on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2012

Natural History Museum, London

Kevin Edge

Kevin Edge

Once a museum curator and then a cultural theory lecturer, he’s now a freelance writer on ecology and arts topics.


Venue: Natural History Museum, London: October 19, 2012 to March 13 2013. Later on tour to UK and other venues across the world.

Currently on show at London’s Natural History Museum are one hundred winning and commended photos from the 2012 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. These have been selected from over 48,000 entries by a panel chaired by US photographer and environmentalist, Jim Brandenburg.

Introductory words describe this year’s exhibition as a “spectacular showcase” of “the magnificent” and “the intimate” in original, technically brilliant photos. En masse, these glowing, back-lit images really do speak of “the wonder and beauty of nature and how impoverished we would be in its absence.” But does Wildlife Photographer of the Year also have anything particular to offer any visiting landscape photographer, and are there perhaps any photos suggesting ways of re-thinking landscape conventions?

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  • digital_davem

    These are all powerful, graphic, stimulating visual treats.

    I’d have been extremely proud to have taken any of them.


    • Kevin Edge

      David, thank you for responding so quickly to my first review for On Landscape. I too would have been very pleased to have taken such arresting images.


  • Adam Pierzchala

    Thanks for the review Kevin; I’ve been meaning to go to this exhibition. You’ve picked some really powerful photos for us to enjoy and my favourite has to be the one of the birches using ‘drive-by shooting’. I was wondering how the photographer achieved the effect as it looks like a combination of severe wind motion and camera panning. I will definitely need to see these pictures for myself.

    I think that unusual powerful images like these do a lot to invoke a sense of wonder among viewers. My concern is that Joe Average will never see these pictures, either in the exhibit or reproduced on the sorts of newspapers that he reads. A pity.

  • Kevin Edge

    Adam, glad you enjoyed the review! It is an impressive exhibition. BBC Worldwide and the Natural History Museum are to be congratulated for cultivating such a quality competition. We can only hope that in the future, admission prices to the WPY exhibition can be reduced a little, because it deserves to be seen by as many as possible in its entirety.

    A Movement of trees is an intriguing image. It appears at once quite ‘slight’ and, at the same time, a thing of great beauty and profundity. When I first saw it I was reminded tangentially of what the British artist Richard Hamilton once observed about train travel. He noticed as a rail passenger that if he stared at a middle distance tree or telegraph pole and kept it ‘fixed’ on his retina, everything else would rotate about this ‘stationary’ axis as his train sped by the passing scene. I’ve tried this myself, and it does lead to that optical effect!

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