WWF was involved in two big events for wildlife photographers and film-makers recently. We are major sponsors and supporters of both the Wildscreen festival, for wildlife films and documentaries, and the WildPhotos event, celebrating the best in wildlife still photography.
Likened to the ‘Oscars’ of the natural history and wildlife film industry, the Wildscreen ‘Panda Awards’ were handed out at a glittering awards ceremony in Bristol on 19 October.
The two main awards of the night, the WWF Golden Panda and the Outstanding Achievement Award, are considered to be the highest accolades a natural history filmmaker can achieve.
This year, our prestigious WWF Golden Panda Award for best overall production went to ‘My Life as a Turkey’ by Passion Pictures (commissioned by the BBC Natural History Unit and PBS).
The film relates the story of biologist Joe Hutto, who spent a remarkable year raising a brood of wild turkey chicks, becoming like a parent to them, and learning lots about their behaviour and even their language.
Here’s a short trailer for the winning film…
The Outstanding Achievement Award - given for globally significant contribution to wildlife filmmaking, conservation and/or the public's understanding of the environment - was presented by surprise guest Sir David Attenborough, and went to Alastair Fothergill (see top image), executive producer of classic BBC natural history series like ‘Frozen Planet’, ‘Blue Planet’ and ‘Planet Earth’.
The full list of winners is on the Wildscreen Festival website, where you can see more photos taken at the awards evening and the rest of the festival.
WildPhotos – what the photographers said…
The WildPhotos event is always a great chance to hear from some of the world’s leading wildlife photographers, with their insights and tips for capturing great images of the natural world – and also their views on the increasingly vital relationship between their art and the conservation of the natural world.
A few quotes from some of the top photographers taking part...
Paul Harcourt Davies: “If you have a love of nature, you are blessed. Share, encourage, enthuse. Find your niche, but don't let people pigeonhole you there. And get help with marketing, since most photographers are bad at it.”
Peter Cairns: "Any investment in nature is an investment in our home."
Laurie Campbell: “Stay with the subject until you've exhausted all of your possibilities. There’s no such thing as bad weather for photography – you just need to find a way of holding a camera steady.”
Mark Hamblin: “You need enthusiasm and passion. You might have 19 hours waiting in the hide, then three minutes of action. Persistence leads to luck. And there’s no such thing as bad light. Use the elements to your advantage.”
Charlie Hamilton James: “Take the risk, attempt to get something special. You constantly have to think of new ways of showing people the same thing from different angles. You can use a mix of artificial light and natural light.” (Charlie's black & white shot of two back-to-back cheetahs was one of the highlights of the 2012 Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition.)
Jasper Doest: “There’s the play factor - the importance of trying different new things, getting new ways of looking at things. Putting a bit of what you feel at that moment into the image.” (Jasper's stunning close-up of an eyes-closed Japanese macaque monkey was used as the cover image of the 2012 Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year portfolio.)
Christian Zeigler: “Plants are cool - they don't get enough attention.” (Christian's orchid and hummingbird shot was 'Highly Commended' at the 2012 Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year.)