[12th July, 2012] Selected from more than 5,500 images, I am delighted to let you know that my image “Wagtail and Brown Bear” was awarded “Category Winner” in BIRDS AS ART 1st International Bird Photography Competition.
This competition is hosted by BIRDS AS ART / Arthur Morris based in Florida, U.S. The Jugde panel set up for this competition was Darrel Gulin, Tim Laman, Arthur Morris, Chris van Rooyen, Andy Rouse and Julie Zickefoose.
The contest is open for both amatuers and professional photographers world wide, and focus only on bird photography. Totally there are 11 different categories, were my image won the “Small in the frame” category. I feel both humble and proud to receive such a prize.
About the situation
During the past few years I have spent more than 600 hours in hides in the wilderness on the Finish-Russian border in Kuhmo photographing Brown Bears and Wolves. At this special moment the Brown Bear was eating a carcass and the Wagtails were flying around trying to get some scraps of meat. The bear seemed to be irritated by the birds but they were too fast for it. I made many photos of the Wagtails but the birds were hard for me to catch as well. Finally I got this image showing the small Wagtail on his tiny wings just in front of the Brown Bear’s big head. The huge difference in size and power combined with the Brown Bear’s irritating glance is fascinating. And for the Wagtail this is what I would call a tough match...
The Jury’s statement
“There is a lot that makes this image very special. First and most importantly, you could not have placed the bird in a better spot, right in front of the huge, hulking bear’s face with a lovely background of yellow grasses. Though only small details, the bird’s raised wings and hanging feet and the bear’s open jaw and his seemingly evil glare all add immensely to the image. The soft light allowed for a perfect exposure that reveals all the detail in the bear’s coat. The out-of-focus tree trunks in the upper right balance nicely with the delicate bush in the lower left. Add the perfect framing and you surely have a winner.”
Please click on the image to enlarge and leave your comments below if you like. Here are the links to BIRDS AS ART blog and website.
Wagtail and brown bear. Category Winner in BIRDS AS ART 1st International Bird Photography Competition. Nikon D3s, Nikkor 600/4 VR, 1/640 sec at f/5.6. ISO 3200.