The winner of the 2017 Thomson Ecology Photography Competition is Ian Stone with his image “Rolling in the Seaweed”. Ian wins the first prize of £200 plus royalties for the use of the photo.
The image was taken in July of this year, whilst Ian was visiting the Island of Unst, in the Shetland Isles – the most northerly inhabited island in Britain. Ian says “We waited patiently and two hours later the otter, having caught a fish, came ashore to eat it. After eating the fish, the otter was comfortable enough to roll itself in the seaweed to clean its fur, before silently dropping back into the water to continue in its search for food.” Ian goes on to explain that “It is important when photographing wildlife to be cautious with the shutter, and this is especially so with the otter. The importance of being down-wind, not making any noise and the occasional use of the shutter will pay off.”
Three excellent runner-up images were also chosen. Rod Lamb’s image, “Island in the Mist” was taken at Crummock Water in the Lake District on a foggy November afternoon; Andrew Pearson’s underwater image, “Resting Seal” skillfully captures a juvenile grey seal as it rests underwater in a kelp bed on the Isles of Scilly; and Mike Morley’s image, “Derwent Water” which Mike took at sunset in the Lake District on the beach’s wooden ferry jetty.
The winning images were chosen by a panel of three, including wildlife photographer Bill Doherty, who won the Thomson Ecology Photography Competition in 2013.
Gemma Balaam, the competition founder and organiser, said of the competition entries this year “This was the hardest year yet in terms of judging. We hoped that the competition’s subject, “Our Natural World” would enable participants to submit both wildlife and landscape photos, and we received some great ones. Choosing between them was so difficult, but, we think that we have picked pictures which show “Our Natural World” at its best!”
We would like to thank everyone who entered the competition. We thoroughly enjoyed looking through the images, and were genuinely impressed by the high standard of the entries.
You can view the four winning images on Flickr.