Digital SLR Photography

Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Lumix People's Choice Finalists

By Caroline Schmidt. Posted

A photograph of two mice fighting on a London Underground platform has won the publicly voted category at the 2019 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards.

Sam Rowley’s captivating image, Station Squabble, won the Lumix People’s Choice Award after 28,000 people voted from a shortlist of 25. The shot was whittled down from 48,000 entries to the 2019 competition.

Photograph: Sam Rowley/2019 Wildlife Photographer of the Year/NHM

"Station squabble" by Sam Rowley
Sam Rowley/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Sam discovered the best way to photograph the mice inhabiting London’s Underground was to lie on the platform and wait. He only saw them fight over scraps of food dropped by passengers a few times, possibly because it is so abundant. This fight lasted a split second, before one grabbed a crumb and they went their separate ways.
Nikon D500, 105mm f/2.8 lens; 1/125 sec at f/2.8, ISO 1000.

Four other photographs were highly commended for the award, including Aaron Gekoski’s image of an exploited orangutan, Michel Zoghzhogi’s jaguar and her cub catching a huge snake, Martin Buzora’s picture of a baby black rhino with a conservation ranger and Francis De Andres’s group shot of a herd of white arctic reindeer.

The pictures will be on display in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum until May 31. 

Aaron Gekoski, UK

Aaron Gekoski/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Losing the fight

Orangutans have been used in degrading performances at Safari World, Bangkok – and many other locations – for decades. The shows were temporarily stopped in 2004 due to international pressure, but today the shows continue – twice a day, every day – with hundreds of people paying to watch the orangutans box, dance, play the drums and more. Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 lens; 1/100 sec at f/5.6, ISO 800.

Martin Buzora, Canada

Martin Buzora/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The surrogate mother

Elias Mugambi is a ranger at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in northern Kenya. He often spends weeks away from his family caring for orphaned black rhinos like Kitui here. The young rhinos are in the sanctuary as a result of poaching or because their mothers are blind and cannot care for them safely in the wild. Nikon D4S, 85mm f/1.4 lens; 1/5000 sec at f/1.4, ISO 800.

Michel Zoghzoghi, Lebanon

Michel Zoghzoghi/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Matching outfits

Michel was in the Pantanal, Brazil photographing jaguars. One afternoon, as he was on the Três Irmãos River, a mother and her cub crossed right in front of his boat. He watched mesmerized as they left the water holding an anaconda with a very similar pattern to their own. Canon EOS 1D X Mark II, 500mm f/4 lens; 1/1250 sec at f/13 (-1e/v), ISO 1250.

Francis De Andrés, Spain

Francis De Andres/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Spot the reindeer

The conditions for photographing at the Norwegian archipelago Svalbard are extreme, but wildlife has adapted to the environment and its freezing temperatures. Francis found this composition of white arctic reindeer, which were observing him, both curious and charming. Nikon D850, Nikon AF-S 200-400mm lens at f/4 VRII; 1/800 sec at f/5, ISO 100.

See the shortlisted entries here

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