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Slideshow: Winners of the 2021 World Nature Photography Awards

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Winners of the 2021 World Nature Photography Awards

Recently, winners and runners up were announced for the annual World Nature Photography Awards (WNPAs). Entries were received from 20 countries all over the globe. Amos Nachoum, from the United States, received the title of Grand Prize Winner and $1,000 in cash for his image of a leopard seal about to capture and eat a Gentoo penguin. Nachoum waited for hours on an Antarctic peninsula for a low tide to come in – when seals typically search for their prey.

2021 winners and Silver plus Bronze (2nd and 3rd place) photos for all 13 categories can be found on the WNPA site. Entries for the 2022 competition are now being accepted.

Grand Prize and Gold Winner, Behavior – Mammals: Amos Nachoum (United States)

Artist Statement: For hours, I waited for the low tide to arrive along a shallow lagoon on a remote island off the Antarctic Peninsula. Like clockwork, the leopard seal arrived in the lagoon just before low tide. It put its head in the water and looked just like a rock sitting in the receding water. The young Gentoo penguins only dare to enter the water when it is shallow and when they got close enough to the seal, it turned its head at lightning speed, catching one of the penguins by its feet and taking it to deep water.

Once the seal reached open water, I followed it and swam parallel to it, observing its actions. To my surprise, it let go of the penguin twice. Each time, the seal chased after the penguin again, as if it was enjoying the game. The terrified penguin tried to escape as the game continued. But soon, the end came.

Gold Winner, Animal Portraits: Tom Vierus (Fiji)

Artist Statement: Long-tailed macaques enjoy the warmth of each other during a hot day in Bali, Indonesia. These animals show very similar behaviour to us humans including enjoying each other trusting company. The macaques are used to humans and are commonly found around temples where they tend to feed on food sacrifices by the locals.

Gold Winner, Behaviour – Amphibians and Reptiles: Shayne Kaye (Canada)

Artist Statement: This shot came out of a ‘nothing’ outing to a local park. It was the middle of a sunny summer day with harsh light and little activity. After going out with low expectations, I came across this tiny Pacific Tree Frog on a flower.

After waiting for it to move into a more photogenic position on the flower, and trying repeatedly to catch the mottled light through the tree’s leaves above it at exactly the right spot, I got exactly what I was hoping for. It proved to me that there’s really no bad time to head into nature with a camera!

Gold Winner, Behaviour – Birds: Ashok Behera (India)

Artist Statement: A wildebeest’s eyes being gorged by an African vulture, keenly watched by an African fox for an opportunity to scavenge. Taken at Masai Mara, Kenya.

Gold Winner, Behaviour – Invertebrates: Chin Leong Teo (Singapore)

Artist Statement: The common red ant is ingenious at traversing terrain. When front scout ants encounter a water obstacle, they intuitively form an “ant-bridge” with their bodies, so that their ant-mates at the back of the party can cross.

Gold Winner, Nature Art: Federico Testi (Italy)

Artist Statement: The natural creativity of San Quirico d’orcia, in Tuscany, Italy. Waves, shapes and tone created by light, in harmony with the universe.

Gold Winner, People and Nature: Sabrina Inderbitzi (Switzerland)

Artist Statement: I crawled into this ice cave on the totally frozen Lake Baikal in Russia. First I didn’t like the fact that the car and the people were in the middle of my picture, but then on a second view I found it just perfect.

Gold Winner, Plants and Fungi: Gautam Kamat Bambolkar (India)

Artist Statement: Entrance to a room inside an abandoned house in Goa, India. It is fascinating how mother nature takes over from where man has left.

Gold Winner, Urban Wildlife: Matthijs Noome (United States)

Artist Statement: Finally got the shot I wanted: a humpback’s fluke with the New York City downtown skyline in the distance. As water quality measures and conservation efforts have started to show real results over the last years, humpback whales are becoming a common sight more and more in New York waters.

Gold Winner, Planet Earth’s Landscapes and Environments: Sam Wilson (Australia)

Artist Statement: Travelling down random dirt roads can be so rewarding when you are greeted with scenes like this. Taken on South Island, New Zealand.

Gold Winner, Black and White: Vince Burton (United Kingdom)

Artist Statement: A recent trip to Iceland where we were lucky to view and photograph the rare ‘blue morph’ Arctic fox. The weather conditions were extreme, but that didn’t seem to bother the fox.

Gold Winner, Animals in their Habitat: Thomas Vijayan (Canada)

Artist Statement: Mature male orangutans have large flappy cheek-pads, known as flanges, a throat sac used to make loud verbalisations called long calls. Once they reach maturity, they spend most of their time alone, about 90%. I was lucky enough to get this fully-grown, matured orangutan giving me the best pose possible.

Gold Winner, Nature Photojournalism: Alain Schroeder (Belgium)

Artist Statement: Sibolangit, SOCP Quarantine Centre, North Sumatra, Indonesia. The whole SOCP team works together to prepare Brenda, an estimated 3-month-old female orangutan (she has no teeth yet), for surgery. A sedative is administered, the arm is shaved, her temperature is taken, while others hold her head or her hand out of compassion for the baby.

During the three-hour procedure, Dr. Andreas Messikommer, a renowned orthopaedic surgeon invited from Switzerland, will place a pin and screws to secure the damaged humerus. Brenda was confiscated from a villager in Blang Pidie on the west coast of Aceh who was keeping her as a pet.


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