KATE FOX - Wildlife Photographer

  • Wildlife Expo (14th - 15th Oct) 2011

    Thought I'd make the trek from carrot crunching Wiltshire to the Big Smoke to check out the first year of Wildlife Expo at Alexandra Palace. Although billeted as a weekend event it took place on a Friday and a Saturday. I'm liking the Marketing Department's enthusiasm for an early weekend!

    Ally Pally is a suitably regal venue providing a stunning venue for both the outdoor and indoor events. Travelling by train, tube and then bus I got to sample all that London's public transport system had to offer. By some miracle I still arrived feeling relatively relaxed. The main hall was filled with over 100 stands promoting everything from the Metropolitan Police Wildlife Crime Unit to national and international charites, wildlife tourism companies and binocular specialists.

    Included in the cost is a viewing of the British Wildlife Photography Awards 2011. Founded in 2009, it is presented in a similar vein to Wildlife Photographer of the Year with categories such as urban, behaviour, portrait and overall winner. It doesn't have quite the same dramatic impact as Wildlife Photographer of the Year so comes off as its poorer cousin. However, with such influential backing and a growing desire for another platform to showcase budding wildlife photographers work, I feel it may well grow in stature and importance.

    One of the biggest attractions for myself were the huge and diverse number of lectures. I listened to flamboyant famous photographers sharing top tips, geeky ecotour guides with encyclopaedic specialist knowledge, RSPB research projects about cuckoos migratory habits and how the Metropolitan Wildlife Crime Unit tackle the traditional medicine trade and its disheartening impact on endangered animals,

    For those looking for a bit more glitz and glamour, then the hugely popular Mark Carwardine and Chris Packham held lectures. Both noticeable for their engaging and intelligent talks. The former had a truly shocking number of near death incidents that would make your blood curdle. The latter .....well his peroxide blonde spiky hair made him a childhood pinup of mine. Fortunately his talk was witty and passionate, retrospectively justifying my shallow reasons for attending his lecture.

    Will definitely be attending Wildlife Expo 2012. A great place to learn and meet like minded interesting people.


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