The top awards for the 50th Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition were announced earlier this week at a ceremony held at London’s Natural History Museum. American photographer Michael ‘Nick’ Nichols was named Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014 by a panel of international judges for his serene black-and-white image of lions resting with their cubs in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. Eight-year-old Carlos Perez Naval was awarded Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014 for his image of a scorpion soaking up the Sun near his hometown in Spain. These two images will be on show at the Museum with other shortlisted images from Friday 24 October until Sunday 30 August 2015. The exhibition will embark on an international tour across six continents, giving millions of people the chance to see some of the world’s most spectacular wildlife photography.
Nichols’ photograph beat more than 42,000 entries from 96 countries to the grand title award. Following the pride for nearly six months meant they were used to his presence as he photographed them in infra-red, which he explains, ‘transforms the light and turns the moment into something primal, biblical almost’. Nichols set out to create an archetypal image that would express both the essence of lions and how we visualise them, a picture of a time past, before lions were under such threat.