Wildlife Photographer of the Year – ilk Inspiration Days

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30.01.2018

To prevent us from churning out the same ideas every day, once a year every ilkster takes an ‘Inspiration Day’. They’re more than a jolly (but why shouldn’t you have fun?) but a chance to experience something different and return to the agency with different perspectives, different ways of seeing things.

Previously, we heard from one of our designers, Scott Tyzack, who discussed The Football Crest Index at The National Football Museum.

This time Creative Account Executive, Amy Bennett-Inge takes us through some powerful imagery at the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition.

The globally renowned competition appeared at the Natural History Museum last year for its fifty-third instalment with some profound and powerful photography.

 

The 53rd Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award

Amy Bennett-Inge, Creative Account Executive

“I experienced emotions I never knew could be evoked from a piece of photography”

As someone who is not a regular exhibition-goer, I honestly had no idea what to expect. In a way, I think that made the exhibition even more special.

I’ve always loved nature and, sure, I can appreciate a nice photograph when I see one, but for the first time I experienced emotions I never knew could be evoked from a piece of photography – I felt genuinely moved by so many of the photos showcased.

 

 

The key message portrayed through so many of the pieces was the unnerving fact that the natural world desperately needs our help. The issues covered were widespread – ranging from the impending threat of poaching of some of Planet Earth’s most iconic species, to the pollution of marine ecosystems, to the unimaginable suffering some species face to appease the demands of the human race.

“It reminded me to step back and appreciate life in its simplest forms”

The exhibition gave a stark wake-up call for how easy it has become in this day and age to lose sight of the fact that we are merely one species amongst millions on the planet.

Whilst we all become tied up with superficial everyday burdens like whether to buy the newest iPhone or not, there are creatures out there who risk losing their habitats (or their entire existence) as a result of human activity. It acted as a reminder to step back and appreciate life in its simplest forms, stripped away form the accessories that often make us forget how lucky we are to share a planet with so many other incredible living beings.

 

 

I don’t mean to sound cheesy but, it also brought a whole new meaning to the word beauty for me. In a world of perfectly preened Instagram accounts and airbrushed magazine covers, it’s so easy to overlook and appreciate real beauty when it appears in front of you. Never had I looked so intently at a hedgehog’s spines, the scales of a fish or the wrinkles of an elephant and thought how amazing evolution was in creating such perfect creatures for their environments. In short, there was an overarching sense of deep respect for the natural world and everything that lives within it.

Every image showcased at the exhibition was incredibly captivating, but one that particularly struck me was the Sewage Surfer.

 

 

To me, it exposed the sheer innocence and vulnerability of the seahorse, just looking to catch a ride in the current. It’s one thing hearing a newsreader or politician declare that our oceans need protecting, but actually seeing such explicit evidence of these foreign objects invading and threatening these precious creatures’ habitats is truly eye-opening.

Even if you can’t go to the exhibition, take a look at the award-winning photographs on the National History Museum’s website. It may not be the same as experiencing them at a large scale in the gallery, but as you’ll see, they’re still undoubtedly powerful.