Wild Things

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Have you seen the music video The Wasteland Warriors shot for the band “Budderside”? Here it is! We were approached at Wacken Open Air (where we should be again this year and before that, you can catch us at Junktown in the Czech Republic where I’ll be giving an adventuring talk) and asked if we’d be part of a music video. Well, of course!

Budderside recently supported Steel Panther this year- who I also got to see live at Wacken- and I have to say I love filming music videos where I’d actually dance to the song. 😉 I’m so excited to show you this as not only do I love the song but this video is one of the best adverts for The Wasteland Warriors I’ve seen. I appear in here a few times as “Deathhawk”


Here I am- bottom right. *screams* “DEATHHAAAAWK!” 😛
faith roswell in budderside music video with the wasteland warriors

In a slightly more “civilised” environment, I went to see the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum a few days ago (now in its 52nd year). It’s a tradition- I go every year and verbally redistribute the awards with my mum!
I’ve seen the exhibition style change over the six or so years I’ve been going- more recently they got rid of the ‘second/third place’ awards and we now have a winner and several highly commended. I can see why that could put an end to passionate disputes (my mum and I have enough of those at the event) but it’s a little frustrating as I’d have loved to see in what order the ‘experts’ think things should have appeared.

They tried a timelapse category last year which was interesting but I prefer the photos and the videos of other highly commended images they show- though they changed the layout this year- usually the video comes near the exit so we can rest our feet and be mesmerised after trailing around the exhibition but this time is was not only near the beginning but there was another room slightly separate which gave the impression there had been fewer photos. I can only guess that the redesigned area was done to minimise crowding but as I don’t ‘do’ people a the best of times, we went on a weekday and didn’t have that problem.
The images are all on illuminated screens in a low-lit room, which I love as I feel it encourages quiet the same way a cinema does and brings out every colour and detail- viewing from any distance away. However, the friend who came with us had been under the impression the images were going to be printed to enormous sizes on paper and I think would have preferred it that way so it didn’t look like a computer screen but I think that’s down to the individual.

At each event we’ve attended in the past, there’s always been a ‘darling’ animal that seems the favourite of the judges and therefore features in slightly more images than average. This time, there was no standout creature but there was a surprising lack of snakes! I like snakes with one notable exception which has made things a bit ridiculous when I’m trying to make ‘blinkers’ out of a book while pretending I’m just looking closely at it or scratching my head… 😛

Every year, one contestant is named “Wildlife Photographer of the Year” and this year it’s Tim Laman, with his photo story about orang-utans. The name orang-utan translates as “person of the forest” and originally referred to humans. Given the subject of his photo story which was (of course) the atrocities humans inflict upon orang-utans and their home- and what we know about the great apes, I wish we took that translation a little more literally, treating animals as non-human people rather than commodities and inconveniences. *gets off soapbox*

I got my second-favourite image on a postcard to add to my collection, as I couldn’t see my favourite in the shop- it looked like the mountains of Mordor. 🙂

Overall review- 8/10. Not as well-done as a few previous years but still amazing. It stays in the Natural History Museum until September 11th before going touring around the world.

Here are a few of my favourite pictures from this year:

orangutan climbing a tree photographed from above a rainforest
By Tim Laman– taken by GoPro, which he triggered remotely to get this shot- which he had been trying to capture all along.

orca hunting underneath a fishing boat surrounded by seagulls

By Audun Rikardsen. The killer whale is eating the herring that escape the net, but sadly killer whales sometimes get tangled themselves. Fishermen are looking for a solution.

toad under murky water surrounded by green algae
By Christophe Salin, who wanted to capture the beauty of the algae but was surprised by a toad.

sad owl on a branch with full moon behind it
By Mats Andersson. “Requiem For An Owl”. Poor owl. Poor, poor owl. 🙁 This one is heartbreaking. It’s a Eurasian pygmy owl and it had just lost its partner, before dying shortly afterward.
I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself“. D.H. Lawrence.
I don’t know about that.

This is what one looks like when it is (presumably) happy- as owls have the best resting bitch face on the planet.
eurasian pygmy owl looking into the camera
Photo by Lars Madsen

urban fox with long nose climbing looking over a wall
And finally a nosey fluffpuff, by Sam Hobson. This one’s the result of weeks of staking out a location in Bristol until one of the foxes trusted him enough to come near.

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