Bird Photographer of the Year 2020

Belated news, for the results were announced already a month ago, but I thought you’d be interested: I’ve got two images in this year’s Bird Photographer of the Year competition’s selection! You have seen these pictures before; they are among my favourite, and they both come from the Subantarctic Islands.

Here is the first one:

Forest of Dreams shows a Northern giant petrel (Macronectes halli) on a nest, on Enderby Island, at the edge of the rata forest that miraculously grows on that remote, windswept island. The picture was “Highly commended” by the judges. What it means in practice is that it was ranked between 4th and 7th, for there were three photographs ranked 1st, 2nd and 3rd, and then 4 highly commended images without specific ranking. It’s quite good! 😀

Guard of Honour shows a group of Snares penguins (Eudyptes robustus) among kelp, on the shore of the Snares Islands. It was “Commended” by the judges, a bit lower than Forest of Dreams.

Both pictures were entered in the “Birds in the environment” category. To see all the winners for this year, head over here! There’s some good stuff 😉

Overall, and even if I didn’t win, this result feels good. To me, it means that my work is recognized, that I’m doing it right. After many disappointing results in other competitions, where I felt I would have deserved better, I would even go as far as to say that it’s a relief. I don’t know if it’s as big as being published in Terre Sauvage, but it’s close.

Also, I’m quite happy that the images that impressed the judges the most were in the “Birds in the environment” category. I know I’m influenced in that by Ray Hennessy, an amazing photographer whom I’ve followed and admired for a while, but I’m quite fond of the bird in the environment-small in the frame style, so it’s good to see that my efforts are paying off.

I love these images. I love them so much that I now have a huge print of Guard of Honour in the living room (more on that later). In any case, it’s a delight to see them among the winners. Now, back to work 😉

Bonus: below are a few of the other images I entered this year.

White-fronted tern (Sterna striata)

Kea (Nestor notabilis)

White-fronted tern (Sterna striata)

Blue duck (Himenolaimus malacorhynchos)

Common redshank (Tringa totanus)


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18 thoughts on “Bird Photographer of the Year 2020

  1. So glad for you! Your job is taken seriously, that’s the main thing. Finishing first would have been the cherry on the cake, but hey! the cake’s here! Beyond the technique is the feeling. There, you fear no one. Well done, Samuel,

    Liked by 1 person

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