Jan Vermeer - Great reed warbler singingWildlife Photographer of the Year

The Conservation Centre, Whitechapel
June 25th - September 18th

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

In what is a superb collection of wildlife photography my only gripe is why are all the images shown all of the same size? Increasing the size of some of the images would have given an greater emphasis and balance to the presentation of the exhibition.

My own favourite photograph is 'Algae - clad rock at twilight' by Ulf Westerberg from Sweden. It is a very impressive and abstract picture, with a blending of textures, patterns and colours.

"I spent the best part of a cold winter's day photographing icicles and patterns of water in the warm country light," said Westerberg. "As I was about to pack up, I noticed that reflections of the red sky had appeared in the rocky landscape around me.

"Suspecting that this effect would not last long," he added, "I quickly searched for an interesting position and took one shot. A few seconds later the light was gone and so was the magic."

Almost equally enchanting is the 'Great Reed Warbler Singing' photographed in Hungary by Jan Vermeer (Netherlands). The bird is bathed in a golden light. You can see the breath of his song notes in the cool morning air (see photo).

Other outstanding shots include 'Yacare Caiamn in Sunlight' by Howie Garber. It is a heart-rending picture of a crocodile trying to survive in an almost dry river as drought sets in Brazil; and 'Great Raft Spider by Tore Hagman, which contains a bewitching array of subtle colours.

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year is organised by the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine.

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