It's that time of the year again! Now in its 5th year, the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards continue to delight everyone with the stellar quality of their entrants, in both a technical and comedic sense.
Behind the laughter is a serious message from founders of the awards, Paul Joynson-Hicks and Tom Sullam. “Remember, we are all about conservation,” they write on their website. “We want you to take up our banner of wildlife conservation, bang the drum, beat the cymbal and make some noise, we need to spread the word – wildlife, as we know it, is in danger, all over the world and we need to do something to help save it. You can start by going and having a look at what the Born Free Foundation are doing at www.bornfree.org.uk”
With the level of competition at an all-time high this year, the judges faced a nigh-impossible task of narrowing them down to just 40 finalists. However, they got there in the end and the results are here! Which are your favorites? Who do you think will win? Scroll down below to check out the final 40 for yourself, and let us know what you think in the comments!
Bored Panda spoke to Tom Sullum, one of the founders of the awards about this year's competition. "Personally I think this is the best selection of finalists we've yet had," he told us. "The competition is reaching more and more people and we had thousands of entries from approximately 80 countries. We love that this competition is border free!"
Holly Jolly Snowy
"Our key message this year is that everyone can do their bit to help conservation. It doesn’t need to be a huge effort, just a little effort by each of us and we can make a difference. We have a few tips and tricks for people to make easy conservation initiatives:"
Yup, this is super easy for everyone to do. For example; don't buy products which have palm oil, because the palm oil plantations are destroying rainforests and thus affecting the global weather. Try and avoid un-recyclable products. Give yourself a mission – ok how about one yoghurt pot per person per week of non-recyclable products? It is possible, you know. We have a great mate in London who does just that.
WATER USE AT HOME.
Ok, this is the thing, each time you flush the loo we send approx. 20ltrs of water down the drain – seriously, its crazy. So “If its yellow, let it mellow”…you know the rest…! Have shorter showers, water your garden a little less. Imagine if we all stop flushing our loos each time we did a wee, then billions and billions of litres of fresh water would be saved and available to rush down rivers, feed the fish, save the lakes and enable forests and trees and plants to flourish and grow which adds oxygen to our environment as well as supply homes and food for a global plethora of wildlife.
BECOME A “WILD INFLUENCER.
Yup, you heard it here first. This is a special person who may be not an mega activist, but really, really cares about the environment and what is happening so you do a few very simple and easy things. For example, encourage your friends and family about some of the simple things we have mentioned above, talk about it in social media, in the pub, at work. Does your work place subscribe to some good environmental practices? Find really awesome conservation organisations and engage with them on email, or social media. Email or write to your local government representative, maybe an MP, a House of Rep, a councillor and find out what they are doing to help the wildlife around the world. Hold your elected representatives accountable. You have a voice, we all do, use it and don't be afraid.
Tom says that the wildlife photographers are a mix of around 30% professional and 70% amateur, which makes for a broader variety of animals photographed. The message that the organizers want to promote is one of wildlife conservation.
“Our strong belief here at Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards is that the smallest thing can help conservation,” Tom explained. “By following Born Free on social media you have made one positive step. By supporting them financially, you make another big step. By sharing our posts, by buying the book, by keeping the conversation going... all these things help raise the issues of wild animal conservation.”