The World Nature Photography Awards have announced their 2020 winners, and the competition has proven itself to be a wonderful celebration of Mother Earth.
"2020 was a challenging year for many but nothing could be more uplifting than marveling at the beauty of the natural world around us," the organizers wrote. "And that's something that our 2020 winners have done with gusto."
Participants competed in 13 categories. Their images and captions revealed that the pandemic has diminished neither their passion nor their patience for capturing our planet. But at the end of the day, the title of World Nature Photographer of the Year went to Thomas Vijayan for his shot 'The world is going upside down.'
Continue scrolling and explore the winners.
More info: worldnaturephotographyawards.com
Animals In Their Habitat, Gold Winner And Grand Prize: Thomas Vijayan, Canada
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.
"Our winners work is seen by millions of people around the world and we hope that this encourages people to remember the beauty of our planet and think about how we can all help to preserve it," the organizers of the competition told Bored Panda. "We also actively support climate change charities and in 2021 are planning to plant a tree for every entry received."
For this competition, they received submissions from 20 countries across 6 continents.
Behaviour - Birds, Bronze: Lisa Roeder, United States
The team at World Nature Photography Awards know that the challenges around climate change are enormous. But they also know that amazing things can be achieved if we all come together.
"We believe that we can all make small efforts to shape the future of our planet in a positive way and photography can go a long way in influencing people to see the world from a different perspective and change their own habits for the good of the planet," they write on their website.
Behaviour - Birds, Gold: Dale Paul, Canada
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.
They also believe this applies to other areas as well. "We know that wildlife photography and travel often go hand in hand. But we can all do more to think about how to make our travel more sustainable wherever possible," they continued. "And, who knows, that great shot might not be waiting on the other side of the world but in your very own garden or in the park at the end of the street, especially now that COVID-19 has many of us staying at home to save lives."
Animal Portraits, Gold: Nick Dale, United Kingdom
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.
Adrian Dinsdale, the co-founder of the WNPA, said "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.”
Animals In Their Habitat, Silver: Vladimir Cech, Czech Republic
Behaviour - Birds, Silver: Andy Pollard, Falkland Islands
Urban Wildlife, Gold: Lawrence Worcester, United States
A songbird pulls at construction tape to snag a thread
Animal Portraits, Bronze: Femke Van Willigen, The Netherlands
Nature Art, Gold: Dipanjan Pal, India
A glacial river flowing through the black sand to the Atlantic.
Behaviour - Mammals, Silver: Darren Donovan, South Africa
Animal Portraits, Silver: Joseph Shaffery, United Kingdom
Plants And Fungi, Gold: Doron Talmi, Israel
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.
Urban Wildlife, Silver: Jocelyn Chng, Singapore
Behaviour - Amphibians And Reptiles, Gold: Vittorio Ricci, Italy
Two European common brown frogs during Spring mating season, Aveto, Italy.
Black And White, Gold: Harry Skeggs, United Kingdom
Ulysses, one of the last remaining great tuskers, bears down on top of me, demonstrating his colossal size and tusks
People And Nature, Gold: Christa Funk, United States
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.
Black And White, Bronze: Heiko Mennigen, Germany
Behaviour - Mammals, Gold: Patrick Nowotny, United States
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.
Planet Earth’s Landscapes And Environments, Bronze: Shawna Hinkel, United States
Behaviour - Mammals, Bronze: Nabarun Majumdar, India
Animals In Their Habitat, Bronze: Arlette Magiera, Germany
Planet Earth’s Landscapes And Environments, Silver: Mustafa Demirörs, Sweden
Urban Wildlife, Bronze: Adriana Rivas, Spain
Behaviour - Amphibians And Reptiles, Bronze: Mr Endy, Singapore
Behaviour - Invertebrates, Silver: Melissa Robertson, United States
Behaviour - Invertebrates, Gold: Dr Tze Siong Tan, Singapore
Dragonfly and damselfly sex is a very conspicuous event, easily recognised 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.