A pair of mice fighting over scraps of food at a London tube station was recently awarded the 2019 Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Lumix People’s Choice Award. The extraordinary photo was among 25 shortlisted out of 48,000 submissions for the competition.
Sam Rowley, the winner of the competition’s People’s Choice Award, didn’t just happen to be in at the London Underground with his camera on him. No, this wasn’t some lucky shot but rather the result of careful preparation and a lot of patience.
Rowley had noticed that occasionally you would see mice fighting over food in London’s tube stations. The tussle would never last more than a few seconds. He decided he would photograph such a moment, so every night for a week, he visited multiple grubby subway stations, on the look for the perfect shot.
Although he intended only to capture simple silhouettes, Rowley took advantage of a split-second chance when two mice jumped at each other and briefly fought over some tiny crumbs. The whole fight was finished in less than a second but Rowley came out of it with an award-winning photo, which he titled Station Squabble.
“I’m so pleased to win this award. It’s been a lifetime dream to succeed in this competition in this way, with such a relatable photo taken in such an everyday environment in my hometown,” says Rowley. “I hope it shows people the unexpected drama found in the most familiar of urban environments.”
You can visit the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum in South Kensington, open until 31 May 2020.
In addition to Rowley’s stunning nature photograph, the LUMIX People’s Choice Awards jury selected four other “highly commended” images from the 25 finalists, embedded below.
All photos are courtesy of the National History Museum in London.