Monday, 22 December 2014

BWC Photo Comp 2014 "Animals in their Habitat" Shortlist

Another Monday = another shortlist, and today we share with you the final ten for the "Animals in their Habitat" category. The habitat and portrait categories have always been the most entered, with the most variety, and this year has been no different. Below are the shortlisted photos. 

This year Professional Wildlife Photographer David Llyod will be selecting his favourites to win each category. Head over to his website, linked in his name, to see some amazing wildlife photography, but only after you have seen the photos below :-) 

David runs workshops here at the BWC, but is perhaps better known for his African wildlife photographs and inspiring black and whites. He currently has a book out "As long as there are animals" check it out if you can!


Water vole - Andrew McConkey

Fox - Joanne Iredale

Stoat - Bob Matthews

Who's swimming in my pool - Eric Chipping

Fox sleeping - Ian Hull

Now where was that food - Philip Pound

Oh what big ears you have - Sean Weekly

2 Harvest Mice - Shane Stanbridge

Waiting - Sue MacCallum-Stewart

At home with a Muntjac - Zena Saunders

Good luck to all the above, next week it's the final category... portraits!


  1. It's all subjective we know but, sorry, we think some of these pictures are just awful ! We are neither brilliant or professional photographers but we have deleted hundreds of photos similar to these over the years because we dismissed them as being too boring or just not good enough. (The same goes for the other categories judged so far). Are these really the best pictures submitted this year ? Meanwhile, perhaps this category would have been more appropriately titled 'Animals mostly obscured by grass' ?!

    1. Hello. No need to be sorry, photography is very subjective as you say yourself and if everyone liked the same pictures... it would be a very boring world. But to say some of these are "just awful" I think is very harsh and unkind. Just because you don't like some of them, doesn't make them a bad picture.

      If you have deleted similar, then that is to your taste, and if you feel you had better to offer then maybe you should have entered them?


    2. Hello Matt. Just for the record, we DID enter the best of the pictures that we took into all of the categories - so it is frustrating to see pictures like those we dismissed from among our own 'awful' images judged as being better than the ones we thought were much more interesting or creative. Anyway, as you say, it all comes down to personal taste in the end.

    3. In that case apologies for you photos not making it through this time. Out of over a hundred photos entered in to this category, these are the ten we chose as our favourites. Unfortunately there will always be people disappointed no matter the choice.

  2. Considering how fabulous David Lloyd's own photos on his web site are I am surprised to see that he has chosen some of the above photos as the best 10 !

    1. As mentioned, David Llyod will be selecting his winners from the shortlisted ten photos in each category. Myself and Centre owner David Mills was responsible for narrowing down the entrants to the final ten.

      There will always be people "surprised" with photos chosen for any competition, amateur or professional, this is the subjective nature of photography and what makes it fun, varied and interesting. Some people will love some of the photos, others will not. At the end of the day we can only select our favourites from those that have been entered :-)

  3. We agree with you Anonymous, with all your comments. What's the point in entering good quality pictures if they are ignored in favour of average ones. Last year was the same, there were some top pictures but they didn't even get into the last 10. We know of several other people who no longer enter pictures into this competition anymore. We thought it was supposed to be a PHOTOGRAPHIC competition, but it seems it's aimed only for people with point & shoot cameras not people with more expensive cameras who try to take above average photos! Why don't Professional looking pictures make the last 10 let alone win?

    1. The competition has never been aimed only for people who use "point and shoot" cameras, but neither has it ever excluded them... and why should it? Many good photographs have been taken with all types of cameras, even phones, the camera doesn't make the photograph or the photographer... although of course I appreciate it does help in many cases.

      It is a shame that yourself, and some people you know, didn't enter this year... A competition that promotes British wildlife surely is a good thing to support. This competition has grown over the last five years, with this year being the most entered... It is therefore a shame that it will not be running next year.

    2. I am not a professional photographer and I don't have a particularly expensive camera but the photos that I entered into all 5 categories once again this year are much better than some of the ones that were chosen for the 'Top 10' photos.

      I showed my photos to friends, family members (including my father who is a member of The London Salon of Photography as well as being a FRPS & MPAGB) and strangers and asked them for their opinions. I didn't receive any negative feedback.

      As with previous years, I went out of my way to take good, unique photos that no-one else would have taken - as in many cases I was the only person around at the time.

      Many of the photos that have been chosen for the Top 10s are very good - but many are not.

    3. PS...

      My father who has been a member of The London Salon of Photography as well as being a FRPS & MPAGB - for around 50 years now - entered some photos for the 1st time this year and none of his were chosen either !

    4. I am pleased you like your photos, and that your friends and family do to, that is what it is all about. I am sorry you are disappointed that your photographs were not chosen this year, but in any competition there will always be people disappointed with the results.

      Apologies to your father too... I didn't realise being a member of the London Salon of Photography and a FRPS & MPAGB should automatically qualify him to be shortlisted in any competition :-)

      Please take this in the light it is meant, just trying to move these comments away from the negative vibe. :-)

  4. Firstly anyone who enters a picture to any competition deserves credit as they have had the balls to do so as they open themselves up to criticism even if this is just from Matt and David. Everyone who puts a photo in does so not saying this picture's rubbish and my camera isn't expensive enough compared to the one I saw being used next to me at the time. Just because you believe you have an expensive camera doesn't make you a PHOTOGRAPHER just someone who thinks they are. Leave your ranting to some where else where you can praise and fawn over yourselves without god forbid someone taking a picture that maybe better than yours. So well done to those short listed so far, enjoy the fact you have been, ignore the ignorant and their petty jealousy and good luck. Merry Christmas

    1. Thank you for your support. Being a photographer myself I learn't very quickly of the nature of some, and it is only a few, other photographers out there being very quick to criticise other peoples work. I even stopped sharing my photos for a while, until I realised why I started taking them in the first place... because I wanted to!

      I always recommend to everyone what I still do today. Take photos that you enjoy taking, and that you like. Everyone is different, try and please someone else and it will be impossible to please all, so take photos that remind you of what you saw or what you think looks good. Enter them in to competitions to support them, photography is a great hobby, and share them with people who may like to see and enjoy your photos otherwise they just end up being stuck on your hardrive where no one ever will. Enjoy it and anything else that comes from it is a bonus.

    2. I do not have an expensive camera. I am not jealous of the winners. I simply believe in justice and fairness in life.

    3. Everyone has a difference in opinion, and in what makes a good photograph and what doesn't. It is not black and white, and thank god it isn't... wouldn't it be boring if the same things kept winning everything!

      Apologies if you were disappointed with the shortlisted photos, but these are our ten choices shortlisted and to us the best representation from those entered.

  5. It is a shame that the comments here have led this post to a negative vibe. I am not slamming those who have commented, it is their opinions, but neither do I wish to take away from those photographers who have been shortlisted for this category.

    For the ten listed above, well done! Your photos were selected from nearly 150 photos entered in to this years "Habitat" category. They were the ten images that stood out to myself and David when looking at them all, and we stand by that decision. Good luck to you all... winners and runners up of all categories will be announced in the new year.

    1. Thanks Matt. I am one of the people shortlisted in the category and I feel that I need to reply. I won't say which photo is mine, but I will say that I'm very saddened by the negative comments left on this feed. To say that some of the photos are ‘awful’ is quite hurtful to those shortlisted. It’s already been said that not everyone has the same taste in photos. There are winners in the ‘Wildlife Photographer of the Year’ competition that may not be to everyone’s taste and whilst there will always be criticism, it’s unkind to throw these kinds of insults at those who have been successful and those taking the time to judge the photos. I have also been unsuccessful in other categories and have felt disappointed but respect the judge’s decision. OK, so they may not be the best photos in the world, but they are photos that the British Wildlife Centre feels are representative of their animals and organisation. That’s what the competition is about and that’s what’s important.

      I imagine that selecting ten photos from hundreds takes a lot of time – time which I’m sure Matt would like to dedicate to the animals but instead chooses to give to us amateur photographers. I was really excited about entering this competition, simply because it gives amateurs a chance to show off our photos. It feels so much more accessible than other photography competitions. Having only recently discovered the British Wildlife Centre, I’m very sorry that the competition won’t be running again next year. I’m not sure the reasons for that but hearing comments like this must be very disheartening. You guys at the Centre do an amazing job and it’s appreciated by the majority – focus on those people.

      Anonymous – regarding your comment about the category being renamed, 'Animals mostly obscured by grass' – might I highlight the fact that ‘Animals in their habitat’ often ARE animals hiding in grass, therefore the three photos that you are referring to capture an image which is perfect for this category. Perhaps you have a website or Flickr account that you can share with us if you’d like your photos to be seen?

      At the end of the day, we’re all here because we love animals and enjoy seeing any photos of them…. right?

    2. Thank you for your comment. Don't worry about the animals, we do all the shortlisting and running of the competition in the evenings in our own time once the animals are safe and sound for the night :-)

      I am disappointed too that the competition will not be running next year, although some of these comments make it an easier decision :-) There are a few reasons why, but I will be doing something a little similar to still show off some of our members photographs through out the year and to have a gallery over the following year.

      Thank you for your support, and see you here at the Centre soon.

    3. I wasn't worried about the animals... I just meant that it's good of you to take the time to run the competition when you have so many other things to do! I look forward to seeing your new ideas and next time I'm over there I'll make a point of saying hello and thanking you personally! All the best :-)

  6. Just a quick reply to say I will not be replying to any other comments on this post unless I feel I can say something I have not already said.

    It is difficult to reply to people, especially when they post as an "Anonymous" and I don't know if these comments are all from the same person, or 2 or 3 different people etc. Either way I feel I am only repeating what I have already said in many cases.

    I always try to respond to all comments on this blog, good and bad, as I think it is important to keep it active and show that we do listen to what you have to say, and that you can be involved... even if in some small way... with the work we do. But on this post I think I will only be going in circles if I continue to respond.

    To David and I, these were the best ten photographs entered in to this category this year, good luck to all! Portraits to be announced next Monday... oh boy.. :-)

  7. I am one of the short listed entrants (and this is the first time that I am making a comment on this blog).
    For the moment I will remain anonymous but will be happy to reveal myself once the results are known.
    I am a judge of local camera club competitions and know that when I choose winners and losers I am on a hiding to nothing. I always say to people that they should take photos for themselves and if they are happy with them, that is all that matters. Family and friends tend to be biased and do not necessarily give the best input on photos. My mother thinks all of my photos are wonderful. She is right about some of them but wrong about most of them. If you like your photo that is all that matters. If a judge likes them then you have probably gone wrong somewhere.

    I took the photos entered into this competition for me. I like them. That is all that matters (and that is all that should matter for the many people who took photos at the BWC and took the trouble to enter).

    For the record, I do not think that my best photo was selected for the short list but that is the judge's decision.

    All judges are human and necessarily are prejudiced. They have their likes and dislikes. Some like originality. Some like technical difficulty. Some like a mixture.

    I am saddened by the comments on this site by people who should know better. I think the judges have created short lists of good photos. I cannot for the life of me think of why the judges would deliberately choose bad photos over good ones. It is all down to personal choice.

    Some are better than others but all have their merits. I do not agree that any of the photos are "awful". Sounds like a serious case of sour grapes.

    My advice to them is to enter a few more competitions. Not everyone can win. When they get used to not winning, they will realise that the BWC photo competition is like all others - a question of entering a photo that the judge or judges like.

    I have seen plenty of examples of bad photos by people who have been awarded an FRPS and plenty of good photos by persons with an FRPS that have done badly in local camera competitions. The FRPS tends to be awarded mainly for technical excellence. Photo competitions tend to be won by photos with a degree of technical excellence but also ones that have a "Wow" factor. The "wow" factor counts for little with the RPS.

    1. Thanks for your comments, and congratulations on being shortlisted. The winners and runner-ups should be in by the end of this week!


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