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World’s best wildlife photographer of the year 2019

Zoe Smith, December 12, 2019 6:45PM News Corp Australia Network

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A beautiful leopard soaks up the last warm rays of the setting sun in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve. Picture: AAP/Wildlife Photographer of The Year Awards/ Clement Mwangi media_cameraA beautiful leopard soaks up the last warm rays of the setting sun in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve. Picture: AAP/Wildlife Photographer of The Year Awards/ Clement Mwangi

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These are some of the world’s most jaw-dropping*, heart-melting* and incredible wildlife images.

This year’s shortlist for the prestigious* Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year Lumix People’s Choice Award has a strong theme of family.

The 2019 competition attracted more than 45,000 entries from professionals* and amateurs* across 95 countries.

While the main winners are selected by a panel of judges, the People’s Choice winner is voted by the public.

Front and centre in this year’s line-up is Australian photographer Wayne Osborn’s incredible image of a humpback calf whale twisting and turning in the water before returning to its mother.

Osborn managed to capture his once-in-a-lifetime shot while diving off the Vava’u Island group in the Kingdom of Tonga.

media_cameraAustralian photographer Wayne Osborn took this while diving in the Kingdom of Tonga. Picture: AAP/Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Natural History Museum, Wayne Osborn

Another highlight of the shortlist is German photographer Stefan Christmann’s photograph of a penguin couple practising an egg transfer by using a snowball.

It is, the photographer believes, possibly the first time this behaviour has ever been witnessed and documented.

media_cameraPenguins practising an egg transfer with a snowball. Picture: AAP/Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Natural History Museum, Stefan Christmann

Continuing the family theme, German snapper* Marion Volborn captured an adorable mother-and-son moment while on a bear watching trip to the Nakina River in British Columbia, Canada.

As the mother bear started to rub against the tree trunk, her young cub followed her and began imitating its mother.

media_cameraPicture: AAP/Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Natural History Museum, Marion Volborn

Other standouts include a chance photo of two mice “fist fighting” over scraps of food on the platform of the London Underground.

Titled “Station Squabble*,” photographer Sam Rowley captured the battle between the two city dwellers before they scurried off with the crumbs and went their separate ways.

media_cameraPicture: AAP/Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Natural History Museum, Sam Rowley

Readers can vote for the LUMIX People’s Choice Award winner on the Wildlife Photographer of the Year website until February 5, 2020 at:

https://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/wpy/community/peoples-choice/2019/index.html

media_cameraAudan Rikardsen captured this majestic bird of prey in its coastal environment in Norway after three years of planning. Picture: AAP/Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Natural History Museum, Audun Rikardsen
media_cameraRanger Elias Mugambi with a young orphaned black rhino in northern Kenya. Picture: AAP/Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Natural History Museum, Martin Buzora
media_cameraThis rainfrog is snapped in the Ecuadorian jungle with a baby tarantula in its mouth. Picture: AAP/Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Natural History Museum, Lucas Bustamente
media_cameraAfter leaving their birthing den in Wapusk National Park, Canada, to begin a long, cold journey to the sea ice, this family of polar bears stops to play around in the snow. Picture: AAP/Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Natural History Museum, Steve Levi
media_cameraThis long-eared jerboa was spotted in the Mongolian part of the Gobi Desert. The blood supply close to the skin in the ears helps the jerboa stay cool. Picture: AAP/Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Natural History Museum, Valeriy Maleev
media_cameraA school of red-tooth triggerfish form a cloud of silhouettes above a river of blennies flowing over the coral in the Philippines. Picture: AAP/Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Natural History Museum, David Doubilet
media_cameraA giant panda sits in its cage in a breeding centre in Shaanxi, China. Picture: AAP/Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Natural History Museum, Marcus Westberg
media_cameraA relaxed puma in Torres del Paine National Park, in Patagonia, Chile. Picture: AAP/Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Natural History Museum, Ingo Ardnt
media_cameraThis family of marmots have become used to humans in Hohe Tauern National Park, Austria, and allow people to photograph them. Picture: AAP/Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Natural History Museum, Michael Schober

GLOSSARY

  • jaw-dropping: amazing
  • heart-melting: makes you feel emotion such as love
  • prestigious: held in high regard; important
  • professionals: do something as a job, usually with payment
  • amateurs: do something as a hobby not as a job, usually without payment
  • snapper: nickname for photographer
  • squabble: bicker, argue

EXTRA READING

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Capturing our wonderful, wild world

Amazing photos of ancient cultures

QUICK QUIZ

  1. These photos are finalists in which category? Who decides the winner?
  2. What did Wayne Osborn photograph and where is Wayne from?
  3. What are the penguins doing? Why was that special to photograph?
  4. Where in Canada were the bears photographed?
  5. What title did the photographer give the photo of the mice? Why?

LISTEN TO THIS STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. What is being said?
A photograph captures a moment in time. Imagine though you could also hear what was being ‘said’ in these moments (That is, if we could understand animal ‘talk’). Choose 5 of your favourite pictures and write a caption or conversation of what you imagine might have been said in the moments before, during and after the photo was taken.

For example: The penguins might be saying…

‘One day this will be a real egg, so we need to do this carefully’.

Your captions and conversations can be comical or more serious.

Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Critical and Creative Thinking

2. Extension
It’s time to be a little creative. Choose your favourite photo and try and recreate the image using a different art medium.

You might like to…

  • make a diorama of the scene with a model of the animals included
  • recreate the photo with you and some classmates acting as the animals, you will need to find somewhere to take the photo that looks similar to the scene in the photo.
  • use playdough or plasticine to make a sculpture of the animals in the pose they are shown in.
  • use your literacy skills to describe the scene in poetry or prose so that someone who hasn’t seen it would get a similar image in their head.
  • paint or draw the image.
  • collect items from the garden or environment to create a picture inspired by the photo.
  • or come up with another artistic way to recreate the image.

Time: allow 60 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, The Arts – Visual Arts, Critical and Creative Thinking

VCOP ACTIVITY
After reading the article, with a partner, highlight all the openers you can find in blue. Discuss if they are powerful and varied openers or not. Why do you think the journalist has used a mix of simple and power openers? Would you change any, and why?

HAVE YOUR SAY: Which photo is your favourite? Why?
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking. No comments will be published until approved by editors.

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