Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Commended Award

I’m delighted to be able to say that one of my photos has been selected for a Commended Award in the Behaviour: Mammals category for the 2012 Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. The email arrived a few months ago that my image Snow Pounce had been successful, but of course the news was under strict embargo until now. And what a long three and a half months it’s been! (and the penny may drop with some of you now why I recently had my Portfolio site redesigned and updated) ;)

Snow Pounce, Commended, Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2012

Snow Pounce, Commended, Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2012

Snow Pounce was one of the photos from a sequence that I took of a red fox mousing in Yellowstone National Park back in 2010. Regular readers may well remember the sequence, although this particular frame I didn’t look at as the best at the time, instead concentrating on another frame. However, I did have a niggle that this was the quirkiest of the bunch (and indeed several others had pointed this out too) so decided this year to enter it. And thankfully, it was the right decision!


The highly prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition (or WPOTY) receives tens of thousands of entries, all vying for inclusion in the exhibition and accompanying portfolio book, not to mention wanting to be in with a chance of winning the hugely sought after title of overall winner. Each year sees only 100 incredibly inspiring photos on display produced by wildlife photographers from all over the world, some of which have deservedly been featured in the exhibition many times over the years, and so I feel honoured (and not to mention humbled) that my fourth time entering the competition has seen me included as one of awarded photographers out of the 48,000 entries received for the 2012 competition.

I’m very much looking forward to attending the awards ceremony dinner at the Natural History Museum in London and seeing Snow Pounce in the exhibition and 2012 competition book, Portfolio 22, for the first time!

You can view see a preview of the 50 Commended and Highly Commended images, as well as find out information about the the exhibition and book are launched on the 19th October, here on the NHM website.


  1. Kirk Norbury says:

    Congratulations Richard!

    You deserve it!! :)


  2. Big congrats Richard! Well deserved…just shows you that they are looking for that “something extra”…most would have entered a shot with the whole fox in the frame. This has given me some ideas on my entries next year hehe.

    Enjoy the moment!

    1. Thank you Morkel, appreciated! Yep, you really can’t tell what the judges are looking for so it’s always worth trying for something different. Best of luck for next year (also, I hope the family are all doing well :) )

  3. Congratulations Richard!

    1. Thank you Steve, appreciated!

  4. Daniel Machado says:

    Congratulations Richard, It’s a very beautiful photo, very well deserved.

  5. Nigel Holland says:

    Well done Richard. I remember the first time I saw this shot and you deliberating over it. Congrats again. Oh and I liked the red kite photos you submitted the other day too.!

    1. Thanks Nigel. lol yes, I was always a bit on the fence with this sequence of images, but that’ll teach me to be so picky and not to think outside the box a little more :)

  6. Nigel Cooke says:

    Love this – as you say I think it’s the quirky nature first that really sets this image apart.I remember looking at the full set and this one stood out back then. Despite only half the fox in picture you get a clear understanding of the pose and in fact the framing (at the top) gives a real sense of the hight it has jumped to break through the snow and catch its prey.

    Congratulations again ..

    1. Thanks Nigel. Yes it’s funny how images can work. The frame after this the fox is still cut off but you can see half the body, and it just doesn’t work. But, With the fox being barely on show it does – even though that goes against the rules. I also like that the left of the frame is empty, as this is where the fox has jumped from. I seem to have great luck with photos of jumping animals lol

      1. Dom says:

        Brilliant photo. So this was the full frame? Surely the rules would have allowed you to crop the subsequent frame if necessary? It’s a bit of a photographic lottery otherwise isn’t it.

        1. Hi Dom. Thank you. And correct this is the full frame. The rules allow for a little cropping yes, but cropping the next frame to look like this one wasn’t required, for obvious reasons :)

          1. Dom says:

            Well that’s a very happy result then! It would be exceedingly difficult to plan this framing I guess. I wonder if the cropping rules for major comps will begin to be relaxed as pixel counts continue to increase – we might begin to see more creative compositions like this winning prizes.

          2. It would be very hard to plan for this type of shot before hand and I wouldn’t dream of pretending this was the shot I had intended. It was a happy accident of having too much magnification on the lens. I would imagine part of the cropping rule is to maintain a high quality final image for reproduction, but you’re right that with higher pixel counts more aggressive cropping could potentially be allowed. Equally though, I expect part of the cropping rule is also to do with getting the creativity right first time, rather than discovering a new image after the fact with selective cropping. It’s certainly an interesting thought though, no doubt about it!

          3. Dom says:

            Yes, but I think in wildlife photography especially the most important thing is to capture the action and worry about final presentation later. It’s a joy when the two come together of course but shouldn’t be a necessity. Creativity is sometimes best left to the relative warmth and comfort of a home studio! Better to “discover” a new image after the fact than to lose it in the field. :-)

          4. Oh absolutely. I know some are very strict on not wanting to crop, and that’s not to say they are right or wrong and fair play to them. After all I’d rather get it right first time (as most would I’m sure) but the bottom line is I’d rather have the shot, even if it is via some cropping.

  7. Hoang Le says:

    Congratulations Richard! You deserve it!! :)

    1. Thank you Hoang, very much appreciated!

  8. Congratulations Richard!

  9. Teresa Mazon says:

    Hi, Richard
    I’ve just seen a link to your website in James’ Facebook and I have enjoyed having a look at it very much. Most of the images are totally amazing, no surprise you got that award. Congratulations! We are looking forward to the show. Is that in Summer?
    And also looking forward to seeing you soon.