London’s Natural History Museum (NHM) has, after much deliberation, just announced the winners of its 52nd Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards. As has been made clear by the nearly 50,000 entries from 95 countries, there are some extremely talented photographers out there, and nature has never looked so good.
One hundred images made it through to the final round, but there can only be a handful of winners, and here is a selection of them in all their technicolor glory.
“The winning images touch our hearts, and challenge us to think differently about the natural world,” Sir Michael Dixon, Director of the NHM, said in a statement.
The exhibition opens on October 21, but if you can’t make it to London, worry not – the images will make their way across six different continents, so you may be able to catch them as they circumnavigate the globe.
Think you have taken an award-winning image? From October 24, you can send in your entry to next year’s competition here.
1 – Entwined Lives (Overall Winner)
A critically endangered Bornean orangutan holds on to a thick root of a strangler fig that has wrapped itself around a tree 30 meters (roughly 100 feet) above the ground. This particular creature was spotted in the rainforest of the Gunung Palung National Park, one of the few protected orangutan strongholds in Indonesia.
This precarious primate was captured on camera by a remotely-triggered GoPro, which was put in place by the photographer during his own perilous climb. Ripe with symbolism and technical flair, it’s clear to see why this photographer was crowned the overall winner of the competition.
Credit: Tim Laman, from USA/Wildlife Photographer of the Year
2 – The Moon and the Crow (Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year Winner)
A crow takes on a supernatural air against a lunar backdrop. Shot near his London home in Valentines Park, the nocturnal scene was described by the 16-year-old photographer as “like something out of a fairytale.”
Lewis Blackwell, chair of the jury, said that “if an image could create a poem, it would be like this.”
Credit: Gideon Knight, from UK/Wildlife Photographer of the Year
3 – Eviction Attempt (Winner, Birds)
A Bengal monitor lizard attempts to squat inside the nest of a few rose-ringed parakeets in India’s Keoladeo National Park, and it’s safe to say that the occupants were not best pleased. After biting on the lizard’s tail and hanging on for a few moments each time, the sneaky critter retreated. It wasn’t quick to give up entirely, though – the battle for supremacy repeated itself multiple times at lightning speeds over the next two days.
Credit: Ganesh Shankar, from India/Wildlife Photographer of the Year
4 – Wind Composition (Winner, Plants and Fungi)
This gloriously detailed close-up of a hazel tree’s flowers showcases the incredible details of both the male and female flowers, the latter of which is a small bud-like structure with a red-tufted stigma. Each catkin, as these long structures are called, release vast amounts of pollen early in the year to be carried away by the wind, but new research suggest bees play an important role in pollen transfer too.
Credit: Valter Binotto, from India/Wildlife Photographer of the Year