Big Picture Photo Contest

I just finished looking through and completing the first-round judging of the entries for the 2018 Big Picture Photo Contest. It will still take a while to collate the input from all the judges and decide the winners. Stay tuned for the announcement of the results in early May!

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New Print: Humpback Whales Bubble Net Feeding

I've prepared a new image available for purchase as a fine art print, starting at US$35 for an 8 x 10. Click here to purchase.

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For all purchases of cetacean-themed prints, I will donate 10% of the purchase price to Oceanswell, an organisation dedicated to protecting marine mammals and marine environments in Sri Lanka, a place where I have spent a lot of time. Ship strikes are a major issue cetaceans face there, and increasingly so is harassment from tourists in speedboats.

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Interview on NHK World

I will be appearing on the program Direct Talk on NHK World on 2 February at 20:45 Japan time for a 15-minute interview. NHK World is the English-language channel of Japan's national broadcaster NHK.

 Direct Talk, NHK World, 2 February 2018

Direct Talk, NHK World, 2 February 2018

 

The video will be made available at this link, though my understanding is that it will only be up for a couple of weeks.

Kimiko-san, the interviewer, asked me a lot of questions while I was jet-lagged, so my memory of what transpired isn't entirely perfect. Plus, she fed me with lots of great(!) food after our discussion, which ensured that my brain remained foggy until the next day. I'm pretty sure that screenshot is from when I described my first encounter with a whale though.

Besides chatting about marine life, we talked about some of the challenges facing the natural world now, including my contention that most people alive today have never visited the Planet Earth. My point being that urbanisation has resulted in the vast majority of humans today living in wealthy nations knowing cities and only cities.

Lack of direct experience with nature—i.e., at sea, on mountains, in forests, etc., but not in manicured parks and gardens—makes it difficult, if not impossible, for most people to truly grasp the scale and pace of destruction we have wreaked upon the planet, even within my lifetime.

I know I touched on the issue of ego-tourism as well—the destruction of nature and rampant harassment of animals for the sake of selfies and other bragging rights on social media—though I'm not sure what made it into the final cut.

Tune-in if you're interested and happen to get NHK World. Otherwise, the video should be online in a couple of days.

 Behind the scenes, before starting the interview

Behind the scenes, before starting the interview

Tony WuComment
Jury Duty

I just got back from Amsterdam, where I helped out with the judging for the Nature and Environment categories of the 2018 World Press Photo contest. The Environment section is new this year.

It was actually my first visit to Amsterdam, though I only really got to see the airport (which is humongous), the hotel, and the office. 

I had a wonderful time, thanks to the terrific team at World Press, and also to my fellow judges Britta and Whitney. Our chemistry was perfect, just the right combination of banter, disagreements and compromise—all managed by the wise hand of David, who was in charge of keeping us in line and on pace to make it through something approaching 10,000 photos. Poor David. He deserves overtime babysitting pay.

If there's one takeaway message I have for anyone thinking about entering this and other photo contests, it's this: Please read the category descriptions and enter appropriate images. I know the category descriptions can sometimes be confusing or not entirely clear, but if you have questions, contact the organisers to see if you can clarify. It's in your best interest, because entering an image into the wrong category substantially diminishes the chances of it being considered.

The judging process for other categories and overall winners is still ongoing. The nominees will be announced on 14 February, and final results on 12 April.

Some photos below, all courtesy of Frank van Beek / Hollandse Hoogte.

MediaTony WuComment
Open for Business

I am launching this new site today. 

I've actually had this domain for ages, I think since the year 2000. I took the previous version of this site down some time after I started my blog, in order to concentrate my efforts on that site, because, you know, I'm a guy. It's difficult to multi-task. (I can see you smirking. You know who you are.)

Last year, a few friends took me to task for not having a readily accessible portfolio of pretty pictures online for general viewing. I am scheduled to see a couple the aforementioned friends later in the year, so I spent much of the holiday season working on this site.

Anyway, thank you for visiting my new site, and I hope you like it. I plan to update from time-to-time, but I'm sure you know what that means. Namely, I'll wait until friends get on my case again, which I have no doubt they will, because, you know, that's what friends are for.

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