4th October 2023

Cindies photographer early contender for Wildlife Photographer of the Year award


A Cambridge nightclub photographer is one of the early contenders to win the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year, it has been suggested.

The photograph, taken by Marcus Atherton – who publishes his photographs under the name ‘Marcuz Photography’ – was taken in Wednesday Cindies earlier this week, and has astonished critics.

It depicts a student, clad in a sweat-covered Jack Wills t-shirt, trying to put his thumbs up for the camera while holding four VKs between his fingers. Two friends – both wearing ties in a nightclub for no apparent reason – stand beside him with their arms around each other’s shoulders.

In the background, three men wearing near-identical checked shirts can be seen, one of whom is kissing a woman dressed in a full sports kit. An unidentifiable individual is sticking their middle finger up to the right of the image, while on the left a man violently dancing is blurred out in a way which makes him look as though he has three eyes.

Commenting on the photograph, Emily Milton – three-time Photographer of the Year winner from the United States – compared it to a Renaissance masterpiece and called it “one of the most dynamic images of nocturnal life ever to be taken.”

“The photograph is so immersive, you feel as though you are there. You can smell the sweat, hear the Grease soundtrack, and even taste those tropical flavours of orange and passion fruit, apple and mango, and ‘blue’.

“It even hews to the Fibonacci Spiral used by such greats as Leonardo Da Vinci to achieve balance and mirror the beauty of nature. I really am lost for words.”

Asked for his views on the image, Cameron Bridgeworth, a University spokesman, said he was ‘proud’ to see students employing such ‘innovative study techniques’.