Three Canadians have been recognized in the 51st Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. Don Gutoski was named the overall Wildlife Photographer of Year for his image A Tale of Two Foxes. Gutoski’s photo text explains, “It’s a frozen moment revealing a surprising behaviour, witnessed in Wapusk National Park, on Hudson Bay, Canada, in early winter. Red foxes don’t actively hunt Arctic foxes, but where the ranges of two predators overlap, there can be conflict. In this case, it led to a deadly attack. Though the light was poor, the snow-covered tundra provided the backdrop for the moment that the red fox paused with the smaller fox in its mouth in a grim pose.” The technical information for this photo was: Canon EOS-1D X + 200-400 mm f/4 lens + 1.4x extender at 784 mm; 1/1000 sec at f/8; ISO 640.
Connor Stefanison received the Rising Star Portfolio Award, and Josiah Launstein was one of the finalists in the 10 Years and Under category. The text accompanying Launstein’s photo says: “On a cold February morning, while photographing ducks and geese on a lake in British Columbia, Canada, Josiah noticed a Canada goose behaving very aggressively. It was a little before the usual breeding season, but this individual had clearly staked out its territory and didn’t want any intruders. ‘It would call loudly and rush out at any other goose that swam by,’ says Josiah. ‘It even flew up to deter geese that were coming in to land.’ Native to North America (but now also common in parts of northern Europe, where it was introduced as an ornamental and game species), the Canada goose typically mates for life, and pairs stay together year round. Josiah climbed down from the pier with his tripod to be at goose level. ‘I had just got my lens focused on it,’ he says, ‘when it exploded out of the shallows at another goose.’ With quick reactions, he captured the drama. ‘I love how you can see the water and mud flying,’ he says.” The technical information for Stefanison’s photo is: Nikon D7100 + 300-mm f/4 lens + 1.4x teleconverter; 1/640 sec at f/7.1; ISO 720; Gitzo tripod.
Organized and produced by the Natural History Museum in London, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition presents the 100 winning images selected from 42,000 entries from 96 countries. The exhibition is on view at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto from November 21 through March 20, and at the Royal BC Museum in Victoria from December 4 through April 4. Please check their websites for more information on the exhibitions and related special programming.