These are the winning images in a competition run by Bristol Zoo to find the best insect photography talent.
Keen photographers and wildlife lovers were invited to enter the competition to celebrate the world of bugs, as part of Bristol Zoo’s celebration of National Insect Week this week.
The competition aims to showcase the world of invertebrates while encouraging people to get outdoors and enjoy wildlife we might otherwise overlook.The best 10 photos are now on display in the Zoo’s gallery in Bug World.
Over 40 photographs were submitted, and the winning picture was ‘Hover fly’ by 29-year-old zoology student, Adam Rogers, of Trowbridge, Wiltshire.
His photo, taken in a wetland meadow, shows a hoverfly appearing to tower over a tiny weevil as both feed on wild flowers.
Adam said: “I'm over the moon to have won. I have a keen interest in both ornithology and entomology and was visiting WWT Slimbridge and it struck me that whilst visitors were busy watching the birds, there were a whole host of even more amazing, smaller creatures, going about their daily lives unnoticed.
“I found a patch of wildflowers and sat amongst them for a couple of hours to see which species would turn up. The hoverfly I took the photo of was lazily feeing whilst warming itself in the sun, but it wasn't until I got home that I spotted the tiny weevil, proving that there are even smaller creatures about that go unnoticed, even when you're looking for them!”
He added: “I can't wait to visit Bristol Zoo and see my photo framed in Bug World. Having grown up in Trowbridge I have been visiting the zoo for as long as I can remember, which makes me even more proud that my photograph will be on display.”
Second place was won by John Nash, of Uttoxeter in Staffordshire, for his photo‘Female migrant hawker’. Explaining his photo, John said: “I am a keen amateur photographer and my favourite subject to photograph is insects. The female migrant hawker was a difficult challenge as she was a fast flyer. After chasing her up and down for about 20 minutes she finally settled above my head, making composition tricky.”
Third place was awarded to Bath-based Sarah Cottle, 28, for her close-up photo of a snail, entitled ‘Chomping on salad’.
Sarah said: “This photo shows a snail caught in the act of stealing from my garden. I saw this little guy in my pot of salad on a rainy June morning, so I grabbed my flatmate's camera to take a few shots before I re-homed him. I was amazed by how loud his munching was up close!”
The winning entries were chosen by the Zoo’s judging panel, made up of the Zoo’s assistant curator of invertebrates, Mark Bushell; and in-house Graphic Design Manager, Phil Jearey.
The first place winner will receive a family ticket to the Zoo and a print by professional Insect artist, Tacy Kneale. The two follow-up winners will receive a family day ticket to the Zoo.
The competition forms part of Bristol Zoo’s celebration of National Insect Week which runs from Monday June 25 until Sunday, July 1, 2012.
The Zoo is hosting a series of events on site for National Insect Week which runs until Sunday, July 1, 2012. The event aimsto celebrate the great insects of Britain and beyond, and showcases some of the strangest and most interesting characters in the invertebrate world – including giant stick insects, spiders, honeybees, critically endangered snails, crabs and corals.
On Saturday June 30 and Sunday July 1, the biology curator at Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery will be taking groups around the Zoo on a native species bug hunt.
Amazingly lifelike insect artwork will also be on display in Bug World illustrated in perfect detail by professional Insect artist, Tacy Kneale. These will be showcased alongside the winning photography entries.
To find out more about National Insect Week at Bristol Zoo, visit the website at www.bristolzoo.org.uk/national-insect-week or phone 0117 974 7300.
Notes to the Editor:
Bristol Zoo Gardens
Bristol Zoo is open from 9am every day except Christmas Day.
Bristol Zoo Gardens is a conservation and education charity and relies on income from visitors and supporters to continue its important work.
Bristol Zoo is involved with more than 100 co-ordinated breeding programmes for threatened wildlife species.
Itemploys over 150 full and part-time staff to care for the animals and run a successful visitor attraction to support its conservation and education work.
Bristol Zoo supports – through finance and skill sharing - 15 projects in the UK and abroad that conserveand protectsome of the world’s most endangered species.
In 2011 Bristol Zoo celebrated its 175th birthday. Over that past 175 years, the Zoo has brought six generations of Bristolians closer to wildlife, helped save over 175 species from extinction, established over 30 field conservation and research programmes all over the world, showed 40 millionschool-aged children the wonder of nature and given more than 90 million visitors a wonderful day out.
In 2010 Bristol Zoo Gardens set up a Conservation Fund to raise vital funds to help care for threatened animals and plants – both in the Zoo and through the conservation work we do in the UK and around the world.
Bristol Zoo Gardens is a member of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums. BIAZA represents more than 90 member collections and promotes the values of good zoos and aquariums.