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Finding an appreciation for wildlife photography

Taylor Anderson Staff Writer

Walking through the Natural Wildlife Photography Exhibition, the sounds of birds chirping becomes immediately entrancing. The lighting. With the windows covered and dim overhead lighting, the only things really illuminated were the photographs allowing visitors to forget about anything else in the room or the outside world and focus solely the images.

The exhibition includes various categories so there is no species or landscape untouched by the lens of a camera. Ranging from deserts to the Arctic, whales to spiders, the photographers show that beauty can truly be found anywhere. The photographs highlight the smaller moments of beauty, incapable of being seen by anything but the lens of a camera: a glow worm’s fluorescent yellow trail along the forest floor is captured using a long shutter speed in order to portray the creature’s journey.

Additionally, many of the images raised awareness about particular environmental issues, such as a black and white photograph depicting thousands of bird eggs left behind in the wake of an unpredicted storm. The image conjures a sense of loneliness and silence and helps the viewer reflect on the lack of effort the world is providing in order to prevent innocent wildlife from being impacted by climate change.

The lighting and wildlife sound effects allow visitors to focus on the beauty of the photographs and read the descriptions with care, something I admittedly don’t usually do. With each striking photograph, I found myself spending what felt like hours admiring the work. Travel and photography lovers will appreciate being able to learn more about the locations of each photograph and the equipment used.

However, if photograph specifics aren’t your thing I still recommend this exhibition. Even without explanations and maps, the photographs themselves depict beauty and meaning. It’s clear each image was taken thoughtfully.

I came into the exhibition not knowing what to expect but with the idea that wildlife photography wasn’t my thing; this exhibition proved me wrong. I recommend this exhibition for everyone because the images are chosen and displayed in a way which highlights the immense beauty of the micro and macro in the world. There are images that teach about the ways of particular animals, striking images that capture the impact of climate change and images that demonstrate the power of a camera. I came out of the exhibition with a new appreciation for nature and a newfound love for London museums.

The exhibition runs until June 30, and is located at the Natural History Museum. Tickets are £13.50 for adults and £8 for children and advanced online booking is recommended.

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