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Dr. Tim Laman wins Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2016

Dr. Tim Laman wins Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2016

© Tim Laman/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

October 2016

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards have been announced this week and Dr. Tim Laman, a field biologist and wildlife photojournalist from the USA, has won the overall title for his long-term study of endangered orangutans in Indonesia. CPN Editor David Corfield reports...

Dr. Laman, a Canon photographer and National Geographic contributor, spent several months in the rainforest canopy with his EOS-1D C, EOS 5D Mark III and several remote action cameras, chronicling the lives of the orangutans and has already picked up a World Press Photo award for their intimate portrayal.

Beating almost 50,000 entries from 95 countries, his orangutan portfolio and winning image will be on show with 99 other photographs selected by an international panel of judges at the 52nd Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. It opens at the Natural History Museum on 21 October 2016 before touring across the UK and internationally to locations such as Spain, Canada, the USA, Germany and Macau.

Speaking about photographing orangutans, Dr. Laman said: “There are a lot of challenges photographing orangutans because they are very solitary. Except for the mothers and their babies, they are travelling by themselves through the forests all day long. Because my wife [Cheryl Knott] is an orangutan researcher, I’ve spent a lot of time in the field with her and her teams over the years so I have a much better ability than someone who has just come in, seeing an orangutan for the first time in the wild.”

“Protecting their remaining habitat is critical for orangutans to survive. If we want to preserve a great ape that retains its vast culturally transmitted knowledge of how to survive in the rainforest and the full richness of wild orangutan behaviour, then we need to protect orangutans in the wild, now.”

Sir Michael Dixon, Director of the Natural History Museum, London, which runs the competition, added: “Wildlife Photographer of the Year highlights some of the big questions for society and the environment: How can we protect biodiversity? Can we learn to live in harmony with nature? The winning images touch our hearts, and challenge us to think differently about the natural world.”

Dr. Laman shared his second award of the night with Canon Explorer Charlie Hamilton James, who was joint winner of the Wildlife Photojournalist of the Year Award for his study of endangered vultures.

Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The award for Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year, a category supported by Canon, went to 16-year-old Gideon Knight from the UK for his image ‘The moon and the crow.’ Shot near his London home with a Canon EOS 7D and an EF400mm f/5.6L USM lens it shows the twigs of a sycamore tree silhouetted against the blue dusk sky and the full moon. “This makes it feel almost supernatural, like something out of a fairy tale,” says Gideon.

© Gideon Knight/Wildlife Photographer of the Year
© Gideon Knight/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The moon and the crow by Gideon Knight (UK). Winner, Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2016. Taken on a Canon EOS 7D with an EF400mm f/5.6L USM lens; the exposure was 1/250sec at f/6.3, ISO 500.

“If an image could create a poem, it would be like this. It should certainly inspire a few lines,” says Lewis Blackwell, Chair of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year jury. “The image epitomises what the judges are always looking for – a fresh observation on our natural world, delivered with artistic flair.”

  • The Wildlife Photographer of the Year is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum, London. The next Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition, WPY53, is open for entries from 24 October to 15 December 2016. Click here for further information.