The beginning of the year normally means a lull in our social calendars, after Christmas, New Year and all the parties in between…January and February can be…somewhat dull! Which is why we’ve pulled together a list of the BEST photography exhibitions to go to right now….

1) Taylor Wessing Photography Portrait Prize in National Portrait gallery, closing on 9th Feb and has been running since the 14th November 2013. The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2013 is a unique opportunity to see sixty new portraits by some of the most exciting contemporary photographers from around the world. And with the tickets only £3 it’s a great activity that won’t break the bank! Find out more information right here: http://www.npg.org.uk/photoprize1/site13/index.php
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2) Landscape Photographer of the year in National theatre, closing on 9th Feb  is one of the National Theatre’s most eagerly anticipated exhibitions and is returning for its seventh year, sponsored by Network Rail. Entry is free: http://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/discover/exhibitions/take-a-view-2013
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3) Wildlife photographer of the year in Natural History museum closing on 23 March. The acclaimed Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition premieres at London’s Natural History Museum each year and tours more than 60 cities in the UK and across the world. It showcases the award-winning images, bringing the talent and vision of each photographer closer to all who visit.  Tickets are available at just £12 and can be bought here: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit-us/wpy/visit/index.html
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4) Astronomy Photographer of the year in Royal Observatory, opened until 23 Feb is back for the fifth year running, ‘Astronomy Photographer of the Year’ features dozens of professional and amateur images whittled down from more than 1,200 entries. Awe-inspiring photos, fall into four categories: ‘Earth and Space’, ‘Our Solar System’, ‘Deep Space’ and ‘Young Astronomer’ for under-16s. The overall winner this year is Mark Gee for his mesmerising image Guiding Light to the Stars. But other favourites include ‘A Flawless Point’ by Rogelio Bernal Andreo, in which the Milky Way blankets California’s Yosemite Valley, and Paul Haese’s ‘Solar Max’ – a textured close-up of the sun we could happily stare at until our eyes went funny. The exhibition is free: http://www.rmg.co.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/astronomy-photographer-of-the-year
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5) Only in England: Photographs by Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr until 17th March. Fascinated by the eccentricities of English social customs, Tony Ray-Jones spent the latter half of the 1960s travelling across England, photographing what he saw as a disappearing way of life. Humorous yet melancholy, these works had a profound influence on photographer Martin Parr, who has now made a new selection including over 50 previously unseen works from the National Media Museum’s Ray-Jones archive. Shown alongside The Non-Conformists, Parr’s rarely seen work from the 1970s, this selection forms a major new exhibition which demonstrates the close relationships between the work of these two important photographers.Tickets start from £8 and can be purchased here: http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/visitmuseum/plan_your_visit/exhibitions/only_in_england.aspx?gclid=CMCo_vrjjLwCFQhZ3god6EsASg
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