The Winners Of The 2021 World Nature Photography Awards Are Here, And The Pics Are Stunning (30 Pics)
The annual World Nature Photography Awards (WNPA) have just announced their 2021 winners, and the pictures are stunning.
The top award and cash prize of $1,000 went to Amos Nachoum from the United States for his image of a leopard seal about to capture a defenseless Gentoo penguin.
Nachoum waited patiently for hours on the remote island of Plano, off the Antarctic Peninsula, for the right moment at low tide, when the seals stealthily enter a lagoon and search for their prey.
However, all 14 categories have seen images that capture the beauty of our planet.
As humanity's relationship with Earth slowly shifts to be one of protection rather than plunder, the organizers of the contest believe that photography can put a spotlight on the majesty and wonder of the natural world, reminding us to take action now in order to secure a better tomorrow for everyone. And when you scroll through the judges' favorites, it's impossible to disagree.
More info: worldnaturephotographyawards.com
Animal Portraits, Bronze: Amit Eshel, Israel
WNPA started when a group of sustainability professionals, photography sponsorship consultants and the team behind the long-established design competition the Visual Identity Awards came together to follow up on the germ of an idea for a competition that not only promotes the world's best photographers but also does something for the planet.
2021's competition saw entries come in from 20 countries across 6 continents. "As always, it's such a thrill to see the amazing caliber of entries into the awards," Adrian Dinsdale, co-founder of the WNPA told Bored Panda in a statement. "Seeing these images cannot fail to motivate one to do everything to protect this fragile planet of ours. We offer our heartfelt congratulations to all the winners."
Behaviour Amphibians And Reptiles, Silver: Massimo Giorgetta, Italy
Urban Wildlife, Silver: Mohammad Murad, Kuwait
The overall winner of the competition, Amos Nachoum, has photographed just about everything from war and fashion to car and motorcycle races. However, what he loves shooting the most is wildlife.
Though his interest in conservation began with sharks, Amos looks to bring attention to the most fragile regions of the underwater realm with preservation of the environment foremost in his mind. His favorite way to raise awareness and stimulate passion for the ocean is to help viewers experience it first-hand.
Amos's photography has also won Nikon, Communication Arts, and BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards.
Behaviour Mammals, Gold Winner And Grand Prize: Amos Nachoum, USA
"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. "
Behaviour Mammals, Bronze: Buddhilini De Soyza, Australia
We really need contests such as WNPA, reminding us to cherish the only home we have. CO2 PPM (parts per million) is at 418 and the global temperature rise is 1.1 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.
Increased emissions of greenhouse gases are causing catastrophic events all over the world – from Australia and the US experiencing some of the most devastating bushfire seasons ever recorded to microplastic being found in Antarctic ice and the intensifying deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, there are plenty of signs that things aren't going well.
Behaviour Birds, Silver: Robert J. Ross, USA
Behaviour Amphibians And Reptiles, Gold: Shayne Kaye, Canada
Animal Portraits, Gold: Tom Vierus, Fiji
"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."
Black And White, Silver: Avanka Fernando, Sri Lanka
According to economists like Nicholas Stern, the climate crisis is a result of multiple market failures.
Economists and environmentalists have urged policymakers for years to increase the price of activities that emit greenhouse gases (one of our biggest environmental problems).
A national carbon tax is currently implemented in 27 countries around the world, including various countries in the EU, Canada, Singapore, Japan, Ukraine, and Argentina.
Behaviour Birds, Bronze: Robert Maynard, UK
Planet Earth's Landscape And Environments, Gold: Sam Wilson, Australia
Black And White, Bronze: Michael Stavrakakis, Australia
However, as the 2019 OECD Tax Energy Use report highlights, current tax structures are not adequately aligned with the pollution profile of energy sources.
For example, the OECD suggests that carbon taxes are not harsh enough on coal production, although it has proved to be effective for the electricity industry.
A carbon tax has been effectively implemented in Sweden; the carbon tax there is $127 per tonne and has reduced emissions by 25% since 1995, while its economy has expanded 75% in the same time period.
Animals In Their Habitat, Bronze: Christian Tuckwell Smith, UK
Furthermore, organizations such as the United Nations are not fit to deal with the climate crisis. Take the Paris Agreement, for example. It says that countries need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly so that global temperature rise is below 2 degrees Celsius by 2100, and ideally under 1.5 degrees. But signing on to it is voluntary, and there are no real repercussions for non-compliance.
People And Nature, Gold: Sabrina Inderbitzi, Switzerland
A recent WWF report pointed out that the population sizes of mammals, fish, birds, reptiles, and amphibians have experienced a decline of an average of 68% between 1970 and 2016. The paper attributes this biodiversity loss to a variety of factors, but mainly land-use change, particularly the conversion of habitats, like forests, grasslands, and mangroves, into agricultural systems.