Ireland’s leading amateur nature and wildlife photographers were celebrated at the launch of Ireland’s Biodiversity Photographer of the Year exhibition.
The winners and finalists will now go on display at the Rediscovery Centre in Ballymun until the end of August.
Over 400 entries were received for the annual photo competition organised by the Irish Environmental Network as part of National Biodiversity Week which took place in May.
This year’s winning entry was a shot of a short-beaked common dolphin breaking the surface off West Cork taken by John Holden, who won for the second year in a row.
Mr Holden said that finding and observing Ireland’s wildlife hold great importance to him.
“These animals aren’t just exciting curiosities – they are vital links in the chain of life – their survival is so closely linked with our survival, and yet we, as a society pay them no heed, except to try our best to harvest them to near extinction,” he said.
“Another major factor in getting this shot was in learning how to spot the animals underwater and better predicting when they were about to leap,” he said. “This is all happening at ridiculous speed – on a boat that’s bobbing about in an Atlantic swell while jostling for viewing space with 11 other photographers. It’s challenging but incredibly fun.”
Photo credit: John Holden, winner of Ireland’s Biodiversity Photographer of the Year competition 2017 and 2018.