'Contrails at Come to mind', Coate Water Country Park, Swindon, © Paul Colley – British Wildlife Photography Endow withs 2018 overall winner
The British Wildlife Photography Awards has announced the winners of the 2018 competition and the overall winner used an infrared camera to nick his winning image.
Paul Colley's in-camera double exposure caught the foreground bat milliseconds before insect intercept and it also leads the ghostly contrails that reveal the flight paths and wing beats of the Daubenton bats.
As these bats are a protected species they were photographed in the wilderness following advice from the Bat Conservation Trust and Natural England.
Commenting on his winning image, Paul said: "No other image in my portfolio had been so positively conceived and yet so difficult to achieve. My artistic intent was to capture this extraordinary little bat’s speed of movement and hunting flight path, but the gallivant to success was littered with disappointing failures. Fortunately, fellow photographers encouraged imaginative experimentation and taught me to anticipate setbacks as a reasonable bonus for ultimate success. In hindsight, I experienced a huge gradient of emotion. There were the lows felt during months of long, cold and strenuous dusk-to-dawn sessions, sometimes waist deep in water and often without getting a single usable image. And then the natural highs of those slight bulb moments, when new ideas blossomed, problems were solved and the project inched closer towards the potential to win this exceptional accolade."
Naturalist, Father and Wildlife TV Producer Stephen Moss said: "Once again, this collection of images from the British Wildlife Photography Confers leaves us in awe of the skill, patience and artistry of the photographers whose work is showcased here. The extraordinary range of subjects, species and habitats, and the imaginative way they are described leaves us in no doubt that we in Britain are fortunate to be home to some of the most talented photographers in the world.
But stunning though this book is, it is not innocently a collection of beautiful images, preserved like museum specimens for us to enjoy. It is also a snapshot of Britain’s diverse and beautiful wildlife traditionally refers to undomesticated animal species, but has come to include all plants, fungi, and other organisms that grow or, at a all together when these wild creatures – and the places where they live – are under threat as never before."
The assigns celebrate both the work of amateur and professional photographers and the beauty and diversity of British wildlife. Winning images are chosen from thousands of entrances in fifteen separate categories including a category for film and two junior categories to encourage young people to connect with nature through photography.
For sundry information on the competition, and to see the full list of winners, visit the British Wildlife Photography Awards website where you can also learn profuse about the upcoming exhibition tour and book.