Sperm whales have been good to me.
More by chance than design, they've played a role in every major contest I've entered.
Back in the year 2000, I won the grand prize at The Blue Earth Underwater Photo Contest (the largest underwater photo contest in Japan) with my image of a sperm whale with its mouth wide open and a longline hook in its mouth.
A year later, my book Silent Symphony received the International Prize for Books of Underwater Images at The World Festival of Underwater Images in Antibes, France. One of the photographs in the book was of a sperm whale.
This year (I haven't entered any contests during the interim), I submitted a handful of images to the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition (co-organised by Veolia, the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine) and was fortunate enough to have this photograph of four sperm whales selected as the winning image in the Underwater World category:
First place in the Underwater World category of the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2010
Being in London for the past few days has been an incredible experience…first, seeing so many beautiful images collected and displayed in a magnificent venue (the Natural History Museum), and second, having the opportunity to meet so many gifted photographers covering the entire range of nature photography.
If you live in London, or happen to be in one of the cities that hosts the travelling photo exhibit in the coming months, I highly recommend making time to see the selected images. They are, in a word, inspiring.
Finally...a huge "Thank You!" to the organisers and sponsors for putting on a terrific contest, arguably the best of its kind in the world, and for giving me the chance to meet so many wonderful people.