At the fourth annual British Wildlife Photography Awards, the best of the best submitted stunning and innovative photography that showcased British wildlife in action. According to bwpawards.org, the awards were established to showcase the amazing talents of wildlife photographers in Britain. With 12 different categories ranging from “Animal Portraits” and “Habitat” to “Urban Wildlife,” there’s something for every wildlife photographer.
The overall winning photo came from Dr. Matt Doggett, whose photo “Gannett Jacuzzi” featured birds diving into water located off the North coast of Scotland. Doggett said, “It was an incredible experience being in the water surrounded by these high speed divers,” as read on bwpawards.org.
2012 Winners by Category
- Coast and Marine—Dr. Matthew Doggett, “Gannett Jacuzzi”
- Animal Portraits—Neil McIntyre, “Red deer stag in pine forest”
- Animal Behaviour—Amanda Hayes, “Herring gull and puffin”
- Wildlife in my Backyard—David Thomas Handley, “Wasp house cleaning from a nest in cavity wall”
- Urban Wildlife—Phil Jones, “Starlings watching the starlings”
- Wild Woods—Jeremy Walker, “New Forest in Autumn”
- Hidden Britain—Dale Sutton, “Leap for freedom”
- Habitat—Alexander Mustard, “Grey Seal in underwater cave”
- Living Landscape: Connectivity—Stephen William Powels, “Culm divided”
- British Seasons—Jules Cox, “Snow Hare”
- Documentary Series—Mark Hamblin, “A fresh approach to a rural tradition”
- Wildlife in HD Video—Raymond Besant, “Hoy Fulmars”
How to Capture Wildlife Photography Like the Pros
If you’ve never handled a camera before, enrolling yourself for photography classes might be a step in the right direction. You learn a variety of tasks to apply to the wide world of photography, learning about lighting, depth of field, shutter speed, and rule of thirds. But if you don’t have the time for photography classes right now, just follow a few of these simple steps; you will be shooting breathtaking wildlife photography in no time.
Patience is a Virtue; So is Knowing Your Subject
As Tuts Plus puts it, you need plenty of patience, patience, patience! Sometimes it can take upwards of four hours to get that perfect shot of a frog jumping into a pond or a bee collecting pollen from a flower. Knowing your subject goes hand-in-hand with patience. It takes a while to know the habits and behavior patterns of your subject. Think of yourself as the predator—you’re going to want to know the habits of your subjects, preparing your for that perfect moment to snap away.
Know Your Camera
As much as you plan, you can’t truly know everything your subject is going to do. At a moment’s notice your subject could become a meal or be the center of a fight. Knowing your camera ensures you the best photos with the correct lighting and shutter speeds.
According to Digital Photography School, you need to know these basic principles: know what the minimum shutter speed is for your camera to obtain the sharpest image possible, know the added margins, know how to toggle between focus points and modes, and finally, know how high you can push the ISO settings.
Make Sure You Have a Variety of Lenses
It’s a good idea to have a few different choices of lenses. Using a long lens will allow you to get close-up pictures while staying at a safe, reasonable distance. If you want to get creative, it could be fun to use a fish eye lens, which will distort the photo in an artsy way.