The Wildlife Photography of the Year awards were held at The Natural History Museum in London last night. The 56th annual award show was held very differently to other years, with the show being held virtually for the very first time.
Hosted by wildlife television presenter and conservationist Chris Packham from the Museum – a short distance from Kensington Palace – the only others present were those in the small, behind-the-scenes team working to broadcast the award show live online, and the bones of the many prehistoric animals. Those who were nominated were at home watching in on Zoom, waiting to see if their names would be called.
The big award of the night was the Wildlife Photographer of The Year Award and it was present by the museum’s Royal Patron, The Duchess of Cambridge! In a pre-recorded video, Catherine expressed her joy at being back at the newly-reopened museum, before announcing that Sergey Gorshkov had won the big award for his image of a lone Siberian tigress.
The amazing photograph was taking with the use of camera traps and it’s clear to see just why it won! This snap was selected from over 49,000 entries from around the world.
Congratulations to Sergey Gorshkov for his photo ‘The Embrace’ – the winning image of this year's Wildlife Photographer of the Year (@NHM_WPY)!
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) October 14, 2020
Chair of the judging panel, renowned writer and editor, Rosamund ‘Roz’ Kidman Cox said: “It’s a scene like no other. A unique glimpse of an intimate moment deep in a magical forest. Shafts of low winter sun highlight the ancient fir tree and the coat of the huge tigress as she grips the trunk in obvious ecstasy and inhales the scent of tiger on resin, leaving her own mark as her message.
“It’s also a story told in glorious colour and texture of the comeback of the Amur tiger, a symbol of the Russian wilderness.”
The Duchess had filmed her video on Monday, during a visit to the museum itself, where she also filmed another piece promoting the award show. That video was shared yesterday with the instruction to tune in tonight to see who had won.
Tomorrow. 8PM BST. @NHM_WPY.
As Patron of the Natural History Museum, The Duchess of Cambridge will announce the winner of this year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year for the competition’s first virtual awards ceremony. Tune in on Tuesday to see this year's spectacular image! pic.twitter.com/VcYRykIOs3
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) October 12, 2020
The full list of tonight’s winners are:
- Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year – Liina Heikkinen
- Rising Star – Alberto Fantoni
- Behaviour: Invertebrates category -Frank Deschandol
- Behaviour: Mammals category – Shanyuan Li
- Behaviour: Birds category – Jose Luis Ruiz Jiménez
- Behaviour: Amphibians and Reptiles category – Jamie Culebras
- Under Water category – Songda Cai
- Wildlife Photographer of The Year – Sergey Gorshkov
- Urban Wildlife Photographer – Alex Badyaev
- Earth’s Environments category – Luciano Gaudenzio
- Plants and Fungi category – Gabriel Eisenband
- Animal Portraits category – Mogens Trolle
- Wildlife Photojournalism category – Kirsten Luce
- Wildlife Photojournalist Story Award – Paul Hilton
- Wildlife Photographer Portfolio Award – Ripan Biswas
Congratulations to Liina Heikkinen, the #WPY56 Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year! 🏆
Liina's dramatic picture shows a young red fox fiercely defending the remains of a barnacle goose from its five rival siblings in the wilds of Finland. #WPYAwards pic.twitter.com/KrRD0cDzoG
— Natural History Museum (@NHM_London) October 13, 2020
If you would like to see these fantastic images in person, The Wildlife Photography of The Year exhibition opens at the Natural History Museum this Friday and advance booking is required. You can also view the images on the museum’s website, or catch the award ceremony on its YouTube channel.
If you would like to enter for next year’s awards, you can enter from the 19th October on the NHM website.
Congratulations to all the winners!