Incredible drone shot wins the Nature TTL Photograph of the Year
French photographer Florian Ledoux has won the inaugural Nature TTL Photographer of the Year award for an incredible drone shot featuring crabeater seals resting on a floating chunk of ice. Ledoux’s impeccably composed shot beat 7,000 entries from over 100 countries.
The new photography competition is run by Nature TTL, a novel resource founded by wildlife photographer Will Nichols with the goal of offering educational tutorials and features to assist amateur and professional nature photographers. Accompanying Ledoux’s winning image is an interview with the photographer explaining his process, along with advice for amateur drone photographers on how to approach wildlife with this technology.
“It is very important to be aware and ethical with your approach when using drones with wildlife,” says Ledoux. “Pay attention to the behavior of the animal and don’t spook it. You should approach drone photography in the same way that you would approach wildlife photography on the ground. Slow movements and approaching from very high up will reduce the risk of disturbance. When up very high I start by taking wide shots, slowly descending and stopping the drone at different heights to ensure the animals are not frightened.”
The competition spans three main categories: Landscape, Wildlife and Macro. Additional prizes are offered to photographers under 16 and a People’s Choice pick.
Robert Ferguson’s fascinating shot of a great white pelican struggling to swallow a fish won the People’s Choice award. As Ferguson describes, the image captures a bird struggling to eat a non-native fish that had hooked itself onto the pelican’s beak.
“I had set up my camera to take some portraits and watch their behavior, and noticed one particular bird that had caught one of the big fish from the pond,” Ferguson explains. “I watched, intrigued, as the bird swam in circles, dipping his bill, taking water, then raising his beak to attempt to swallow his large prey. But every time the fish extended its sharp spines on its fins – you can see it hooked on the beak here – and lodged itself firmly. This went on for over 20 minutes, with no sign of either party tiring.”
Other highlights from this impressive new photo contest include a beautiful drone shot showing a flock of sheep seeking shelter from the sun in an afternoon shadow, a stunning snap of a startled owl spooked by a swooping jackdaw, and a frightening image of a camouflaged spider in Australia’s tropical north.
Take a look at all the winners and commended images in our gallery.
Source: Nature TTL