I went back to The Times the other week. It was a little weird. Before they fired me I had persuaded the paper to sponsor a photographic competition run by the World Land Trust. This is good publicity for a cause and an organisation I care about and I had no wish to see WLT pulling out in loyalty to me. So, being a judge, I had to turn up to the judging. And it was at The Times.
The Times are in a new building now, so it wasn’t as spooky as I’d expected. I bumped into a few old friends, and that was nice rather than nasty. Admittedly I gave my former sports editor, Tim Hallissey, a bit of a turn. It was probably good therapy, if anything.
But the hell with that: what about the beasts? What about the competition?
Across the world, wildlife researchers set up their camera-traps to record data about the creatures and places they study. The patient cameras reveal details about who and what lives there and sometimes how they do it. And every now and then these cameras capture moments of beauty and wonder: every now and then, something very much like art. So WLT invented a competition to recognise this.
The prize-money goes to a scientific organisation, not an individual. There are various categories, including a new one for moving image. That would also have won the prize for best comedy.
The other judges were John Burton, CEO of World Land Trust, Sue Connolly, who was then picture editor of The Times, and two Times photographers: Jack Hill, who knows what it’s like to be up the sharp end, and David Bebber, with whom I have shared adventures in Paraguay, India and Borneo.
So this was a great bunch and we had a fine time arguing it all out, as we inspected one wonderful image after another. And here it all is, with all the winners and the placed entries: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EulksKBhG18&feature=youtu.be
I hoe you like the camel.