The Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition recognizes the best nature photography and the winners have just been announced. Since 1965, this competition has brought us an up-close view of some of nature’s most hidden wonders. The year 2020 has been a wildcard, to say the least. The images below showcase award-winning photography while reconnecting us to the grounding and simple truths of our reality.
A young male proboscis monkey is delicately captured in quiet contemplation at the sanctuary in Sabah, Borneo. Photographer Mogens Trolle chimes in on the primate’s expression as “quite unlike anything I’ve ever seen on another monkey.” This image also lends a nod to the “monkey mind” mentality the modern world often struggles with. The invitation lies in finding stillness amidst a buzzing world.
A Tale of Two Wasps
The cuckoo wasp and the sand wasp appear to engage in a dance as they prepare to enter their neighboring nests. To capture this image, photographer Frank Deschandol did some preparation beforehand. By building a high-speed shutter, he was able to quickly capture these flying wasps. This image makes it clear, no matter how different we may seem there is always harmony to be found within our similarities.
The Golden Moment
Behold the diamondback squid! Similar to the meditative primate above, this transparent squid finds serenity suspended within the cool depths off the coast of Anilao, Philippines. The diamondback squid has light-reflecting pigments that appear to be gold when caught in the light.
This image was taken to raise awareness of the Indonesian bird market where primates are typically bought and sold. Although this image is not necessarily taken in the wilderness, the depiction of a wild animal in this setting sheds parallels to the rigidity of our current societal structure.
Planning and patience are always set to win the race. In this image, photographer Sergey Gorshkov captures this tigress leaving her mark on an ancient Manchurian fir tree. There are only a few of these Amur tigers left in the wilderness due to hunters.
Life in the Balance
Another innovative approach to photography is captured in this image of a glass frog eating. After spending hours walking in the torrential downpour, Culebras was able to snap this shot of the newly discovered species. However, the Manduriacu species of the glass frog is critically endangered due to illegal mining.
The complete list of the 17 award-winning photographers has been put on display at the Natural History Museum in London. Although seemingly different, observing animals in their natural elements provide alternate perspectives for enriching our realities as well as protecting those with no voice.
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