Marginally surprised at how easily we found parking (right inside the grounds of the museum), we wandered into the museum, and up the stairs to the exhibition room.
It was beautifully laid out, making it easy to navigate one’s way around the room, without missing anything. The photographs were organised according to theme, with information below each one detailing who captured the image, where it was taken, why and how (all the technical details for those who’re interested).
They were superb, in many cases breath-taking – a telling aerial shot of polar bears walking along cracked ice floes (will they survive global warming, one is prompted to wonder?); a pair of mongooses entranced by an approaching hornet (you could almost see the words ‘mmmm, lunch!’ in their eyes, somehow); an arctic fox blending almost imperceptibly into its white surroundings (betrayed only by snout and coal-black eyes).
To name but a few… (there’s a selection online here)
And though I didn’t always agree with the choice of winner in each category (but who am I to argue with the experts in the field!), I found it inspiring and am likely to go again before the exhibition ends. There’s just so much there, and so much information to absorb, that I think it takes more than one visit to do it justice.
The Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition is on until 12 March 2008 at the SA National Museum, 25 Queen Victoria Street, Gardens, Cape Town. Open 10:00 – 17:00 daily (except Christmas and Good Friday). Entrance is R10 adults, R5 for children, seniors and students, free. Telephone +27 (0)21 481 3800. Museum website: www.iziko.org.za