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Into the wild with the World Nature Photography Award winners

Silver - People and Nature. 'We're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat'. Northern giant petrel. Ningaloo Reef, Australia

Silver - People and Nature. 'We're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat'. Northern giant petrel. Ningaloo Reef, Australia

The inaugural World Nature Photography Awards has delivered a strong collection of images showcasing the breadth of the planet’s natural wonders. From unusual animal perspectives to spectacular landscapes, here is a selection of highlights.

“We’ve been thrilled with the quality of work that was entered into the awards,” says Adrian Dinsdale, the competition’s co-founder. “It was such a privilege to see the competition’s philosophy come to life – our photographers really are shining a spotlight on the wonders of the natural world in a way that reminds us to do everything we can to protect the future of our planet.”

Gold - Behavior, Mammals. 'Lion Fight'. Serengeti, Tanzania

Gold – Behavior, Mammals. ‘Lion Fight’. Serengeti, Tanzania
Patrick Nowotny

As well as celebrating the art of nature photography, the competition was also founded to support climate change charities. All profits generated by the competition in 2021 go to a pair of organizations working to improve the future of the planet.

Bronze - Animal Portraits. 'The Inside Joke'. Eurasian red squirrel. Espelo, the Netherlands

Bronze – Animal Portraits. ‘The Inside Joke’. Eurasian red squirrel. Espelo, the Netherlands
Femke van Willigen

“In 2021, we will continue to support two climate change charities that are working hard to make a difference to the future of the planet,” the competition’s website states. “They are the Clean Air Task Force and Coalition for Rainforest Nations. In addition, we’re working with Ecologi to plant a tree every time someone enters the competition.”

Grand Prize Winner, Gold - Animals in their Habitat. 'The World Is Going Upside Down'. Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), Tanjung Puting National Park, Borneo

Grand Prize Winner, Gold – Animals in their Habitat. ‘The World Is Going Upside Down’. Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), Tanjung Puting National Park, Borneo
Thomas Vijayan

This year’s grand prize went to Canadian photographer Thomas Vijayan. His winning image presents a commonly photographed orangutan from an incredibly unique and disorientating perspective.

“I had this frame in my mind so firstly, so to get this shot, I firstly selected a tree that was in the water so that I can get a good reflection of the sky which can make the image look upside down, then I climbed up on the tree and waited for hours,” explains Vijayan. “This is a regular path for the orangutans to cross to another small island so I was sure to get this frame if I wait patiently. Hence I waited and waited for long and finally, I got this beautiful frame.”

Gold - Behavior, Invertebrates. 'Heart Wheel'. Damselflies. Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Gold – Behavior, Invertebrates. ‘Heart Wheel’. Damselflies. Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
Tze Siong Tan

Another highlight is Singapore photographer Tze Siong Tan’s impressive snap capturing the strange mating ritual of damselflies. Winning the Behavior, Invertebrates category, this compelling composition offers a rare insight into the unique behavior.

“Dragonfly and damselfly sex is a very conspicuous event, easily recognized by the heart-shaped “wheel” formation of mating pairs,” explains Tze Siong Tan. “I was lucky to encounter several pairs during a morning walk. I approached quietly to avoid scaring the pair away; and positioned my equipment carefully to get both damselflies in the same plane.”

Entries for the next World Nature Photography Awards are open now. The only major condition of entry is images cannot feature restrained or captive animals.

Take a look through the gallery at more highlights from this wonderful photography competition.

Source: WNPA