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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Nature revealed at World Photographic Awards

A savage snake comes face to face with a ferocious frog, but just who is eating who?

  • In pictures: Sony World Nature Photography Awards
  • The frog appears to have the upper hand and could be seconds away from a more than satisfying snack - or is the snake just biding its time before devouring its dinner?

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    This incredible image, taken by wildlife photographer David Maitland, is one of 204 pictures selected from more than 70,000 entries for the finals of the first World Photographic Awards.

    The short list covers 11 categories including nature, portrait, architecture, science, music and photojournalism.

    In another picture, a black heron stands bemused by a grass snake that has wrapped its body around the bird's elegant beak, rendering it silent.

    Elsewhere, a pair of young polar bears are seen straining to keep up with their mother on the retreating Arctic pack-ice.

    In the photojournalism category, a young soot-stained slum dweller from the Philippines earns her keep by scavenging for rubbish on a dump.

    This stunning range of photographs is a small fraction of the short list for the inaugural competition, which has been organised by Simon Gray, a London-based events producer.

    Mr Gray has spent the last two years developing the contest, which will culminate in a week-long convention in Cannes, France, in April.

    He said the idea had been to create a comprehensive contest covering the globe and all photographic disciplines.

    Although there are well-established competitions in particular fields, such as photojournalism's World Press Photo and the Wildlife Photographer of the Year, until now there had been no over-arching global event.

    Mr Gray has secured principal sponsorship from Sony and involvement from Magnum Photos, one of the world's most respected photographic agencies.

    He said the judges had been "taken aback" by the quality of the 45,000 photographs submitted by amateurs.

    Mr Gray added: "The quality and diversity of images is a celebration of the industry in itself." Gallery

    Original here

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