Photography News 92 Newsletter


Recognition for high-flying talent BIRDS IN THE ENVIRONMENT: GOLD AWARD WINNER AND BIRD PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR Blocked by Alejandro Prieto, Mexico

Join us for a look at the stunning, award-winning images from this year’s Bird Photographer of the Year contest O ver 22,000 images 2021, each hoping to scoop its creator the grand prize of £5000. were received for the Bird Photographer of the Year contest There were eight categories, a Conservation Award and a Portfolio Award, plus Young Bird POTY, and the competition has donated more than £8000 to charity Birds on the Brink – – that supports conservation projects around the globe. The year’s Bird Photographer of the Year overall winner is Alejandro Prieto, for his image of a roadrunner faced by the US-Mexico border. “The border wall crosses mountains and even mangroves. It is not just desert – and is in fact very biodiverse, with more than 1500 animal and plant species threatened by the wall,” says Prieto. “I have watched many different animals reach the wall before turning around.” “Prieto’s image immediately caught the attention of the judges. It is not your typical bird photo, and the story behind the image is so strong,” says Will Nicholls, director of Bird POTY. “The roadrunner appears so vulnerable, facing up to the huge wall that dominates the frame.” If you’re inspired by our overview of the winning images, the 2022 contest opens for entry at the end of September. Enjoy all of the winners online.

Alejandro Prieto: The 3000km-long US-Mexico border straddles some of the continent’s most biologically diverse regions. It is home to uniquely adapted mammals, reptiles, birds and plants. Numerous species will be affected if a wall is built on this border. The infrastructure not only physically blocks movement, but also destroys and fragments habitats. Many desert animals are nomadic and a wall would prevent them moving from one place to another. In this photograph, a greater roadrunner approaches the wall at Naco, Arizona, with almost a sense of bewilderment. CAMERA: Nikon D850 with Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens at 112mm EXPOSURE: 1/320sec at f/14 and ISO 200 © Alejandro Prieto/Bird Photographer of the Year “THEROADRUNNER APPROACHESTHE WALLWITHASENSE OFBEWILDERMENT”

BIRD BEHAVIOUR: GOLD AWARD WINNER Floral bathtub by MousamRay, India

Mousam Ray: This image was taken at North Bengal Agricultural University in Cooch Behar, West Bengal. To set the scene, Indian autumn days (when the photo was taken) are typically hot and humid – sporadic rains interspersed with sweltering

petals open up like cups, holding water from rain or dew. Late one evening, a female crimson sunbird suddenly arrived and started sipping nectar. Her thirst quenched, she then bathed in the water stored in this banana flower petal. It’s quite common to find birds refreshing themselves in the evening, visiting puddles and pools, dipping their heads and wetting their wings and bodies. However, it was a unique experience to see this bird immersing herself upside down in water contained in an ornamental flower petal, like a lady in a bathtub. Her indulgent manner, lit by the glow of sunset, was truly a sight to behold. CAMERA: Nikon D500 with Nikon 300mm f/4 and 1.4x teleconverter at 420mm EXPOSURE: 1/4000sec at f/7.1 and ISO 1600 © Mousam Ray/Bird Photographer of the Year

heat – while the nights are cold. I was keen to capture images of crimson sunbirds drinking nectar from banana flowers. Typically, these flowers point towards the ground, but in ornamental species they point skywards – and some of their outer

18 Photography News | Issue 92

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