Nearly 1500 people have visited the first ever exhibition of The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards at Hannahs at Seale-Hayne. Open until March 12th., the exhibition gives visitors a unique opportunity to view hilarious images by the 40 finalists in the 2016 Awards.
Organised in association with international wildlife charity, the Born Free Foundation, the aim of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards is to share the true playfulness of the animal kingdom with the public. However, there is a serious message behind the laughs as the awards also aim to raise awareness of the importance of protecting the environment for the world’s creatures.
Featured in the national press, this year’s contest attracted over 2,200 hilarious entries from around the world. Each of the contenders combined exquisite photography skills and perfect comedy timing. The awards ceremony took place in London in November, with winners collecting trophies in five separate categories and an additional 10 highly commended photographers each receiving a certificate.
Angela Bohlke from the USA won the top prize in both the Overall and On the Land categories with her entertaining picture of a fox face-planting in the snow, which she captured in Yellowstone National Park. Other category winners included Kenya Airways In the Air winner, Nicholas de Vaulx, for his hilarious image of a pelican dropping its catch mid-flight, and Jim Chen from Taiwan, who scooped the Underwater category with a painted frog fish casually hitting another in the face.
The junior category was snapped up by 15-year-old Thomas Bullivant, from London, for a well-timed photograph of a family of smiling zebras. While Argentinian banker Mario Gustavo Fiorucci won the award for the portfolio category with his comedic images of four posing owls.
The panel of judges featured wildlife experts and household names including comedian Hugh Dennis, wildlife TV presenter Kate Humble, African landscape photographer Tom Sullam and wildlife photographer and Comedy Wildlife Awards founder Paul Joynson-Hicks MBE.
Judge and founder of the competition, Paul Joynson-Hicks MBE, said: “Last year was great, but this year has surpassed our expectations. There are some phenomenal and dedicated photographers out there, most of whom are not full-time professional photographers, but who deliver equally impressive results. We will 100% be back again next year. The ability to raise awareness of conservation issues through the medium of humorous photography has taken us all by surprise. It was one of the aims of the competition, but we did not expect it to be so effective. The Born Free foundation has been a great charity to work with and we hope that the relationship with them can grow and continue over the years.”
Hannahs Director of Development, Hannah Moon, said “We are delighted to be hosting this unique exhibition of beautiful wildlife photographs with a fantastic comedy angle. We think that it will be enjoyed by people of all ages and look forward to welcoming them to Seale-Hayne”.
The exhibition is free and open daily 10am-4pm.