The Most Breathtaking Entries From The Wildlife Photographer Of The Year Competition

A lioness drinks from a waterhole in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park. Isak Pretorius, South Africa

London’s Natural History Museum has revealed the first images from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2018 competition and they are, as always, spectacular. The winner of the competition (which has reached its 54th edition) will be announced in London on October 16. The 100 best entries will be shown in the museum from October until next Summer, as well as embark on a UK and international tour.

“We were captivated by the outstanding quality of the images entered into this year's competition, which spoke volumes to us about the passion for nature shared by talented photographers across the world," Ian Owens, director of science at the Natural History Museum and member of the judging panel, said in a press release. "I look forward to seeing the winning selection on beautiful lightbox displays in the exhibition. I'm sure the images will surprise and inspire our visitors, and raise awareness for threatened species and ecosystems."

More than 45,000 entries were submitted this year from amateurs and professionals across 95 countries. The images continue to provide unique insight into the natural world, our place in it, and the impact that humanity has had on our planet. The winning photographs were selected for their creativity, originality, and technical excellence.

"Life among litter" by Greg Lecoeur, France. 

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"Life among litter" by Greg Lecoeur, France.

A Sargassum fish is photographed floating among litter in the West Pacific ocean. The area is known for its currents, which bring nutrients to the diverse community of species that live there. Unfortunately, the currents also carry plastic and other litter to the region. 

 

"Ahead in the game" by Nicholas Dyer, UK 

"Ahead in the game" by Nicholas Dyer, UK

A pair of wild dog pups play with the head of a chacma baboon. This is unusual prey for the wild dogs, and has only been witnessed by the photographer a few other times. 

 

"Trailblazer" by Christian Wappl, Austria

"Trailblazer" by Christian Wappl, Austria

A firefly larva is photographed moving on the ground of the forest in Thailand’s Peninsular Botanic Garden. Fireflies spend most of their lives as larvae, and while the glow of the adults is for courtship reasons, the glowing organs in the larvae likely serve as a warning to predators.

 

"School visit" by Adrian Bliss, UK 

"School visit" by Adrian Bliss, UK

This hauntingly beautiful image captures a fox standing on a carpet of children-sized gas masks in an abandoned school in Pripyat, Ukraine. The city was evacuated after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Wildlife has since returned to the area, which is mostly free of humans. 

 

"Eye to eye" by Emanuele Biggi, Italy 

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"Eye to eye" by Emanuele Biggi, Italy
A young male Peru Pacific iguana is seen poking out of the eye socket of a deceased sea lion. The flesh of these dead mammals sustain insects and small crustaceans, which in turn draw larger predators to the area. 
 
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