BWPA Awards

13th September 2013
It was the hottest place in town to be on Wednesday night - the British Wildlife Photography Awards.

Why was I there ?

Well it was to accompany Margaret J Walker overall winner of the Habitat Category of the BWPA awards.

http://www.bwpawards.org/galleries/habitat

Margaret also gained a Highly Commended in the Animal Behaviour Category. with a Ptarmigan in flight shot.

http://www.bwpawards.org/galleries/animal-behaviour

As the evening progressed it simply got hotter and hotter, the location the Mall Galleries is a windowless "vault" just at the top end of the Mall, by HorseGuards parade.

The temperature did soar, the hostess girls, ditched the wines and fruit juices and anything that was available to serve iced water was used to "ferry" it to the audience. Tray after tray was wheeled through the audience.

Throughout all this frenetic quenching of thirst Chris Packham, waterless and lit by a spotlight announced the winners, he duly posed for a photograph with each Category winner, and gave what was at times a witty presentation speech.

To be honest Mr Packham who had made the effort to look smart and tidy in his suit and tie, did not remove his jacket, I suspect like myself he would have known that beneath the jacket was simply a soggy shirt !!

The official photographer who snapped each of the winners collecting their certifcate from Mr Packham, looked like he had just got out of the shower, dripping wet hair and wet shirt.

Chris spoke fluently to each photograph and had obviously done his homework, making obversations about each image.

When it got to Margaret's turn she made the long walk to the podium.

I videoed the speech Chris gave to her award winning image and then all of a sudden it was someone else's turn.

It was great to see all the winners photographs framed and arranged around the walls of the Mall Gallery, along with a video of "Henry and the Waxings" playing on a screen in the Gallery.

I can't find the video that won the category and can only assume it was a compilation from the original that was shown on BBC Winterwatch.

This link below takes you to the Fair Isle Blog from which you can get an idea of what "Henry and the Waxwings" is all about.

http://fair-isle.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/henry-waxwings-hand-feeding-again.html

Chris gave a very powerful and thought provoking speech, in effect a reminder of what is currently going on in the UK - that being the Badger cull.

A well made point was the fact that we in the UK could nolonger point a finger at other nations and the way they treat wildlife !

This was not a randomn speech- one of the Category winners was for a documentary series of photographs realting to Badger vaccinations, the alternative to culling.
All in all it was great evening and the overall winning shot that of a Dolphin, photographed underwater in the break of a wave was given it's due credit.

The winning photographer did not only win in the photographic stakes that night, but probably the award for the "cololest" person there, as he came dressed in cut down jeans, flip flops and a short sleeved shirt - a winner all round on such a hot night.
The night ended sooner than expected, a couple of hours flew by and it was back out into darkness on the Mall, still full of tourists making their way back to their hotels having sampled the delights of London.

So Margaret had got her much deserved award, although as both she and David shoot Nikon, the Canon camera that was part of the prize will no doubt be rebadged or used as doorstop !

Margaret also got her Chris Packham autograph in her BWPA book right next to her shot, her with photograph with Chris, a couple of videos and her name in the Evening Standard - not too bad for a couple of hours on the Mall !!!

Comments

Photo comment By Margaret Walker: Hi Graham, well I could not have described the evening better myself. One I shall always remember and was so glad to have your company, it made it all the more enjoyable. I'm actually very happy with my canon doorstop! :-)
Photo comment By Margaret Walker: Hi Graham, well I could not have described the evening better myself. One I shall always remember and was so glad to have your company, it made it all the more enjoyable. I'm actually very happy with my canon doorstop! :-)

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