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2008 Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition
By Jason Heller, January 3, 2008 @ 02:00 AM (EST)

From sub-Arctic waters off northern Canada to the freshwater springs of North Florida, the search for the year’s best wildlife photographer has begun.

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition is the world’s greatest wildlife photography contest and an international leader in the artistic representation of the natural world. Every year, it showcases the very best photographic images of nature to a worldwide audience, giving people an insight into the beauty, drama and variety of the natural world. Now in its forty-fourth year, the 2008 competition is open to anyone with an appreciation of wildlife and a passion for fresh, innovative photography.


Felipe Bario Shell Wildlife Photographer of The Year



Felipe Barrio ( Nationality - Spain, Country of Residence - Spain)
The Underwater World - Winner

Giant Feast

© Felipe Barrio / Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2007

Nikon D200 + Nikon 10.5mm lens; 1/50 sec at f4; ISO 160; Seacam housing.

The competition has 11 adult categories including Underwater World. The subjects in the Underwater World category can be marine or freshwater. Judges are looking for pictures that are memorable, either because of the behaviour displayed or because of their aesthetic appeal – and ideally, both.

Entry opens on 17 January 2008 and all images must be submitted by 24 March by post or 31 March online at www.nhm.ac.uk/wildphoto. Entrants stand to win an impressive £10,000 prize if they are given the coveted title of Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2008 or £23,550 share a prize fund if successful in other categories.



Douglas David Seifert Shell Wildlife Photographer of The Year



 Douglas David Seifert ( Nationality - United States of America, Country of Residence - US)
The Underwater World - Highly Commended

© Douglas David Seifert  / Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2007

Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II + 15mm fisheye lens; 1/250 sec at f8


Last year’s competition was the most competitive ever and attracted more than 32,000 entries from 78 countries. Ninety one per cent of 2007 entries were digital – the highest ever for the competition.  Giant feast by Felipe Barrio won the Underwater World category in 2007. At dawn on New Years Eve in the Red Sea off Djibouti, Felipe slipped into the water using snorkelling gear and captured a rare image of four whale sharks feeding.  Whale sharks are the largest fish on Earth. The Gulf of Tadjourah off Djibouti is a hotspot for these giants, which congregate from October to January to feed.



Paul Nicklin Shell Wildlife Photographer of The Year


 Paul Nicklen ( Nationality - Canada, Country of Residence - Canada)
The Underwater World - Runner-up

Teeth exposure

© Paul Nicklen / Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2007

Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II + 17-40mm f4 lens; 1/30 sec at f11; Ikelite 125 digital strobes. 

2007 judge David Doubilet said, ‘This picture is a dreamlike moment in the sea. Whale sharks, even one whale shark, is the holy grail of underwater photography but a group of them feeding on clouds of fish is truly extraordinary  - a new and dynamic moment.’

Mark Carwardine, zoologist, award-winning writer and photographer and chairman of the competition judging panel said, ‘It’s not what you photograph – it’s the way you do it. Despite many people’s fears, pictures of common and familiar species close to home stand just as much chance of winning as pictures of more exotic, rare and unfamiliar ones. Successful photographers work hard at their photography. They get down low, climb high, move backwards, crawl forwards, creep from side to side, think laterally, get up early and stay out late. They are passionate people, determined to get something different.’

Winning photographers will have their images showcased in an international exhibition that debuts at the Natural History Museum in October 2008 before touring venues across the world. Winning images are also featured in a special supplement to the November issue of BBC Wildlife Magazine and in a hardback commemorative portfolio by BBC Books.


In response to the growing popularity of digital photography by Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition entrants, a podcast is now available featuring interviews with 2007 competition judges and winning photographers. The free download explores how wildlife photographers have used the medium to capture dramatic images of the natural world and investigates the decline of traditional film. Narrated by BBC Front Row presenter Charlotte Mullins, winning photographers give their tips for taking winning shots, while judges Mark Carwardine and Rosamund Kidman Cox speculate on the impact developments in digital photography could have on wildlife photography. The 20-minute podcast is available free at www.nhm.ac.uk/wildphoto/podcast.


  • The two overall winning titles, Wildlife Photographer of the Year and Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year, are selected from the category winners.
  • The 11 adult entry categories are: Animals in Their Environment, Animal Behaviour: Birds, Animal Behaviour: Mammals, Animal Behaviour: All Other Animals, The Underwater World, Animal Portraits, In Praise of Plants, Urban and Garden Wildlife, Nature in Black and White, Creative Visions of Nature and Wild Places.
  • The Underwater World category is supported by Project AWARE Foundation (International).
  • The four special awards are the Eric Hosking Award, given for the best portfolio of six images taken by a photographer in the age range 18–26, the Gerald Durrell Award for Endangered Wildlife, given for the best image of a species officially listed in the 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and the new One Earth Award, which seeks to highlight the interaction between humans and the natural world.  NEW FOR 2008: Photographers’ Award for Lifetime Commitment to Wildlife Photography, given to a photographer whose commitment to wildlife photography is considered worthy of commendation.
  • The Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition is open to photographers aged 17 years and under, in three age categories: 10 years and under, 11–14 years and 15–17 years.


Wildlife Photographer of the Year is owned by the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine.



SeaLife SportDiver Ultra Smartphone Housing
Backscatter Hybrid Flash HF-1
Isotta Housing for OM System OM-1 I & II
Nauticam Fisheye Conversion Port (FCP)
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