He accepted this prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year award in the category of “Animal Portraits” on October 17 at a ceremony at the Natural History Museum in London wearing the new LUC8K handmade designer leather belt with the metal buckle that serves as both the lucky number “8” and the infinity symbol.
“To be nominated for the WPOY awards is an honor and privilege,” Delaney said. “The Wildlife Photographer of the Year is one of the oldest and most prestigious nature competitions globally and is considered the benchmark in nature photography.”
Delaney received the award for his black and white portrait photograph, “Chimpanzee Dreaming,” which is appropriate since chimpanzees are his favorite pictorial subject to capture in the wild.
“Photographing our closest relative, the chimpanzee, will always be one of my favorite adventures,” he said. “I have never felt so aware of myself photographing wildlife as I have whilst photographing Chimpanzees. They are so eerily human-like in their behavior it can sometimes be both unnerving and exciting.”
In 2001, Delaney quit his job in finance to travel the African continent in a 4×4 Landcruiser, spending upwards of several months at a time attempting to take that perfect nature photograph. His efforts have paid off in numerous awards, including Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards in 2011 and 2013. He has also had adventures that few others will ever get to experience.
“I have been stalked by a leopard outside my tent, showered with snakes, charged by a black rhino, and I’ve been close enough to a massive lion I could smell his breath,” he said.
His time spent in the natural world has given him an appreciation of the importance of sustainability. It’s a principle that guides his personal and professional life.
The sustainable mission of LUC8K, a creator of high-quality handcrafted bespoke leather and weekender bags and accessories, attracted Delaney to the brand and its founder, Karen Olivo.
“I am honored to be an ambassador,” he said. “LUC8K produces high-quality handcrafted luxury leather goods that are customizable and made using sustainable practices. I contacted LUC8K asking if they would create a messenger-style leather camera bag in the near future. I mentioned in my email that I would love to promote their leather goods within the photographic industry. The rest is history.”
Delaney shares his ambassador role with Sophie, a 15-foot giraffe who travels the world with LUC8K leather goods and spreads the word of making sustainable choices in one’s life. He says while they both share a commitment to sustainability, Sophie has many characteristics that he doesn’t possess.
“Sophie is female, long-legged, elegant, and beautiful,” he said. “But we do love leather bags!”
Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017 and a Sustainable Life
With his dedication toward living a sustainable life, his choices of products are important. His decision to be a spokesman for LUC8K is proof of this. He chose FujiFilm for the same reasons.
“Photography is my livelihood and my vocation. Without a sustainable photographic industry, I would have to find other means to support my family. And my life would be less rich in terms of job satisfaction and experiences,” he said. “I was delighted to find out about FujiFilm’s eco-friendly stance as I would not work with a company that would be detrimental to our environment.”
“As a Fine art photographer, I am hoping the ‘fine art print’ will always be in demand as the tangible qualities of a print hanging as wall art will always outweigh those intangibles qualities of a digital image.”
For LUC8K and Delaney, the Infinity symbol is integral to the work they perform. For LUC8K, it “serves as a testament towards our desire to work with our customers and seamlessly bring your dream products to life.”
For Delaney, it stands for “never-ending and limitless possibilities.”
LUC8K produces exclusive designer leather bags, weekender bags, and accessories manufactured and distributed in a sustainable way. The leather is either 100% Bull Poney, or Nappa harvested and manufactured in a sustainable manner. Additional materials are sourced from Italy and Switzerland with the same commitment to sustainable practices. Clients choose their own colors and lucky numbers as all products are handmade to order in France with love. To learn more, visit luc8k.com.
Peter Delaney is a world-renowned nature photographer who specializes in African landscapes and wildlife. To learn more, visit Peter Delaney Photography.
In its 53rd installment, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition provides a showcase for the world’s very best nature photography. The competition is owned by the world-renowned and trusted British institution, the Natural History Museum. The Wildlife Photographer of the Year series consists of a major exhibition at the Museum and a worldwide tour. The winning images appear on this website and leading publications worldwide. As a result, the photographs are seen by millions. To find out about the Museum: visit www.nhm.ac.uk.