Image of dolphin ‘surfing’ in Ireland wins photography prize

Co Clare-based photographer swam in the surf under the animal to get the photo

 

An image of a dolphin surfing in the waves has claimed the top prize in the British Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

The dolphin’s eye view shot was captured off the coast of Northern Ireland by George Karbus, from Co Clare, who swam in the surf with the marine mammal to get the winning image and secure the £5,000 (€5,906) prize.

Mr Karbus said he encountered a playful dolphin that “suddenly started to surf the deep tube inside the waves”.

“Each time the dolphin got into the wave, I dived underneath, held my breath and waited for the moment when he would swish through a silver barrel close enough to my lens.

“Water visibility is always very limited in Ireland and I was very lucky to get a shot like this.”

Striking images of a badger among trees, a fallow deer on a housing estate, a grey wagtail fighting its reflection in a car wing mirror and close-ups of woodland fungus and a tiny snail on a fern were among the winners in the competition.

The judges selected winners for 12 categories which aim to highlight the wealth of nature in Ireland and the UK, including a wildlife video and a documentary series of pictures which was won with a photo essay on vaccinating badgers for TB as an alternative to culling.

Mr Karbus’s dolphin picture won the coast and marine category and also scooped the prize of overall winner.

Prizes were also awarded for two junior categories, with eight-year-old Liam Constantine, from Hull, East Yorkshire, winning the award for a photograph by a youngster under 12, for his picture of a brown hare.

Joseph Amess (15) from Steyning, West Sussex, scooped the award in the 12-18 year olds category for his image of a great tit in flight.

Chris Packham, naturalist and TV presenter, said: “These stunning images by so many talented photographers highlight the diversity, breadth and beauty of our precious wildlife and the need to protect their habitats.

“Anything that raises the public’s awareness of the importance to conserve and protect British wildlife is very close to my heart and these awards afford a spectacular insight into the habitat and behaviour of our British wildlife.

“From blue tits to badgers, never has British wildlife looked more beautiful.”

A book showcasing the best of this year’s entries is also being published, and an exhibition of 100 images and video launches at the Mall Galleries, London before touring the country.

The full list of winners is:

British Wildlife Photographer, and winner of marine and coast category: George Karbus, Co Clare, Ireland, for In the living room (bottlenose dolphin);

Animal Portrait:

Mark Thomas, Northwhich, Cheshire, for Tommy (tompot blenny);

Animal Behaviour

Robin Orrow, from Norfolk, for Deadly rivals (grey wagtail);

Urban Wildlife

Jamie Hall, Norfolk, for Fallow deer on housing estate;

Hidden Britain

James Knight, from Buckinghamshire, for Viewpoint (snail);

Wildwoods

Richard Packwood, from Powys, Wales, for Badger in the woods;

Habitat

Margaret Walker, from Inverness, Scotland, for Red deer stags enduring blizzard;

Botanical Britain

Robert Canis, from Kent, for In the shadow of giants (saffrondrop bonnet);

Natural Details

Michael Gallagher, from London, for Cuttlefish detail;

British Seasons

Tomasz Garbacz, from Dundee, Scotland, for Ptarmigan;

Documentary Series

Neil Aldridge, from London, for The alternative (badger vaccination);

Wildlife in HD Video

Liz Musser, from Fair Isle, Shetland, Scotland, for Henry and the waxwings.

The winners of the Wildpix Young People’s Awards were:

Under 12

Liam Constantine from Hull, East Yorkshire, for his image of a brown hare;

WildPix 12-18

Joseph Amess, Steyning, West Sussex, for his image of a great tit in flight.

PA

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