Thursday, November 11, 2010

A thousand words

Wildlife Photographer of the Year is an annual international wildlife photography competition  It attracts over 30,000 entries from nearly 100 countries and is one of the most prestigious photography competitions in the world.
The One Earth Award highlights conservation issues or actions and the interaction between humans and the natural world. Images must demonstrate the power and resilience of our planet and its impact on us. Whether graphic or symbolic, each picture must be thought provoking, memorable and encourage respect or concern for our natural world. 

Here are this year's winners and one of the runner's up from this category:

Jordi Chias Pujol (Spain)
Turtle in trouble
It's an image that communicates in one emotive hit the damage being done to the world's oceans. Jordi came across this desperate scene when sailing between Barcelona and the Balearic Islands, hoping to photograph dolphins. 'I spotted the abandoned net drifting along the surface,' says Jordi. As he dived down to investigate, he could see the loggerhead turtle tangled up in the netting. 'The poor creature must have been trapped for some days, it was so badly knotted up.' Though it could just reach the surface to breathe by extending its neck, it was still sentenced to a long, cruel death. 'I felt as though it were looking at me for help as it tried to bite through the netting.' Jordi released it, allowing one individual a second chance. Given that all species of sea turtles are endangered, they need all the help they can get.

Brian Skerry (United States of America)
Tears of blood
Each year more than 100 million sharks are killed worldwide, threatening the surival of most species. The slaughter is in part driven by the high price paid for shark fins on the Asian market. Brian went to Baja California, Mexico, specifically to document the killing. There is no restriction on shark-fishing in the Gulf of California, and using gillnets, fishermen will fish out an area and then move on. This female mako shark was pregnant with nearly full-term pups. 'I was concentrating on composing the frame to show the finning of this beautiful fish, with the fisherman sharpening his knife in the background,' says Brian. 'It was only afterwards that I noticed the poignant "tear of blood".'

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