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Wildlife Photographer of the Year

From February 2nd to May 5th , 2013, Fort of Bard, the main cultural centre of Aosta Valley, hosts exclusively, for the fourth year, the first Italian lap of the world tour of the photographic exhibition called Wildlife Photographer of the year 2012. The new edition of the exhibition features over one hundred images, winners in the 18 categories of the competition organized by the Natural History Museum of London in collaboration with the BBC Wildlife Magazine and now in its 48th edition.

The award, which is held every year since 1964, is undoubtedly the most prestigious of its kind in the world and in this edition it attracted more than 48,000 entries from 98 countries. In each category, winners were selected by a panel of industry-recognised professionals and nature photographers.

The most coveted prize, the Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer of the Year, was awarded to the Canadian photographer Paul Nicklen with Bubble-jetting emperors, a spectacular image of the chaotic, underwater world of emperor penguins at the edge of the Ross Sea, Antarctica. Paul remained motionless, his legs locked under the ice, waiting for the penguins. Suddenly the birds blasted from the depths, and with frozen fingers, the photographer captured this incredible image. The jury and respected photographers remarked: “This image draws us in for a glimpse of the emperor penguin’s private world: perfectly organized, infinite chaos. The eyes linger on it trying to perceive everything that is going on down there. ”
The Veolia Environment Young Wildlife Photographer was won by Owen Hearn, with Flight paths in the category 11-14 years. This shot features a shining eagle mirroring a distant airplane. The photo was taken in the place originally chosen for London’s third airport in 1960, when eagles faced extinction. The opposition to the construction of the airport and the reintroduction of eagles, to the UK means these birds can now fly again. An acclaimed wildlife photographer specialising in birds said of the image: “The eagle is looking straight at the camera and the plane is perfectly positioned. All this against the white sky makes the image a winner”.

Among Italian photographers holding this prestigious competition, there were two special mentions: Fortunato Gatto with photo Celebration of a great day, received an honourable mention in the category “Wildscapes.” It is a landscape that portrays the Laig Bay, an island in the north-west of Scotland. The other Italian who has received an honourable mention, this time in the category “Creative Visions” was Hugo Wassermann with a photo that captures a hoopoe on a log in the fog.

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Foto. © Jasper Doest (The Netherlands) Relaxation