Nature's Perfect Pictures 

BBC,Thursday, 17 October, 2002

This tranquil image of elephants in Zambia's South Luangwa National Park has won top prize in the BG Wildlife Photographer Of The Year awards.

The competition, which annually attracts over 18,000 entries, is one of the most prestigious events of its kind anywhere in the world.

It champions amateur as well as professional photography; there is even a category for 10-year-olds and under.

The 101 winning and commended images from the competition will form the basis of an exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London, UK, starting this Saturday.

        Just some of the winners are presented on this page.

Overall Winner: Angie Scott (Kenya)
                                                        
African elephant family

Taken  by  the  Luangwa  River  in Zambia's South Luangwa National Park. 
Angie said:    "I had just  got  myself  settled  under  a bush when this family came  trundling  down  the  sandy bank, eager to cool off and drink.
A grey heron plopped down in front of them, ready to catch any fish they stirred up."
Canon  E0S-1V  with  500mm lens;  1/250   sec at f4.5; Fujichrome Velvia 50; image  stabiliser; polarising filter.

   10 years and under - Winner: Maximilian Hahl (Germany)

                                    Alpine Ibex
The image was captured  on  Gemmanalphorn in Bernese  Oberland, Switzerland. Maximilian said:   "These animals are so used to people walking  by  that,  if you stay calm and still, you can sometimes get to within a metre of one."

              Nikon F70 with 20mm lens at f8; Fujichrome Sensia 100.

      Animal Behaviour: Mammals - Winner: Duncan Murrell (UK)

                                  Humpback whale

Duncan caught this image from a kayak.   "This  particular  individual burst into view much closer than the rest of the  whale  feeding  group, and I barely had time to spin around
and adjust my zoom lens before it disappeared."

        Canon EOS 1N with 75-300mm lens;   1/1000 sec  at f5.6;  
                               Fujichrome      Provia 100.

Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year - Overall Winner: Bence Máté (Hungary)

                             Chaffinch and boot

Bence dug a shallow pool to attract lots of birds and mammals. The young photographer sits nearby, motionless, for ages, to catch something new.

Nikon F100 with 300mm lens and 1.6x teleconverter; 1/60 sec at f2.8; Fujichrome Velvia 50.

      1-14 years old - Winner: Fanie Weldhagen (South Africa)

                            Black-backed jackals

The picture was taken in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Fanie said: "A single male got up and started paying a lot of attention to a female. Her mate didn't like it at all. He growled, and the two males had a short fight. Then the single male had to leave."

Nikon F100 with 500mm; auto-exposed at maximum aperture; Fujichrome Provia 100.

All images courtesy of The BG Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition organised by BBC Wildlife Magazine and the Natural History Museum, sponsored by BG Group.

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