Royal B.C. Museum gets in the picture

International wildlife photography exhibit includes Canadian amateur

Fred Pierce

Visitors to the Royal B.C. Museum can experience nature like never before: through the lenses of photographers from around the world.

The visually striking Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition showcases photographs in 17 categories, including Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Underwater World, Wild Places and Photojournalist of the Year.

Each photo and caption tells the inspirational and sometimes humorous stories of the fascinating world of nature.

“It’s pretty exciting,” said Martin Cooper, the only Canadian winner, from Burnaby, B.C.

“I went to the premier in London and it was a black tie affair and to be here in the B.C. museum and experience it again is brilliant. They’ve done a wonderful job presenting this at the museum.”

Cooper’s photo was chosen from among 41,000 entries from 95 countries by a judging panel that included some of the world’s most respected nature photographers and wildlife experts.

“Wildlife Photographer of the Year is truly a treat and not just for photography buffs – there is a beauty and majesty in the photographs that will appeal to all,” said Royal B.C. Museum CEO Pauline Rafferty.

Now in its 47th year, the annual competition is run by London’s Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine.

This is the premiere exhibition of 108 winning images, and the only scheduled stop in North America. The exhibition runs until April 9.

Cooper’s winning image is of a coyote on a stretch of railway tracks near his home. “That morning I was waiting for a beaver in the creek, this was a bonus,” he said.

Cooper is an amateur photographer who dusted off his camera a few years ago after moving from England to Canada. “Over the past five years it’s become a passion again – I love every second of it,” he said.

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Royal B.C. Museum, opened Dec. 16 and includes 108 photographs displayed on large backlit panels with detailed captions telling the story behind the image and technical details on the photographic equipment used by each photographer.

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