This book, which contains a selection of the winning, commended and shortlisted photographs from the Bird Photographer of The Year’s third annual competition is an absolute delight. It is a work of art both in its production and its content. Working your way through from the brilliantly original abstract shot of a Razorbill to the close-up shot of a Water Rail at the very end of the book you cannot help but be astonished and impressed with the sheer technical skill, imagination and artistic vision of the photographers. Including the photographs from ‘The People’s Choice’ section at the end there are just over 250 photographs and there is not a duff shot amongst them. Each one draws a gasp of admiration; a ‘How did she get that shot?’ or a simple ‘That’s just brilliant!’
There is no denying that the ongoing evolution in digital camera technology is enabling more and more birders to go out into the field armed with gear with which great photographs can and are being taken. But the right gear is simply inadequate. You need vision, enthusiasm, commitment, lots of patience and often a massive slice of good fortune. The photographers whose work is showcased all have one or more of these qualities and this book celebrates these people and their work. Both the BTO and Nature Photographers Ltd along with all of their sponsors need congratulating on yet another top publication. Fantastic photographs; beautiful art; support for conservation and contributions to the funding of the BTO Bird Camp programme for young birders…what’s not to like?