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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » September 2, 2009
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Wonders of Wildlife
September 2, 2009   
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A traveling exhibition of 80 photographs that won awards or commendations in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2008 competition is on display in the southern city of Bielsko-Biała. It will also be shown in other Polish cities. The Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, the world's biggest for nature photography, has been held annually since 1964 by BBC Wildlife Magazine and London's Natural History Museum. It is an international showcase for the best wildlife photography. Over 32,000 pictures from 82 countries were submitted for the 2008 competition.

The contest is divided into categories including animal behavior, endangered wildlife, animals in their environment, the underwater world, animal portraits, wild places, creative visions of nature and nature in black and white.

The Gerald Durrell Award for Endangered Wildlife and the prestigious title of Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2008 went to Steve Winter for his picture "Snowstorm Leopard" in the endangered wildlife category. The photograph of a leopard in the winter night scenery of the Ladakh Hemis National Park in India, was selected from among many pictures taken by the photographer by remotely controlled cameras installed in inaccessible mountainous terrain inhabited by the big cat.

The 2008 competition was exceptionally successful for Polish photographers, with three of them winning awards or commendations. Antoni Kasprzak was the winner in the birds' behavior category for his picture "Clash of Eagles." Piotr Naskręcki was commended in the animal portraits category. Michał Budzyński, a high school student from Buczkowice, near Bielsko-Biała, was commended in the 15- to 17-year-olds category for his picture "Last Breath of Autumn" depicting a forest in the Bieszczady Mountains.

The exhibition was first shown at the Natural History Museum in London in autumn 2008 and then started its tour of the world. Every year, over 1 million people worldwide take in the exhibition. It is being shown in Poland for the seventh time.

BWA Gallery, Bielsko-Biała, until Sept. 29.
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