Thursday, November 02, 2006

BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2006 Competition

I was very pleased and honored to learn that I was awarded a highly commended for an image of a black-legged meadow katydid that I submitted to the BBC WPOTY competition.
They received over 18,000 images from photographers all over the world. This is acclaimed as the most prestigious nature photography competition in the world.
You can see the image and the notes here.

©Wil Hershberger Nature Images and Sounds, LLC
All Rights Reserved

Southern Wildlife Festival

Donna and I were juried into the Southern Wildlife Festival in Decatur Alabama. This was the 25th anniversary of this show and everyones hopes were high.
The drive down from WV took 15 hours through rain and wind. The fall colors in Tennessee were magnificent.
After setting up the camper at Mallard Point campground we rushed over to Calhoun College to setup our booth. There were many other artists there already and setting up well before the advertised 11 AM start time. We found our space, brought in all of the supplies and setup. The hosts and other artists were extremely congenial, wonderful people. It was a pleasure to meet them all and to work with them.
Friday evening was the preview party which was well attended. Saturday and Sunday were beautiful and breezy. Even though there were live birds at the show courtesy of the McDowell Environmental Center there were very few visitors to the show. On Saturday we were competing with the local football games so that was understandable. Sunday showed a "flurry" of visitors after church let out but there were very few buyers. All of the artists were lamenting the lack of buyers this year. It appeared to be somewhat of a fluke. There was talk from the artists that it might be a good idea to move the show to Huntsville were there are more people with disposable income. As the festival has been able to get the gym at the college free of charge all these years the prospects of moving the show seemed slim.
Despite the lack of sales it was a real pleasure to meet the other artists and the organizers of the show. My portrait of a male pileated woodpecker won 2nd place in the vendors competition.
We are looking forward to the Potomac Arts Festival this coming weekend,in our own backyard, with fingers crossed that there will be buyers.

Our booth

Male Pileated woodpecker ©Wil Hershberger

Black-chinned Hummingbird, HY female

Lynne Wiseman emailed me the morning of Wednesday October 25, 2006 with an account of an unusual hummingbird that was still visiting her feeders. She was pretty certain that it was a Black-chinned hummingbird - this would be a state record.
I grabbed the photo gear and arrived at her location at 4PM. Within minutes of setting up the hummer was there. I was able to capture a nice series of images of this lovely bird that evening. These images and a report of my observations can be seen here.
This is certainly a real treat for the eastern panhandle of WV and a very exciting find and ID for Lynne. Lynne is a past student of the PVAS Birding class - I guess that we are better teachers than we thought :)

Black-chinned hummingbird HY female ©Wil Hershberger Nature Images and Sounds, LLC