The best nature photography on show

Matthew Smith_migrating blue bottle_Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014_editorialIt is said a picture is worth a thousand words. Sometimes the photographer can be fortunate – a bird swoops down and seizes a fish in front of the lens and a moment of magic is captured forever – but this is not common. Most photographers know all too well the patience and tireless dedication needed to capture that crucial split second when light, shade and movement combine to create a rare and beautiful moment.

Be captivated by scorpions basking in the sun, snakes in search of food, and fireflies lighting up the night, at the 2014  Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, currently on display at the Australian Museum until Monday 5 October 2015.

Co-owned by the Natural History Museum and BBC Worldwide, and now in its 50th year, it is the most prestigious photography event of its kind in the world, providing a global platform that showcases the diversity and wonder of nature. Launching in 1965 and attracting just 361 entries, today the competition receives almost 42,000 entries from 96 countries, highlighting its enduring appeal.

Two Australian entries are among the 100 award-winning photographs shortlisted this year, including a stunning image of a bluebottle washed ashore, captured by photographer Matthew Smith.

“I wanted to pick out the beautiful colouration and detail in the tentacles against the eerie darkness of a stormy morning. The wild atmosphere adds testament to the lifestyle of this sailor of the open seas.” said Matthew Smith.

The prize of Wildlife Photographer of the Year for 2014 was awarded to American photographer, Michael ‘Nick’ Nichols for a stark black and white image of lions resting on a rocky outcrop in the Serengeti – he followed this pride of lions for 6 months before capturing this perfect frame.

Eight year old Carlos Perez Narval was awarded Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year for his image of a scorpion soaking up the sun. Aware of Carlos’s presence, the common yellow scorpion is flourishing its sting as a warning. Carlos had found it basking on a flat stone in a rocky area near his home in Torralba de los Sisones, northeast Spain – also a place that he goes to look for reptiles.

Every year the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition attracts people from around Australia and the globe to see the world’s best wildlife photographs and to be inspired by the diversity of the natural world.

2014 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Australian Museum, 6 College Street, Sydney
Exhibition continues to Monday 5 October 2015
Entry fees apply

For more information, visit: for details.

The 2014 Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition will be simultaneously presented at the Museum of Tropical Queensland (until 17 May), Newcastle Regional Library (12 June – 8 August), and Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery, Launceston (5 September – 1 November).

Image: Sailing by – photo by Matthew Smith © Matthew Smith/ Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014