The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, featuring the best photography from the 2014 competition, is touring several venues around the UK. These include the Natural History Museum at Tring, which I explored on a family visit last weekend.
This arresting image Natural Harmony is by Chinese photographer Minghui Yuan, a finalist in the category “Plants and Fungi”. It depicts wild vines seen after rain, on the outskirts of Wuhan city in Hubei Province. The curling stems reminded him of treble clefs on a sheet of music, so he sought to highlight the connection between the beauty of nature (both visual and auditory), and of music. The disc of light behind the stems suggests the disc of the full moon, a frequent motif in Chinese and Japanese art, although in fact the shot was taken in daylight.
The almost abstract quality of this photograph differentiates it from other works in the display. It is less obviously wildlife photography – I’m not sure you could even tell what species this was, though the label said pumpkin – but it holds your gaze as you wait, indefinitely, for that droplet to fall.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition
Natural History Museum at Tring
29 November 2014 to 19 April 2015
The exhibition is also showing at the Natural History Museum in London, and making a tour of UK venues.
There is an online gallery of the images.
Above: Minghui Yuan, Natural Harmony, 2014. Image: Minghui Yuan, at http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit-us/wpy/gallery/2014/images/plants-and-fungi/4858/natural-harmony.html.