Highly commended images from Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest revealed

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A perching primate picture taken by a teenager and the Amazon on fire are among images which have scored highly with judges of this year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest.

Highly commended images chosen from almost 50,000 entries to the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2020 competition have been revealed.

The overall winners of the competition will be announced on October 13, with the awards ceremony conducted virtually, for the first time, from the museum’s Hintze Hall.

Treetop douc by Arshdeep Singh
Treetop douc by Arshdeep Singh (Arshdeep Singh/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

The highly commended images include 13-year-old Arshdeep Singh’s image of a douc, a critically-endangered primate, and Charlie Hamilton James’s image of a lone tree surrounded by forest fire in the Amazon.

Possums peeking out in the urban environment, the tar sands landscape of Alberta, Canada, a close-up of a spider and an underwater night scene are also among the highly commended shots.

Chairwoman of the judging panel, Roz Kidman Cox, said: “Several of my favourite images from the competition – the ones that I can look at again and again – are among the commended pictures.

“But then all the commended images are effectively winners, being among the top 100 awarded by the jury out of more than 49,000.

“The diversity of subjects and styles this year is memorable, with more than 25 different nationalities represented.

“But what especially stands out are the images from the young photographers – the next generation of image-makers passionate about the natural world.”

The spider’s supper by Jaime Culebras
The spider’s supper by Jaime Culebras (Jaime Culebras/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

The night shift by Laurent Ballesta
The night shift by Laurent Ballesta (Laurent Ballesta/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Dr Tim Littlewood, executive director of science at the Natural History Museum and member of the judging panel, said: “This competition has an outstanding reputation in attracting the world’s very best photographers, naturalists and young photographers.

“But there has never been a more vital time for audiences all over the world to re-engage with the natural world, and what better way than this inspiring and provocative exhibition.

“Photography’s unique ability to spark conversation and curiosity is certainly special.

“We hope that this year’s exhibition will provide an opportunity for audiences to pause, reflect and ignite a passion of advocating for the natural world.”

After being unveiled at the Natural History Museum, the images will go on a UK and international tour.

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