|Snowstorm leopard (C) Steve Winter / Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2008. Wildlife Photographer of the Year is owned by the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine
|"The competition plays an increasingly crucial role in raising the profile of wildlife photography and generating awareness of conservation."
Words by Zarina Holmes
Steve Winter was named as Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2008 in a ceremony at London's Natural History Museum.
His photograph Snowstorm leopard, which was taken with one of 14 remote-controlled cameras he used during a marathon photo shoot in Hemis High Altitude National Park in northern India.
The American photographer spent ten months camping, planning and shooting in freezing conditions as low as -40ºCelsius before finally getting his desired photo of a snow leopard in a snow fall, capturing the atmosphere of this endangered cat’s extreme environment.
Winter is also a wildlife photographer for National Geographic.
British teenager Catriona Parfitt, from Swanwick near Southampton, took the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year title at the awards widely recognised as the most prestigious of their type in the world.
The pair succeeded in a record field of 32,351 entries from 82 countries.
The best of these visually-stunning, sometimes humorous and often thought-provoking photographs – winners, runners-up or commended in the competition’s 17 categories – is being showcased now at the Natural History Museum until 26 April 2009.
Competition judge Mark Carwardine said, "The competition plays an increasingly crucial role in raising the profile of wildlife photography and generating awareness of conservation. Nothing speaks louder than an evocative photograph that stirs the imagination, tugs at the heart strings and engages the mind."
Photographers need to be supported to keep bringing the evidence and continue conveying the message to the public.
Sojournposse reportage on the event