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March 02, 2006

Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition Comes to Northwest from London, England

June 24 – Sept. 4, 2006

Seattle — An exhibit inspired by the global Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, 2005, will be on view at the Burke Museum in Seattle, June 24, 2006.

Organized by BBC Wildlife Magazine and The Natural History Museum, London, the annual contest attracts over 20,000 entries from professional and amateur photographers from over 60 countries worldwide. Every year the winning photographs tour venues around the world. For the first time, the exhibit is making its way to the Northwest, stopping at the Burke Museum in Seattle through Sept. 4, 2006.

The Burke will host the 90 photographs selected this year, which include several Northwest connections. Alexei Calambokidis of Olympia, Washington was awarded a "Highly commended" status in the 11-14 years category of young wildlife photographers of the year. Well-known Northwest photographer Art Wolfe served as one of the judges, as did Seattle-based Kevin Schafer – a former intern at the Burke Museum.

The selected photographs are chosen in 14 categories, including animal portraits, plants, animal behavior, the underwater world, wild places, urban wildlife, nature in black and white, young wildlife photographers (ages 17 and younger), and an overall contest winner. Each image is captioned with the photographer's account of the story behind the picture, including the motivation, vision, and technical details.

Understanding the artist's experience gives the visitor insight into the dedication of the photographer, serves to inspire a new generation of wildlife photographers, and helps to elevate the status of wildlife photography into mainstream art.

By showcasing a selection of the new winning and commended images each year, the competition celebrates the diversity of wildlife, the beauty of nature, and the art and legacy of wildlife photography. "It's a way to find harmony and peace," Manuel Presti of Italy, the competition's overall winner says of wildlife photography. It’s a way "to move emotions and lead people towards a greater sensitivity to the natural world."

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