Photography

Highlights from the 2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards

Highlights from the 2021 Wildl...
Winner - Behavior, Mammals. Head to Head. Svalbard reindeer. Nikon D5 + 180–400mm f4 lens at 400mm 1/640 sec at f4 ISO 3200.
Winner - Behavior, Mammals. Head to Head. Svalbard reindeer. Nikon D5 + 180–400mm f4 lens at 400mm 1/640 sec at f4 ISO 3200.
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Winner - Natural Artistry. Bedazzled. Juvenile ghost pipefish. Nikon D850 + Trioplan 100mm f2.8 lens 12mm extension tube ND8 filter FIT +5 close-up lens 1/250 sec at f2.8 ISO 80 Subal housing two Retra strobe.
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Winner - Natural Artistry. Bedazzled. Juvenile ghost pipefish. Nikon D850 + Trioplan 100mm f2.8 lens 12mm extension tube ND8 filter FIT +5 close-up lens 1/250 sec at f2.8 ISO 80 Subal housing two Retra strobe.
Winner - 11 to 14 years.
2/16
Winner - 11 to 14 years. Sunflower Songbird. Melodious warbler. Fuji X-H1 + XF 100–400mm f4.5–5.6 lens 1/280 sec at f5.6 (-1 e/v) ISO 40.
Winner - Portfolio Award. Clash of the Dwarves. Cichlid Fish. Nikon D800 + Sigma APO Macro 150mm f2.8 lens; 1/200 at f9; ISO 200; Anthis Nexus housing; Retra strobe.
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Winner - Portfolio Award. Clash of the Dwarves. Cichlid Fish. Nikon D800 + Sigma APO Macro 150mm f2.8 lens; 1/200 at f9; ISO 200; Anthis Nexus housing; Retra strobe.
Winner - Urban Wildlife. The Spider Room. Brazilian wandering spider, photographed using forced perspective. Canon EOS 7D; Canon 14mm f2.8L lens; 1/250 sec at f11; ISO 400; Canon Macro Twin-Lite flash; custom made diffuser.
4/16
Winner - Urban Wildlife. The Spider Room. Brazilian wandering spider, photographed using forced perspective. Canon EOS 7D; Canon 14mm f2.8L lens; 1/250 sec at f11; ISO 400; Canon Macro Twin-Lite flash; custom made diffuser.
Winner - Behavior, Invertebrates. Spinning the Cradle. Fishing spider. Canon EOS 7D; Laowa 100mm f2.8 lens; 1/100 sec at f10; ISO 100; Canon Macro Twin-Lite flash; custom made diffuser.
5/16
Winner - Behavior, Invertebrates. Spinning the Cradle. Fishing spider. Canon EOS 7D; Laowa 100mm f2.8 lens; 1/100 sec at f10; ISO 100; Canon Macro Twin-Lite flash; custom made diffuser.
Winner - Wetlands, The Bigger Picture. Road to Ruin. DJI Mavic 2 Pro + Hasselblad L1D-20c + 10.3mm f2.8 lens 1/500 sec at f2.8 (+0.3 e/v) ISO 100.
6/16
Winner - Wetlands, The Bigger Picture. Road to Ruin. DJI Mavic 2 Pro + Hasselblad L1D-20c + 10.3mm f2.8 lens 1/500 sec at f2.8 (+0.3 e/v) ISO 100.
Winner - Oceans, The Bigger Picture. Nursery Meltdown. Nikon D4 + 24–120mm f4 lens 1/640 sec at f9 ISO 200.
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Winner - Oceans, The Bigger Picture. Nursery Meltdown. Nikon D4 + 24–120mm f4 lens 1/640 sec at f9 ISO 200.
Winner - Behaviour, Amphibians and Reptiles. Where the Giant Newts Breed. Sharp-ribbed salamanders. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV + Tokina 10–17mm f3.5–4.5 lens at 16mm 1/200 sec at f13 ISO 320 Aquatica housing two INON Z-330 flashes.
8/16
Winner - Behaviour, Amphibians and Reptiles. Where the Giant Newts Breed. Sharp-ribbed salamanders. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV + Tokina 10–17mm f3.5–4.5 lens at 16mm 1/200 sec at f13 ISO 320 Aquatica housing two INON Z-330 flashes.
Winner - Plants and Fungi. Rich Reflections. Nikon D850 + Sigma 15mm f2.8 lens 1/160 sec at f13 ISO 400 Nauticam housing twin Ikelite DS161 strobes + sync cord.
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Winner - Plants and Fungi. Rich Reflections. Nikon D850 + Sigma 15mm f2.8 lens 1/160 sec at f13 ISO 400 Nauticam housing twin Ikelite DS161 strobes + sync cord.
Winner - 15 to 17 Years. High-flying Jay. Siberian jay. Nikon D5 + 14–24mm f2.8 lens 1/800 sec at f4 (+0.7 e/v) ISO 6400 Vello remote control.
10/16
Winner - 15 to 17 Years. High-flying Jay. Siberian jay. Nikon D5 + 14–24mm f2.8 lens 1/800 sec at f4 (+0.7 e/v) ISO 6400 Vello remote control.
Grand Prize Winner, Winner - Underwater. Creation. Camouflage groupers. Nikon D5 + 17–35mm f2.8 lens at 17mm 1/200 sec at f11 ISO 1600 Seacam housing Seacam strobes1/200 sec at f11 ISO 1600 Seacam housing Seacam strobes.
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Grand Prize Winner, Winner - Underwater. Creation. Camouflage groupers. Nikon D5 + 17–35mm f2.8 lens at 17mm 1/200 sec at f11 ISO 1600 Seacam housing Seacam strobes1/200 sec at f11 ISO 1600 Seacam housing Seacam strobes.
Winner - Animal Portraits. Reflection. Mountain gorilla. Nikon Z6 + 70–200mm f2.8 lens at 200mm 1/320 sec at f6.3 ISO 640.
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Winner - Animal Portraits. Reflection. Mountain gorilla. Nikon Z6 + 70–200mm f2.8 lens at 200mm 1/320 sec at f6.3 ISO 640.
Winner - Rising Star Portfolio Award. Polar bears. DJI Mavic 2 Pro + Hasselblad L1D-20c + 28mm f2.8 lens; 1/400 sec at f3.2; ISO 100.
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Winner - Rising Star Portfolio Award. Polar bears. DJI Mavic 2 Pro + Hasselblad L1D-20c + 28mm f2.8 lens; 1/400 sec at f3.2; ISO 100.
Winner - Behavior, Birds. The Intimate Touch. Nikon D500 + 200–500mm f5.6 lens at 420mm 1/1250 sec at f7.1 ISO 900.
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Winner - Behavior, Birds. The Intimate Touch. Nikon D500 + 200–500mm f5.6 lens at 420mm 1/1250 sec at f7.1 ISO 900.
Winner - Behavior, Mammals. Head to Head. Svalbard reindeer. Nikon D5 + 180–400mm f4 lens at 400mm 1/640 sec at f4 ISO 3200.
15/16
Winner - Behavior, Mammals. Head to Head. Svalbard reindeer. Nikon D5 + 180–400mm f4 lens at 400mm 1/640 sec at f4 ISO 3200.
Winner - Animals in their Environment. Grizzly Leftovers. Nikon D610 + 18–35mm f3.5–4.5 lens at 25mm 1/160 sec at f10 (-1.7 e/v) ISO 1000 two Nikon SB-28 flashes self-made camera-trap system.
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Winner - Animals in their Environment. Grizzly Leftovers. Nikon D610 + 18–35mm f3.5–4.5 lens at 25mm 1/160 sec at f10 (-1.7 e/v) ISO 1000 two Nikon SB-28 flashes self-made camera-trap system.
View gallery - 16 images

For over half a century the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition has consistently and spectacularly celebrated the natural world. This year’s crop of winners is no exception, from Svalbard reindeer going head to head to a frightening cluster of wandering spiders.

Initially founded in 1965 as an animal photography contest, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition is now run by London’s Natural History Museum. In its 57th year the competition gathered more than 50,000 entries from photographers in 95 countries.

Winner - Urban Wildlife. The Spider Room. Brazilian wandering spider, photographed using forced perspective. Canon EOS 7D; Canon 14mm f2.8L lens; 1/250 sec at f11; ISO 400; Canon Macro Twin-Lite flash; custom made diffuser.
Winner - Urban Wildlife. The Spider Room. Brazilian wandering spider, photographed using forced perspective. Canon EOS 7D; Canon 14mm f2.8L lens; 1/250 sec at f11; ISO 400; Canon Macro Twin-Lite flash; custom made diffuser.

The competition spans more than a dozen diverse categories including Urban Wildlife, Bird Behavior, Mammal Behavior and Animal Portraits. Three new categories were added this year covering Natural Artistry, and larger landscape portraits of Oceans and Wetlands.

The overall Grand Prize winner this year went to a magical shot of camouflage groupers shooting out of a cloud of fertilized eggs. Captured by experienced underwater photographer Laurent Ballesta, the shot was the culminations of five years of expeditions to a site in French Polynesia.

Grand Prize Winner, Winner - Underwater. Creation. Camouflage groupers. Nikon D5 + 17–35mm f2.8 lens at 17mm 1/200 sec at f11 ISO 1600 Seacam housing Seacam strobes1/200 sec at f11 ISO 1600 Seacam housing Seacam strobes.
Grand Prize Winner, Winner - Underwater. Creation. Camouflage groupers. Nikon D5 + 17–35mm f2.8 lens at 17mm 1/200 sec at f11 ISO 1600 Seacam housing Seacam strobes1/200 sec at f11 ISO 1600 Seacam housing Seacam strobes.

“This photo captures the chaos as females release their eggs and males rush to fertilize them,” explains competition judge and evolutionary biologist Natiale Cooper. “We loved the sense of movement and peril in the image. This is such a beautiful and atmospheric photo, and it also highlights an event that is becoming rarer in our oceans. These groupers are endangered, as are many other grouper species, mainly as a result of overfishing.”

Winner - Wetlands, The Bigger Picture. Road to Ruin. DJI Mavic 2 Pro + Hasselblad L1D-20c + 10.3mm f2.8 lens 1/500 sec at f2.8 (+0.3 e/v) ISO 100.
Winner - Wetlands, The Bigger Picture. Road to Ruin. DJI Mavic 2 Pro + Hasselblad L1D-20c + 10.3mm f2.8 lens 1/500 sec at f2.8 (+0.3 e/v) ISO 100.

Another highlight from this year’s winners is Javier Lafuente’s impressive drone shot of a wetland sliced in two by a road. Winning the new Wetlands – Bigger Picture category, the shot is a perfect composition to illustrate the sharp confrontation between natural environments and manmade objects.

Winner - Animals in their Environment. Grizzly Leftovers. Nikon D610 + 18–35mm f3.5–4.5 lens at 25mm 1/160 sec at f10 (-1.7 e/v) ISO 1000 two Nikon SB-28 flashes self-made camera-trap system.
Winner - Animals in their Environment. Grizzly Leftovers. Nikon D610 + 18–35mm f3.5–4.5 lens at 25mm 1/160 sec at f10 (-1.7 e/v) ISO 1000 two Nikon SB-28 flashes self-made camera-trap system.

In the Animals in their Environment category, this intriguing shot of a cheeky Grizzly bear posing in front of a meal took out first prize. Take a look through our gallery at more stunning winners from this prestigious annual competition.

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum, London. The top 100 images can be currently seen in person in the London museum, with the exhibition touring internationally over the coming months.

Source: NHM

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