WPOTY 2020. Oh no.

October 14, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

Last year, I (reluctantly - I don't enjoy doing so) tore the WPOTY 2019 competition results apart, labelling it as I did, "the worst ever".

This year I actually think I'm equally as disappointed.

It seems as I'm alone though - the winning image of the tiger hugging the tree seems to have been met with universal acclaim.


Why don't I like this year's competition results?

A brief rundown then... if you'll allow.


The grand winner.

It's a perfectly-lovely image. Very detailed. Looks like an oil painting (as the judges said). But it was taken by the (known and numbered) tiger (the photographer left a camera trap (a hidden camera ) in place).

I use camera traps to take videos of owls and hedgehogs etc. My camera traps are very cheap Browning camera traps (as opposed to the very expensive infra red trigger boxes housing a several thousand pound camera that professional wildlife photographers use).

Call me an old misery guts - but I don't think camera trap images should win top awards in photography competitions. That's all.

And there are a LOT of camera trap images in this year's WOPTY.

This one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. (I could probably go on... you get the picture (pardon the pun)).

I know, I know... there is a fair amount of skill needed to obtain a really great camera trap image - and an awful lot of time and patience - but if you are eventually reliant on the right light being in place when the camera triggers (the animal breaks the infra red beam) when you are literally miles and/or days away from your hidden camera - then most of the result is down to pure luck and not a lot of skill.

Ah but Doug.... you make your own luck in life eh?

Yeeaaahhhh.... you know what I mean.

So the fact that a lot of winning and highly commended images in this year's competition were taken by the animals themselves, irks me a bit.

Remember the crested macaque copyright saga?

And the disqualified leaping wolf image from 2009 (disqualified for being a model animal... but another camera trap image)?

And as far as the grand winner goes - look it's a lovely photo of an endangered Amur tiger. But that's all. To me anyway.

It doesn't make my heart beat faster. It doesn't shock me. It doesn't show me anything new or interesting. It doesn't repulse me. It's a nice photo of a big furry tiger in a wood, taken by the tiger itself.

And that... for me... isn't good enough to win THE top prize of THE world's most famous wildlife photography competition.

Finally... it's another bloody tiger. Or Lion. Or elephant etc.

There are SO many other FAR more interesting and beautiful forms of wildlife (than big mammals), to take photos of!


Other one word critiques of winning or highly commended images.






Look. I'll leave this blog here and return to the WPOTY results page a few times in the coming days to see if I change my mind about this year's results.


For what it's worth...

These are my four favourite images, personally.

(And yes... I AM aware that the first... my favourite of all... was also taken effectively by the wasps themselves too, as they broke an infra red camera trigger beam).

Never mind.












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