Introduction

An exhibit inspired by the global Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition was on view at the Burke Museum.

Organized by BBC Wildlife Magazine and The Natural History Museum, London, the annual contest, now in its 22nd year, attracted almost 17,000 entries from professional and amateur photographers from 55 countries worldwide in 2005. Every year the winning photographs tour venues around the world. For the first time, the exhibit made its way to the Northwest at the Burke Museum.

The Burke presented 90 photographs, which include several Northwest connections. Alexei Calambokidis of Olympia, Washington was awarded a "highly commended" status in the 11–14 Years Old category of young wildlife photographers. Well-known Northwest photographer Art Wolfe served as one of the judges, as did Seattle-based photographer Kevin Schafer.

Winner categories cover a broad range, including Overall Winner: Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Animals in their Environment, Animal Behavior, Underwater World, Animal Portraits, In Praise of Plants, Urban and Garden Wildlife, Nature in Black and White, Composition and Form, Wild Places, the World in Our Hands, 10 Years and Under, 11–14 Years Old, 15–17 Years Old, and Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Each image is captioned with the photographer's account of the story behind the picture, including the motivation, vision, and technical details.

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. Itís a way "to move emotions and lead people towards a greater sensitivity to the natural world."