild Places category, and I was honored to play a part in the contest and awards dinner. There were some stunning images this year, to say the least. This was the second time for me to attend these festivities, but last time one of my images was a Highly Commended winner, and not the winner of a category. Here is a link to my WPOTY 2006 image.
I met some very outgoing personalities this evening, and I loved hearing the stories behind all of the images. I heard many different numbers of how many entries there were this year, but the consistent number I have heard was that there were over 34,000 entries, and roughly 12 categories where there was a winner. The overall Wildlife Photographer of the Year was chosen from 12 of us that won a category, and I know that all 12 of us were eager to hear who won the overall contest.
My Skeleton Coast image was taken in the spring of 2006, and we were flying from one camp to another. I was seated in the front seat of a Cessna Caravan, and had a significant amount of scratches and reflections on the windshield. I took with image with a Canon EOS 5D and a 24-105mm lens at 47mm with a polarizer. The settings were 1/1250 @ f/5.6, ISO 500.
I will wait for the press to announce who the overall winner of the competition is this year, as it will be more appropriate for the winner to be announced tomorrow with the press.
Here are a few images from the awards dinner. As you can see, it was held at an amazing location: The historic and grand Natural History Museum. Pardon the white balance issues of the images, as there were many theatrical lights that make for a difficult white balance setting.