Wildlife Photographer of 2005 announced

Manuel Presti has won the coveted Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition for his photograph ‘Sky chase’.

Manuel Presti has won the coveted Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition for his photograph ‘Sky chase’. Organised by the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife magazine, the competition is the largest wildlife competition in the world, open to amateur and professional photographers. This year there were more than 17,000 entries. He took the photograph of a flock of starlings escaping from a peregrine falcon using two cameras, one trailing the birds as they flew across the sky and the other mounted on a tripod with a long lens photographing the event. He comments: ‘This allowed me to take pictures of the amazing flock shapes as well as the dynamics of the peregrine attacks.’ An avid photographer for 20 years, Manuel’s win marks his second entry into the competition. Mark Carrodine, one of the 14-strong judging panel, comments: ‘I particularly like the photograph’s graphic simplicity and the starkness of black against white. But it works on another level too, because it is full of energy and movement and captures an absolutely perfect wildlife moment.’ Other judges included Simon Bishop from BBC Wildlife Magazine and Lewis Blackwell from Getty images. The Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year prize was won by 10 year-old Jesse Ritonen from Finland for ‘Inquisitive Jay.’ Taken using a Nikon D70, the image is of a Jay sitting on a pine branch and was taken during a trip to a hide. Prizes were awarded in 12 categories, the overall winner getting the coveted title. The Innovation award went to Michel Loup for River of Dreams, Bence Mate from Hungary won the Eric Hosking Award for a portfolio of six pictures, and Martin Eisenhawer won the Gerrald Durrell Award for Endangered Wildlife for Crane snowflight. All the photographs will be published in the book Wildlife Photographer of the Year Portfolio 15, which is available for £25. The winning entries and runners up will be displayed at the Natural History Museum from 22nd October until 23rd April before touring the UK and the world. Tickets are £6 for adults and £3.50 for children. Find out more at www.nhm.ac.uk/wildphoto Credit: Manuel Presti, Italy. The Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition organised by the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine

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