ADVERTISEMENT

Though nature can live without photography, photography can't live without nature. But nature is rapidly changing due to global warming and environmental effects caused by human activity. And photographers know this better than anyone since observing nature is part of their job. Thus many of the photos always have a bittersweet tone to them, no matter how beautiful they are: it painfully reminds us how fragile and important the balance in nature is. Therefore, the annual Nature Conservancy photo contest isn't just about picking the best wildlife or landscape photo, it's also about raising awareness for conservational efforts, which are sadly more and more needed these days. But let's not end with a sad note, shall we? After all, what nature teaches us is that it can always adapt and bounce back, and it's much more resilient than we give it credit for. No matter how many problems nature has or will have, it will always be an eternal source of beauty and inspiration.

We did an article of the Nature Conservancy photo contest three years ago. If you want to reminisce, review, or see them for the first time, you may find the link here.

More info: nature.org | Facebook | Instagram

#1

Wildlife, Second Place: Mateusz Piesiak, Poland

Wildlife, Second Place: Mateusz Piesiak, Poland

A large sunflower field, which could not be mowed this year due to the water level, attracted thousands of bird species this winter, mostly greenfinches, goldfinches and bramblings.

Photograph: Mateusz Piesiak

The Nature Conservancy Report

The people from the Nature Conservancy gave an exclusive interview to Bored Panda about the awards:

"The Nature Conservancy is a global environmental nonprofit working to create a world where people and nature can thrive. Founded in the U.S. through grassroots action in 1951, The Nature Conservancy has grown to become one of the most effective and wide-reaching environmental organizations in the world. Thanks to more than a million members and the dedicated efforts of our diverse staff and over 400 scientists, we impact conservation in 76 countries and territories: 37 by direct conservation impact and 39 through partners. Our first Global contest was in 2017, but the contest has been running for more than 10 years!

Our mission is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. To achieve this, we must boldly address the biodiversity and climate crises over the next decade. By maximizing our ability to affect change between now and 2030, we can shape a brighter future for people and our planet."

You May Also Like:
#2

People’s Choice Award: Prathamesh Ghadekar, India

People’s Choice Award: Prathamesh Ghadekar, India

Just before monsoon, fireflies congregate in certain regions of India. Sometimes milllions of these insects can be found on a few special trees like this one. Thirty-two photographs of this tree were taken and later stacked in Adobe Photoshop, creating this image.

Photograph: Prathamesh

The Nature Conservancy Report

Add photo comments
POST
happyhirts avatar
Mad Dragon
Community Member
2 years ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

32 photographs were stacked on top of each other to create this one photo. So each firefly is present in 32 different places in this picture.

View More Replies...
View more commentsArrow down menu
ADVERTISEMENT
#3

Water, Second Place: Joram Mennes, Mexico

Water, Second Place: Joram Mennes, Mexico

Three levels of leisure: swimmers, freedivers and divers enjoy their respective sport and recreational activities in a fresh water mass known locally as the Cenotes.

Photograph: Joram Mennes

The Nature Conservancy Report

"Each iteration of our Global Photo Contest has brought forth some incredible images. This year was no different. We saw stunning photography from all over the world. As we begin to review the images, it’s obvious which ones are going to rise to the top. What made this year special was that so many were rising to that finalist level—each day we were blown away with new and incredible photography and we quickly began to realize choosing our winners would not be easy. In the end we received over 100,000 entries from 158 countries!"

#4

Wildlife, First Place: Buddhilini De Soyza, Australia

Wildlife, First Place: Buddhilini De Soyza, Australia

Incessant rains in the Masai Mara national reserve in Kenya have caused the the Talek river to flood. This group of five male cheetahs, who received the nickname ‘Tano Bora’ ( the fast five), were looking to cross this river in terrifyingly powerful currents. ‘It seemed a task doomed to failure and we were delighted when they made it to the other side,’ De Soyza said. ‘This was a timely reminder of the damage wreaked by human induced climate change.’

Photograph: Buddhilini de Soyza

The Nature Conservancy Report

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
#5

Grand Prize: Anup Shah, UK

Grand Prize: Anup Shah, UK

A female western lowland gorilla, Malui, walks through a cloud of butterflies she has disturbed in Bai Hokou, Dzanga Sangha special dense forest reserve, Central African Republic. ‘I like photos that keep dragging you in. The face. Tolerance or bliss. It’s really hard to tell and the insects draw you there,’ said the celebrity judge Ben Folds.

Photograph: Anup Shah

The Nature Conservancy Report

"It was noticeable that many of the photographers were trying to show us more than just a stunning image. It’s one thing to read about the climate crisis; pollution; the pandemic; or drought; but seeing it through the eyes of photographers who are living with these issues daily really drives home the need for awareness and action. These photographers aren’t just out there trying to make a great image—they’re trying to educate us and change minds."

#6

Landscape, First Place: Daniel De Granville Manço, Brazil

Landscape, First Place: Daniel De Granville Manço, Brazil

The carcass of a Pantanal alligator in the dry soil on the banks of the Transpantaneira highway, municipality of Poconé (Mato Grosso). The photo was taken with a drone on 4 October 2020, at the height of the droughts that hit the Pantanal that year.

Photograph: Daniel De Granville

The Nature Conservancy Report

ADVERTISEMENT
#7

Wildlife, Honorable Mention: Anup Shah, United Kingdom

Wildlife, Honorable Mention: Anup Shah, United Kingdom

Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya. During the frenzy of crossing the Mara River, the wildebeests were leaping, kicking, scampering, and bucking.

Photograph: Anup Shah

The Nature Conservancy Report

"Overall, our judging process is simple. Each image entered is reviewed by a moderator to ensure that it is compliant with our rules. Every day during the contest entry period, a judge reviews the incoming images and graduates the ones that stand out to the next level of judging. After the entry period ends, all our judges come together (this year virtually) and review the finalists. We slowly go back and forth between our favorites and come to a consensus on our overall winners. This year we were fortunate to include singer/songwriter/photographer Ben Folds to help us in choosing our Grand Prize winner."

#8

People And Nature, Second Place: Tom Overall, Australia

People And Nature, Second Place: Tom Overall, Australia

A guide in the Sahara desert endures a sand storm.

Photograph: Tom Overall

The Nature Conservancy Report

Add photo comments
POST
kathy_1 avatar
Kathy
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That headdress whipping in the wind really exemplifies just how terrifyingly strong a sand storm can be...

ADVERTISEMENT
#9

People And Nature, First Place: Alain Schroeder, Belgium

People And Nature, First Place: Alain Schroeder, Belgium

Orangutans in Indonesia are under threat from the ongoing depletion of the rainforest due to palm oil plantations, logging, mining, hunting. This photograph shows a team of rescue workers preparing Brenda, a female orangutan who is estimated to be three months old as she still has no teeth, for surgery.

Photograph: Alain Schroeder

The Nature Conservancy Report

Add photo comments
POST
carolyngerbrands avatar
Caro Caro
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Next time you go shopping for groceries look at the ingredients on the packaging and avoid the products with palm oil. If we stop buying the companies will look for better alternatives.

View More Replies...
View more commentsArrow down menu
ADVERTISEMENT

"Becoming a member of The Nature Conservancy helps us continue our global efforts to conserve land and water. As a member, you’ll receive our award-winning magazine full of incredible photography and storytelling! The Spring 2022 issue will feature the winners of our 2021 Global Photo Contest. You may find a link to become a member here! And you may find our award-winning magazine here."

#10

People And Nature, Third Place, Sebnem Coskun, Turkey

People And Nature, Third Place, Sebnem Coskun, Turkey

‘Covid-19 wastes’ are a new danger to aquatic life. According to a World Wildlife Fund report, an equivalent to 33,880 plastic bottles is being mixed into the Mediterranean Sea per minute, with waste washing up on the shores of Italy and Turkey.

Photograph: Şebnem Coşkun

The Nature Conservancy Report

Add photo comments
POST
carolyngerbrands avatar
Caro Caro
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This makes me so sad and furious at the same time. Will we (humans) never learn...

View More Replies...
View more commentsArrow down menu
#11

People And Nature, Honorable Mention: Minqiang Lu, China

People And Nature, Honorable Mention: Minqiang Lu, China

The Nature Conservancy Report

Add photo comments
POST
kelliboone617 avatar
Kelli Lindsay
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Some people are just made of stronger stuff. This is terrifying and amazing.

View more commentsArrow down menu
#12

Water, Third Place: Man Wai Wong, Hong Kong

Water, Third Place: Man Wai Wong, Hong Kong

The photo was taken in the winter of 2019 in Iceland.

Photograph: Man Wai Wong

The Nature Conservancy Report

#13

Landscape, Second Place: Denis Ferreira Netto, Brazil

Landscape, Second Place: Denis Ferreira Netto, Brazil

‘In a helicopter flight through the sea mountain range, I came across this white cloud cover, which resulted in this magnificent image that resembles the head of a dinosaur,’ the photographer said.

Photograph: Denis Ferreira

The Nature Conservancy Report

Add photo comments
POST
pmnovack avatar
Kanga9ine
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This should haunt us in our dreams as a reminder of all the creatures we kill in the destruction of their habitat instead of finding a way to coexist. Top of the food chain because we can kill faster and skip right by endangered, go directly to extinction and grab some money to pay for the next annihilation.

ADVERTISEMENT
See Also on Bored Panda
#14

Wildlife, Honorable Mention: Thomas Vijayan, Canada

Wildlife, Honorable Mention: Thomas Vijayan, Canada

Orangutans are accustomed to live on trees and feed on wild fruits like lychees, mangosteens, and figs, and slurp water from holes in trees.

Photograph: Thomas Vijayan

The Nature Conservancy Report

#15

Landscape, Honorable Mention: Scott Portelli, Australia

Landscape, Honorable Mention: Scott Portelli, Australia

Lush green mangroves line the mud flats accentuated by the tidal waters and months of rain filling the artesian basin. Gulf of Carpentaria in tropical north Queensland.

Photograph: Scott Portelli

The Nature Conservancy Report

Add photo comments
POST
kathy_1 avatar
Kathy
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Visually very beautiful, photographed from above like that...

View more commentsArrow down menu
ADVERTISEMENT
#16

Water, First Place: Kazi Arifujjaman, Bangladesh

Water, First Place: Kazi Arifujjaman, Bangladesh

Arifujjaman often explores water in his work.

Photograph: Kazi

The Nature Conservancy Report

Add photo comments
POST
kathy_1 avatar
Kathy
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm curious to learn what kind of implement the man is carrying - does anyone know what it is and what it is used for?

#17

Wildlife, Third Place: Viktor Vrbovský, Czech Republic

Wildlife, Third Place: Viktor Vrbovský, Czech Republic

A pike tries to eat a large perch. “How did this end? I don’t know. The situation didn’t change much in an hour,’ Vrbovsky said. ‘I had to emerge because I was running out of air.’

Photograph: Viktor Vrbovský

The Nature Conservancy Report

Add photo comments
POST
camlynn1234 avatar
Miss Frankfurter
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Pike are such an aggressive fish. If you've ever caught one you need to be oh so careful taking the hook out or those teeth can give you quite the cuts, never.mind the hook.

View More Replies...
View more commentsArrow down menu
#18

Landscape, Honorable Mention: Kim-Pan Dennis Wong, Hong Kong

Landscape, Honorable Mention: Kim-Pan Dennis Wong, Hong Kong

At Hung Hom, the rising of full moon could be found every month thanks to its facing the east.

Photograph: Kim-pan Dennis Wong

The Nature Conservancy Report

Add photo comments
POST
#19

People And Nature, Honorable Mention: Wax Leung, Hong Kong

People And Nature, Honorable Mention: Wax Leung, Hong Kong

The Nature Conservancy Report

#20

Landscape, Third Place: Jassen Todorov, US

Landscape, Third Place: Jassen Todorov, US

‘If you have flown into San Francisco international airport, you may have seen these colourful salt ponds over the bay,’ Todorov said. ‘I have photographed them numerous times, as the colours and patterns constantly change thanks to microorganisms and salinity. This aerial image was taken while flying my plane.’

Photograph: Jassen Todorov

The Nature Conservancy Report