Staffan Widstrand now tenfold prizewinner in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. Yesterday, photographer Staffan Widstrand, of Jarfalla, Sweden, was awarded yet another First prize in this world famous wildlife photography competition. This was Widstrands 10:th awarded image in the competition since 1996, and the prize was delivered at a gala ceremony at The Natural History Museum in London. Among over 17 000 images taken by 1 500 photographers in 57 countries, Widstrands image was chosen as the Winner in the category Wild Places. A category where he had an awarded image also last year. The competition is organized by the BBC Wildlife Magazine together with the Natural History Museum.
The winning image shows a midwinter mountain scenery from the Stora Sjofallet National Park, in the Laponia World Heritage Area, in Lapland, Sweden. In the picture one can see how the year´s first rays from the sun touches over one of the crags in the mountain massif, to create a rainbow in a cloud of ice fog at lower elevation, in spite of a bitterly cold temperature of some minus 25 degrees C.
– It is the first and only time I´ve ever seen a rainbow in the middle of winter. A few minutes later it was gone, describes Staffan Widstrand.
And the ice fog rainbow was new also to Lennart Pittja, the Saami reindeer herdsman whose outfitting company Pathfinder Lapland organized the wilderness reindeer-sledge tour that Widstrand was there to cover.
Widstrands work in Lapland is part of a three-year project of his, with the aim to cover Sweden as the high-quality ecotourism destination it is.
Staffan Widstrand has also recently been invited to join the so far 40 members of the International League of Conservation Photographers. The League was launched at the 8th World Wilderness Congress in Anchorage, Alaska last week and is supported by, amongst others, National Geographic Society, WWF International, Conservation International, and the industrial giant Cemex. The founding members include Art Wolfe, Joel Sartore, Kevin Schaefer, Tui de Roy, Pete Oxford, Robert Glenn Ketchum, Connie Bransilver, Karl Amman, Patricio Robles Gil, Chris Rainier, Gary Braasch, Niall Benvie, Phil Borges, Christian Ziegler and Florian Schultz. The ILCP is an organization for photographers with a world reputation, who through their work are also dedicated to conservation.
An Exhibition with all the prizewinning images in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2005, will be opened on Saturday, October 22 at The Natural History Museum in London, and be open until April 23, 2006.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Staffan Widstrand, +46-70-657 33 24, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mairi Allan, Press officer BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition,
+44-20-7942 51 56, email@example.com
Staffan Widstrand blev förste svenske fotograf som valdes in i International League of Conservation Photographers, en nyligen bildad organisation för fotografer med världsrykte, och som med sitt arbete också verkar för naturskydd. International League of Conservation Photographers, ILCP, grundades vid den 8:e World Wilderness Congress i Anchorage, Alaska, USA, i förra veckan, med stöd av bland andra National Geographic Society, WWF International, Conservation International och industrijätten Cemex. Bland grundarna av den hittills 40-hövdade församlingen kan nämnas legendariska fotografer som Art Wolfe, Tui de Roy, Joel Sartore, Robert Glenn Ketchum, Pete Oxford, Karl Amman, Patricio Robles Gil, Chris Rainier, Gary Braasch, Connie Bransilver, Florian Schultz, Christian Ziegler och Niall Benvie – samtliga uppmärksammade för sin strävan att också använda sin fotografi som verktyg för att värna skyddsvärd natur.
Initiativtagare till ILCP är den Mexico-födda fotografen och naturskyddsentusiasten Cristina Mittermeier:
– ILCP är ett försök att ge både fotografernas och naturskyddarnas arbete större utväxling och effekt, genom att koppla ihop fotograferna direkt med vår generations bästa forskare och naturskyddsorganisationer. Genom att använda sig av hög etisk standard för sitt arbete och sina bilders äkthet, försöker vi också att befästa fotografens trovärdighet som vittnen då vi rapporterar om läget på Jorden för en bredare publik.
I detta syfte har vi också tittat på vad några av Europas mest hängivna naturskyddsfotografer – inklusive Staffan Widstrand, Niall Benvie och Colin Prior – arbetat med, för att se hur vi kan sätta de högsta tänkbara målen för det som ILCP ska arbeta med, fortsätter Cristina Mittermeier.
– Bildens betydelse i naturskyddsarbetet har hittills varit grovt underskattad, menar Staffan Widstrand. – Det är för länge sedan hög tid att forskare, naturskyddare och bildkonstnärer samarbetar i mycket större utsträckning för gemensamma mål. Trycket på naturens resurser är hårdare än någonsin i historien. För första gången någonsin har ett inflytelserikt internationellt forum skapats för att tätare koppla ihop foto och naturskydd. Självklart är det väldigt kul att bli handplockad och invald i sådant sällskap redan från början. Det blir säkert några till svenska och ett antal europeiska fotografer som kommer att väljas in inom kort. Vad som kan komma ut av ILCP får vi se framöver, men flera stora internationella projekt är redan under skapande tillsammans med dem, bland annat ett i Europa och ett i Asien, avslutar Staffan Widstrand.
FÖR MER INFORMATION KONTAKTA:
Cristina Mittermeier, CGMittermeier@aol.com
Staffan Widstrand firstname.lastname@example.org
+46-70-657 33 24
New Carnivore Information-centre web site with images exclusively by Widstrand and Elander now released. The Swedish centre for information and communication about the country´s large carnivores, called ”The Big 5 Carnivore Centre” which is right now being built in Järvsö, Hälsingland, launched its completely remade and very much expanded web site www.de5stora.com on November 24. All images on the site are by either Staffan Widstrand or Magnus Elander. Making it the by far most comprehensive collection of carnivore photographs in Sweden. Widstrand was also the main text writer and Editor-in Chief of the site. The project ”The Big 5” was first started in 1998 by Staffan Widstrand, Magnus Elander and Johan Lewenhaupt, and later purchased over by the emerging carnivore centre. Both Widstrand and Elander have since been involved as consultants in the creation ”The Big 5 Carnivore Centre”, which will open it´s large and beautiful visitors centre in June 2005. Web designers were Linus Elander and Per Jonsson of Perlin Systems, that have also designed Widstrands own site. Web editor is Leif Silversund. The site is scheduled to later be translated into English. www.de5stora.com
Nature travel web site portal illustrated exclusively by Widstrands images wins the Publishing Prize in Sweden 2004. The nature travel web site of Naturens Bästa/Natures´ Best, Sweden´s ground-breaking ecotourism quality labelling system, won the prestigious Publishing Prize in Sweden 2004 on November 18. www.naturensbasta.se All the editorial images on the site are by Staffan Widstrand, and their quality was one of the important factors that the jury motivated their choice with. Widstrand was also involved in some of the copywriting, which was mainly done by Kicki Lind. Project leader was Per Jiborn and web designers were Linus Elander and Per Jonsson of Perlin Systems. The site will be launched in English in January 2005 under the address www.naturesbest.nu
Staffan Widstrand had one awarded image in each of the two most important European nature photography competitions in 2004. Both in the European Nature Photographer of the Year 2004 by GDT, Germany, and the worldwide BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2004. This is Staffans ninth awarded image in the BBC competition – widely considered the World´s Number One nature photography competition. And his fourth awarded image in the GDT competition.
”The photographers last picture?”
Highly Commended in the European Nature Photographer of the Year
Bull moose charging, at Point-blank range, Sarek National Park, Laponia World Heritage site, Sweden
Highly Commended in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2004.
Icebergs at dawn in the first rays of the rising sun, Kung Oscar Fiord, Northeast Greenland.
Staffan Widstrand had three awarded images in the ”European Nature Photographer of the Year 2003” competition awards ceremony in Lünen, Germany, on November 9. One Runner-up and two Highly Commended images. Out of more than 5000 entries by 370 photographers from all over Europe. – This was the first time I entered the GDT competition, so I am very happy that I was lucky already from start. The jury seemed to appreciate also the not only beautiful, as well as a more journalistic nature photography approach, which I think was brave of them, says Widstrand. The ceremony was held during the ”11:th International Nature Photography Festival” which was visited by some 3000 spectators during the weekend. Widstrand was one of the speakers at the festival, presenting a slide show and a talk about the Big Five Carnivores of Scandinavia.
Staffan and Liisa Widstrand both have awarded images in the BBC Wildlife Competition 2003. One of Liisa Widstrands images was this year awarded the title Highly Commended in the category ”Young Wildlife photographers, 10 years and under”, in the ”2003 BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year” Competition. Also her father Staffan had a Highly Commended image in the competition this year, in the ”World in our Hands” category. This is Liisas first and Staffans eighth awarded image in the famous competition – widely considered the World´s Number One Nature Photography Competition.
– I am so happy the jury appreciated Liisas bear image, says Staffan Widstrand.
– She managed to get the images of the bear doing funny things, while I, intending to film it on video, failed, losing the video battery down on the floor of the hide…
Staffans awarded image is a more gruesome picture of a recently shot bear, strung up by the neck in a wire in the forklift of a tractor, with a piece of firewood tucked in to keep the chest open.
An exhibition about the Scandinavian Big Five By Magnus Elander, Staffan Widstrand and Kulturhuset at Kulturhuset, Stockholm, Sweden. Only decades ago, the large carnivores were almost made extinct in Sweden. Today their numbers are increasing again. A fact that stirs up strong feelings. Many have immediate opinions, and most people have questions.
– We have tried to put the carnivore issues in a credible context. This is an exhibition largely about Man, the two-legged carnivore, and about how we relate to our four-legged colleagues and competitors, says Staffan Widstrand.
– We try to use the carnivores as mirrors to look at ourselves. These are animals that we have been living together with, since the Stone age. Animals that we have hated, admired, hunted, studied, revered, persectued, idolized and demonised to the extent that they are now an integral part of our culture and our national identity, says Magnus Elander.
– Maybe our views on the four-legged large carnivores, also tell us a bit about our views on, and our relations to our human neighbours? continues Widstrand.
– Maybe the debate about large carnivores to a certain extent actually deals with issues like our general level of tolerance, our respect towards fellow beings and how we develop attitudes? Maybe even our anxiety about changes in the environment? Or our level of hostility towards strangers, finishes Elander
Photographers and authors Magnus Elander and Staffan Widstrand are frequently published in international press.
They are multiple prize winners in the”BBC-Wildlife Photographer of the Year”-competition, and in the German ”GDT Europäischer Naturfotograf des Jahres”-competition (”European Nature Photographer of the Year”). Staffan was appointed ”Årets Naturfotograf” 2001 (”Nature Photographer of the Year in Sweden”). Two of their books were appointed ”WWF-Panda Book of the Year” in Sweden and one in Norway. Their books have been published in 9 languages, and their exhibitions have been on display in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, France and Canada.
Beasts or beauties is an exhibition, enjoyable for everyone from about 10 years of age and up.
Exhibition producers: Staffan Widstrand, Magnus Elander and Giovanna Jörgensen
Project leader: Helena Gomér
Scenographer: Bo-Masen Larsson
The language in the exhibition is Swedish.
For further information:
Magnus Elander, +46-70-669 10 21
Staffan Widstrand, +46-70-657 33 24,
On October 4, a photographic exhibition opened in Virserum in southern Sweden, showing 40 of Staffan Widstrands images of the Big Five Nordic carnivores.
The venue, Virserums konsthall, is a highly appreciated art gallery that has gained wide respect and acclaim. The exhibition will be open until November 23. – My images are about Man, the two-legged carnivore, and about how we relate to our four-legged colleagues and competitors, says Staffan Widstrand.
– These are animals that we have lived together with here, since the Stone age. Animals that we have hated, admired, hunted, studied, revered, persectued, idolized and demonised so much that they are now an integral part of our cultural history and our national identity.
– Maybe our views on our four-legged large carnivore nighbours, at the same time also tells us a bit about our view on and our relations to our fellow human neighbours?
– Maybe the debate about large carnivore issues to a not so small extent really is about issues like our general level of tolerance, about our humility towards our fellow beings and about how we develop attitudes?
Maybe even about our fear of change?
Or about our level of hostility towards strangers?
For further information:
+46-70-657 33 24
Free press images may be downloaded from the above web site.
In March this web site won another prestigeous web site award. On March 30, Staffan Widstrand won the coveted Profotos ”Pro Site Award”. The Widstrand web site was selected as one of only 20 sites this month to win the award, out of several hundreds nominated. For more information about the Pro Site Award please follow the link below. Profotos.com
The web site of Staffan Widstrand Photography has been reviewed and chosen to bear the ”2003-2004 Golden Web Award”. The award is presented to those sites ”whose web design, originality and content have achieved levels of excellence deserving of recognition”. Web sites are reviewed and voted on by the members of the International Association of Web Masters & Designers, I.A.W.M.D, with members from over 130 countries Worldwide.
The recently published reportage book ”The Big Five”, by Staffan Widstrand, Magnus Elander and Johan Lewenhaupt, has recently been appointed ”Panda Book-of-the-Year” 2003 by the WWF-Sweden. ”The Big Five” is already a sales success, and the first print run of the Swedish edition was a sensational 25 000 copies. ”The Big Five” is about the five large carnivores of the Scandinavian North – the Wolf, the Bear, the Lynx, the Wolverine – and Man. Photographers and writers Staffan Widstrand and Magnus Elander have worked for four years tightly together also with journalist and hunter Johan Lewenhaupt, to create the 240-page, 250-photograph reportage book. The 13 essays display a number different angles and ways of looking at the carnivores – and ourselves. Here, the four-legged carnivores act also as mirrors for the two-legged ones, to more easily see ourselves a bit more clearly. The photography is nothing but spectacular. In unique and intimate images we meet the European wolf and European Brown Bear as almost never before. We get close to the shy Lynx and the unknown Wolverine steps out from the shadows. An underlying theme through the whole book is the relationship between Man and the other large carnivores. The Authors have travelled widely also to Russia, Romania, Finland and Idaho, USA in their quest for interesting stories to tell. Reproduction, printing and paper are exquisite.
From the WWF-Jury motivation:
”A magnificent book of pictures and essays delivering both excitement and beauty – a read that will leave no one indifferent”.
His Majesty King Carl XVI of Sweden says in the foreword:
”This book has exciting journalism, striking pictures and vital information about the interplay between Man and wildlife. It is my hope that it will be read and considered, and contribute essential knowledge”
Title: ”The Big Five”
Format: 230×310 mm
Size: 240 pages
Also published in a Swedish language edition
For further information, please contact:
– Staffan Widstrand 070-657 33 24 email: email@example.com
Press images and texts:
High resolution digital files of press images can be seen and downloaded from the Press Room on www.staffanwidstrand.se
These images may only be used in direct connection with reports about the award or the award winner.
The photographer’s by-line must also be published in connection with the images.
The Environmental Protection Agency in Sweden yesterday announced that photographer and writer Staffan Widstrand from Jarfalla, Sweden, has been appointed ”Nature Photographer of the Year” in the country. The motivation states:
Staffan Widstrand has through his production embodied a true dedication for wildlife, nature, man and the environment, says Director-General Lars-Erik Liljelund of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.
Alongside his career as a photographer and a writer, Staffan has also proven this in practice with his work for Ecotourism, as well as through being part of the large-carnivore campaign ”The Big Five”. Through web sites, books and articles he has managed to reach the general public on a scale not reached by many other nature photographers.
While Staffan Widstrand masters classic nature photography, he has also shown a great will to develop it further. In his images, man is often present. Using flash and blurry focus, Widstrand often creates a refreshing disorder in his images. He also often uses an uncanny sense of humor in his photographs, and efficiently punctuates the myths about man not being able to influence the problems of today. Nor does he avoid the odd, the ugly or that which sticks out a mile, Director-General Liljelund continues.
It warms my soul to see that there are people who I manage to reach with my work, and that the Environmental Protection Agency thinks my images promote conservation, says Staffan Widstrand.
This award feels like a true token of honour, as it can not be applied for, and instead is awarded to the person the jury finds worthy of the prize.
Staffan Widstrand, born in 1959, started as a free-lance reportage photographer in 1990, after previously having worked as a nature tour conductor and a picture editor. The break-through came in 1994 with the book ”Ecotouring-the Ultimate Guide”, which sold 100 000 copies in eight languages, and was produced in co-operation with colleague Magnus Elander. ”Ecotouring” was elected the Panda-Book of the Year by the WWF-Sweden. In 1997 Widstrand and Elander published their second book together ”Ajunngilaq – Arctic Moments”, a photo-reportage book describing man, nature and contemporary life north of the Polar Circle.
Widstrand and Elander are now working together with writer Johan Lewenhaupt since 1998 in a project called ”The Big Five”, which is a five-year information initiative about the five large carnivores of the forested North (wolf, bear, lynx, wolverine and man), with the aim to improve the public debate by shedding light on as many facts and aspects of the matter as possible. Their book ”The Big Five” will be released this fall and has already been appointed Panda-Book of the Year 2003 by the WWF-Sweden.
Widstrand is also an active board member of the Swedish Ecotourism Association, which, just a few months ago, launched Europe´s first ecotourism quality-labelling system, called ”Nature’s Best”.
During the last years Widstrand has won all together seven prizes and commendations in the world’s most prestigious nature photography competition, the ”BG-Wildlife Photographer of the Year ”.
Free Press images:
Some are available at Widstrand´s own site www.staffanwidstrand.se under the headline ”Press Room”.
These images may only be used in direct connection with reports about the award or the award winner. The photographer’s by-line must also be published in connection with the images.
One of Staffan Widstrands images was this year awarded the title ”Specially Commended” in the Animal Behaviour: Mammals category of the ”2001 BG Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition”. This is Widstrands seventh winning image during the last six years of the famous competition – widely considered the World´s Number One Nature Photography Competition. This includes two Category winners, one Runner-up and four Highly/Specially Commended images.
– I am so happy the jury appreciated this moose image, says Widstrand.
– It was a truly impressive experience to have the possibility to stay for hours with him, at point-blank range, and the animal not being shy at all. In fact it was my own carefulness that kept the distance between us.
Caption to the 2001 image:
European Moose eating its velvet
The moose in the Sarek National Park in Swedish Lapland are used to people.
Moose-hunting has been banned here for years, and hundreds of nature-lovers trek through the park each year. This bull in the Rapa Valley allowed me to get as close to him as I ever wanted. When I first saw him, his antlers were still covered in velvet. But a couple of hours later, he began beating the trees and bushes around him with his antlers, tearing off the protective, furry skin to reveal a beautiful, brand-new set of antlers, ready for this year’s rut. Some velvet was dangling in his eyes, and so the moose then chewed it off.
Nikon F5 with AFS-Nikkor 600mm lens; 1/250 sec at f8; Fujichrome Astia; 100 rated at 200; tripod.