A panel chaired by TV presenter and wildlife photographer Chris Packham judged the Canon/WWT Photography Competition.
Richie Lort from Co Down was awarded Portfolio Photographer of the Year and won the trip-of-a-lifetime to Antarctica. His photographs of WWT Castle Espie Wetland Centre on the shores of Strangford Lough were consistently shortlisted in the seasonal heats. On receiving the news, he said:
“I am absolutely amazed and stunned. This is a once in a life time trip and will help me to document the disappearing world. I imagine it will be both amazing and humbling to capture how delicate it is. I would like to thank the staff at WWT Castle Espie who always welcome me and share valuable information in terms of sign posting me to capture such beautiful wildlife.”
The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) have seen photography become one of the most popular ways that people engage with nature at their wetland visitor centres. The Canon/WWT Photography Competition gives photographers a place to share the beauty and fragility of wetlands, while recognising the very best talent.
Wetlands are any areas where the ground remains wet for long periods. They have been centres of human civilisation throughout history and they are home to specially-adapted wildlife.
Wetlands are essential to life on Earth. Not only do they control erosion, prevent flooding and influence the climate, they provide and clean the water we drink and use to grow food
Martin Spray is Chief Executive of the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT). He said:
“In the last century alone, half the world’s inland wetlands have been lost. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so we asked photographers to showcase some of the rich diversity of wildlife that depend on wetlands. We are delighted with the response and very pleased to announce the winners.”
Lee Bonniface, Country Director, Canon UK Consumer Imaging, said:
“We’re delighted to partner with the WWT for their 2012 photography competition. It has attracted a stunning array of entries which illustrate, through the power of image, the vital role that our wetlands play in providing a habitat to some of Britain’s most stunning and rare wildlife species. At Canon, we have a philosophy of ‘living and working together for the common good’ and we hope that this competition will inspire more people to take up photography and visit their local wetland centre.”
The Canon/WWT Photography competition 2011-12 has been held in celebration of the centenary of the Scott Antarctic Expedition. WWT was founded by the son of Captain Scott and this year’s grand prize is a trip to Antarctica, courtesy of Exodus in partnership with Quark Expeditions.