updated 02/12/1996 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 02/12/1996 AT 01:00 AM EST
As the pictures on these pages attest, wildlife photographers seem to have more than their share of good luck—capturing just the right moment, in perfect light. But most of these images, drawn from the prestigious British Gas Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition, testify to the accuracy of the dictum coined by baseball Hall of Famer Branch Rickey: Luck is the residue of design. Photographers who work in the wild often wait days, even weeks, to bag their prey. But their photographs can be unique—a family of penguins clustered on a cerulean iceberg in Antarctica or a fox cub gazing adoringly at its mother. The winners and the runners-up in the 1995 competition, 88 in all, can be seen at the Houston Museum of Natural Science this week and thereafter in Jamestown, N.Y. (Feb. 25-April 7), Lawrence, Kans. (June 21-Sept. 6), and San Diego (Sept. 27-Nov. 8).