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Slideshow: Winners of the 2020 World Nature Photography Awards

Winners of the 2020 World Nature Photography Awards

The World Nature Photography Awards (WNPAs) recently announced the winners and runners up for their 2020 competition. Thomas Vijayan, from Canada, was awarded a $1,000 cash prize for his photo of an endangered Bornean orangutan using a tree to cross over to another island.

‘We’ve been thrilled with the quality of work that was entered into the awards. 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,’ says Adrian Dinsdale, co-founder of the WNPAs.

Early bird entries are now open for the 2021 competition, through March 31st. While there is a fee, the WNPA site lists the Clean Air Task Force and Coalition for Rainforest Nations as two environmental charities that are supported. Organizers are also working with Ecologi to plant one tree for every entry received.

Gold Winner and Grand Prize: Thomas Vijayan (Canada)

Artist Statement: I had this frame in my mind so, to get this shot, I firstly selected a tree that was in the water so that I could get a good reflection of the sky which makes the image look upside down. Then, I climbed up the tree and waited for hours.

This is a regular path for the orangutans to cross to another small island, so I felt I was sure to get this frame if I wait patiently. It was a tough task but the end result paid off. Borneo is a photographers’ paradise. I really enjoyed shooting in such an untouched part of the world.

Gold, Animal Portraits: Nick Dale (United Kingdom)

Artist Statement: A Bengal tigress with a catchlight in her eye lies up to her neck in the dark shadows of a water hole. Her name is Maya ‘The Enchantress’, and she has orange and black stripes with white patches on her head.

Gold, Behavior – Amphibians and Reptiles: Vittorio Ricci (Italy)

Artist Statement: Two European common brown frogs during Spring mating season, Aveto, Italy.

Gold, Behavior – Birds: Dale Paul (Canada)

Artist Statement: This Great Horned Owl has just jumped from its perch in the trees to begin flight. She has thrust her wings forward to gain momentum. As the wings connect in front of her it appears as though she has formed a perfect flying saucer. The image was taken near High River, Canada.

Gold, Behavior – Invertebrates: Dr. Tze Siong Tan (Singapore)

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

Gold, Behavior – Mammals: Patrick Nowotny (United States)

Artist Statement: An interloper approaches a watering hole in the Serengeti that was already claimed by a small pride of lions. As the lioness came close, the pride attacked her in order to drive her away.

Gold, People and Nature: Christa Funk (United States)

Artist Statement: Andre Fajardo and I went to dive early one morning. Sometimes you’ll see a ton of life in this area and other times you won’t. This particular day we came upon a few bait balls and the fish let us swim around them. The photo was taken in the Pacific Ocean.

Gold, Plants and Fungi: Doron Talmi (Israel)

Artist Statement: South Eastern USA has numerous swamps, lakes and bayous where thousands of large “bald cypress” trees are growing in the water. The beautiful sights are further enhanced during the November fall foliage by amazing lights and reflections. The image was captured handheld, from a kayak at a misty dawn in a lake in East Texas.

Gold, Urban Wildlife: Lawrence Worcester (United States)

Artist Statement: A songbird pulls at construction tape to snag a thread.

Gold, Planet Earth’s Landscapes and Environments: Alessandro Gruzza (Italy)

Artist Statement: The first cold days of winter have frozen the surface of a pond. The first snowfall has revealed its delicate beauty. A long shutter speed enhances the movement of the clouds in the sky around Mount Cimon de la Pala, in the Pale San Martino Range. Location: Mount Cavallazza, Paneveggio-Pale San Martino Natural Park, Italy.

Gold, Black and White: Harry Skeggs (United Kingdom)

Artist Statement: Ulysses, one of the last remaining great tuskers, bears down on top of me, demonstrating his colossal size and tusks.

Gold, Nature Art: Dipanjan Pal (India)

Artist Statement: A glacial river flowing through the black sand to the Atlantic.

Gold, Nature Photojournalism: Gunther De Bruyne (Belgium)

Artist Statement: A white Rhino is dehorned to prevent being killed by poachers. It’s a highly effective strategy as well as a conservation measure of last resort. All rhino species are, or have been, on the brink of extinction due to the popularity of their horn in Asia. But to clarify: rhino horn is composed of keratin, the very same substance that forms our fingernails.

Nowadays, even in Asia, it’s widely known that rhino horn has no medicinal value or any other beneficial effect. However, the fewer rhinos there are, the higher the price of their horns, which unfortunately has made rhino horn consumption a status symbol.