Yesterday I went to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London. As always, there were many outstandingly beautiful photographs, and many that captured the one perfect moment that may unfold in front of you if you sit in a hide in the right place with the right gear for far longer than any reasonable person can manage. Being a reasonable person, or at any rate a reasonably busy one, I'm not fancying my changes of becoming Wildlife Photographer of the Year.
Once I'd got over the cuteness of the frog and the grace of the owl and the intricate details of the damselfly, I started looking at the captions -- or more specifically, at the details of the photographers' kit. Almost all of this year's winning images were captured with a digital SLR of one sort or another. Even the junior photographers in the Ten Years and Under category were using cameras like the Canon 10D and the Nikon D70s.
There are obvious advantages to using a digital camera for nature photography. When you're swimming with dolphins or crawling through the streaming jungle, you don't want to be stopping to change film. With a big memory card, you can keep on snapping. Nevertheless, it's only recently that digital images have become acceptable for a competition like this. The overwhelming adoption of digital SLRs by the photographers in this competition demonstrates that the rise of digital photography is complete -- it's now the de facto method of capturing images.