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Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2006: Closing Date 31 March 2006

The search is on for the world’s best wildlife photographs

‘I look for an image that has impact on the page, that is more than a pretty picture or a beautiful shot - it needs originality, something that stands out.’

Lewis Blackwell, Wildlife Photographer of the Year judge 2005

IMAGINE, a love of nature and a camera are all you need to enter Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Enthusiasts and professionals of all ages and nationalities have until 31 March 2006 to enter their best pictures in the world’s largest and longest-running wildlife photography competition.

For the first time, photographers from across the globe can enter online on the competition website. Winners will receive a share of the £15,500 prize pool and will see their images displayed at the Natural History Museum and in BBC Wildlife Magazine.

‘Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year celebrates natur’s amazing variety, whether it’s in an exotic location or on your doorstep’, said Sharon Ament, Director of Public Engagement at the Natural History Museum. ‘Capturing an outstanding wildlife image in your garden can be just as challenging as it is in the jungle. We are proud to involve our new sponsor for 2006 and 2007 - Shell’.

In addition to online entry, Shell’s new sponsorship is giving everyone the chance to vote for their favourite shot during the exhibition in the People’s Choice award. A new category for 2006, Creative Visions of Nature encourages photographers to innovate more than ever when capturing wildlife and its environment. Now in its second year, the category Nature in Black in White is open to digital entries as well as film.

Email: wildphoto@nhm.ac uk
Website: www.nhm.ac.uk/wildphoto

• The two overall winning titles, Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year and Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year, are selected from the category winners.

• The 12 adult entry categories are: Animals in Their Environment: Animal Behaviour: Birds; Animal Behaviour: Mammals; Animal Behaviour: All Other Animals; Animal Portraits; In Praise of Plants; Creative Visions of Nature; Nature in Black and White; Urban and Garden Wlidlife; Wild Places; The Underwater World and The World in Our Hands.

• The two special awards are the Eric Hosking Award - given for the best portfolio of six images taken by a photographer in the age range 18-26 - and the Gerald Durrell Award for Endangered Wildlife - given for the best image of a species officially listed in the 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

• The Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition is open to photogaphers aged 17 years and under, in three age categories: 10 years and under, 11-14 years and 15-17 years.

• Microsoft Corporation is the Digital Technology Sponsor for the competition.

• The Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2006 judges will include: Mark Carwardine (chair) zoologist, writer and photographer; Laura Barwick, freelance picture editor; Rosamund Kidman Cox, editor and writer; Wanda Sowry, picture researcher BBC Wildlife Magazine; Emilie Marsh, picture editor, Getty Images; Paul Lund, photographer, Natural History Museum; Tim Flach, art and commercial photographer; Rob Sheppard, group editorial director, Outdoor Photographer, PCPhoto, Digital Photo Pro magazines; Colin Prior, travel and landscape photographer and author; Sophie Stafford, editor, BBC Wildlife Magazine; Mauel Presti, Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2-5; Norbert Wu, underwater photographer and filmmaker; Staffan Widstrand, photographer and writer; Andy McLane, senior creative partner, Tequila, London.