Wildlife Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

I’m honoured to bring you photos from some of the winners of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year at the Natural History Museum.

As long time readers of the blog will know I love this exhibition. I haven’t seen these in person yet but I cannot wait! Here is what the Natural History Museum press release had to say about it this year…

Wildlife Photographer of the Year is produced by the Museum and is one of its most popular exhibitions. Last year, three million people across five continents saw the exhibition after it premiered in London. The exhibition celebrates 100 winning images, selected by a panel of international experts for their creativity, originality and technical excellence. Wildlife Photographer of the Year reveals the power of photography to capture the astonishing diversity of life and highlight our responsibility to protect it.
The Wildlife Photographer of the Year 52 was the most competitive to date, with 50,000 entries from 95 countries. It will tour across the UK and internationally to locations such as Spain, Canada and the USA.

 

There are plenty of amazing underwater images. As always the exhibition does an amazing job to raise critical public awareness for creatures who cannot speak for themselves. I suspect I shall be in tears again as I go around the exhibition, do you think thats why they have it so dark with lightboxes so you can have a secret teary-eyed moment? Don’t be ashamed, go, see, cry, show support.

The ice monster
© Laurent Ballesta / Wildlife Photographer of the Year

 

The sperm whales pictured here had just emerged from milling around in a gigantic cluster, with many of the whales defecating to such an extent that the water was opaque with poop and the water slick with secretions. The lingering remnants are visible in the background. Tactile contact features prominently in sperm whale social gatherings. In part, this facilitates the slouging off of skin, as is clearly visible in the whales here. Photographed in the Indian Ocean, off the northeast corner of Sri Lanka. Sperm whales are listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
Giant gathering
© Tony Wu / Wildlife Photographer of the Year

 

Leatherback Turtles nesting and hatching at Sandy Pint on St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands. Sandy Point is a US Fish & Wildlife reserve that has some level of protection for wildlife. But the waters off this beach remain largely unprotected. Several species of sea turtles frequent these waters and nest on these beaches. All species of sea turtles are endangered, with leatherbacks being among the most endangered.
Leatherback Turtle crawls back to the sea after nesting under moonlight at Sandy Point on the island of St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands, a location that has been designated as critical habitat for this endangered species. This photo was made at nearly 2am using a long exposure and light from the full moon. Leatherbacks are the oldest, deepest-diving and widest ranging of all sea turtle species. It is unknown exactly at what age these animals are sexually mature, but female leatherbacks return to beaches near where they hatched at perhaps age 30, to lay their eggs. Their eggs typically hatch approximately 60 days later, with often between 25-50 hatchlings emerging. They quickly crawl to the sea and begin a lifetime of perpetual swimming. Leatherbacks lives remain largely shrouded in mystery with little known about their behaviors while at sea. Researchers have been studying this population on St. Croix in hopes of learning more.
The ancient ritual
© Brian Skerry / Wildlife Photographer of the Year

 

This image features a very unusual (and fortunate) encounter between an aggregation of spider crabs (Leptomithrax gaimardii) and a predatory octopus (Octopus maorum). This is previously unknown site for spider crab aggregations and came as a complete surprise during the dive. When I saw the octopus in the distance, I couldn’t believe my luck. It was super excited and behaving akin to a child in a candy store trying to work out which crab it was going to catch and eat. The crab featured in the octopus’s tentacles was its final catch. This very rare and exciting encounter took place off Maria Island, Tasmania, Australia, Pacific Ocean, Southern Ocean.
Crab surprise
© Justin Gilligan / Wildlife Photographer of the Year

 

The incubator bird
© Gerry Pearce / Wildlife Photographer of the Year

 

The good life
© Daniel Nelson / Wildlife Photographer of the Year

 

HLUHLUWE UMFOLOZI GAME RESERVE, KWAZULU NATAL, SOUTH AFRICA, 17 MAY 2016: A Black Rhino Bull is seen dead, poached for its horns less than 24 hours earlier at Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve, South Africa. It is suspected that the killers came from a local community approximately 5 kilometers away, entering the park illegally, shooting the rhino at a water hole with a high-powered, silenced hunting rifle. An autopsy and postmortem carried out by members of the KZN Ezemvelo later revealed that the large calibre bullet went straight through this rhino, causing massive tissue damage. It was noted that he did not die immediately but ran a short distance, fell to his knees and a coup de grace shot was administered to the head from close range. Black Rhino are the most endangered rhino, HluHluwe Umfolozi is one of the last repositories for these animals, with less than 3000 left in the wild today. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images Reportage for National Geographic Magazine.)
© Brent Stirton / Wildlife Photographer of the Year

see this feature blogpost on the brutal reality of Rhino poaching 😦

http://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/the-brutal-reality-of-rhino-poaching.html

 

The jellyfish jockey
© Anthony Berberian / Wildlife Photographer of the Year

 

The night raider
© Marcio Cabral / Wildlife Photographer of the Year

 

An image taken from Hamnøy village in Lofoten Islands, Norway, looking towards the slopes found east of Olstinden peak, right above Vorfjorden. It was a quiet morning, I was all by myself on the shores of the fjord, when clouds broke here and there allowing light to pass and illuminate the huge migmatite and gneiss walls. These mountains rise steeply from the sea, a couple of hundred meters of vertical drop in some places, yet the birch trees, whose bright yellows and oranges decorate the landscape, grow on their slopes, some clinging to existence in the most precipitous spots.
Tapestry of life
© Dorin Bofan / Wildlife Photographer of the Year

 

Palm-oil survivors
© Aaron Gekoski / Wildlife Photographer of the Year

 

This adult male Chimpanzee lies on the forest floor with is hands clasped behind his head. He has a spent an hour trying to coax a female to join him from the canopy above, Alas to no avail, Now he lies and dreams of what could have been , Chibale, Uganda
Contemplation
© Peter Delaney / Wildlife Photographer of the Year

 

Sea Gulls – Flatanger Norway
In the grip of the gulls
© Ekaterina Bee / Wildlife Photographer of the Year

 

Stuck in: Driving through Lamar Valley area of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, USA, we saw a female Red Fox hunting along the road. We stopped and watched her for awhile as she walked quietly across the snow, listening for prey deep underneath. Finally, she stopped parallel to our car and tilted her head, staring at the ground a few feet in front of her nose. I grabbed my lens and placed it on the beanbag. Then I increased my ISO to 1000 hoping that I had enough shutter speed in case she jumped (moused). I knew that with the Canon 7dMII that I would get a lot of frames per second, so I placed her low in the frame down on the right and waited. She jumped! I captured the whole series, and once she landed, I recomposed and took a couple of shots of her buried deep in the snow. She stayed like this for about 10 seconds and then lifted herself out with a disappointed look on her face. She missed. 😦 This is fullframe.
(Post processing: minor exposure adjustment, selective desaturation of blues and selective saturation of orange because the light was so flat, midtones adjustment and minor sharpening of the fox)

© Ashleigh Scully / Wildlife Photographer of the Year

 

Polar pas de deux
© Eilo Elvinger / Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Also check out this blog post from NHM of Justin Hofman’s image, Sewage surfer (a little seahorse on a qtip, not shown here)
http://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/the-reality-of-a-sewage-surfer.html

Wildlife Photographer of the Year is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum, London

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PhotoFriday – ‘Mirror’

This week’s Photo Friday entry: ’Mirror’

Its possible that for this theme most people would post photos involving an actual mirror, or mirror like surface (I was thinking about doing a post on using the surface of the ocean as a mirror for cool reflection shots). However, I thought on it some more and decided I liked the idea of mirror symmetry more. These scorpion fish are actually fighting but they spent quite a while in this mexican standoff.

If you want to see my underwater photos from various places then check out the collection of galleries in my Reef Beasties Gallery. Or my best from 2012 here.

To see all the other photo Friday entries (and submit your own) for ‘Mirror’ here.

PS: I’m currently still selling my 60mm/D300 underwater macro set-up. Click here for more details & the full list of equipment for sale or email me at scubasuzy-sellingnikongear@yahoo.co.uk. Thanks for supporting my work!

PhotoFriday – ‘Spacious’

This week’s Photo Friday entry: ’Spacious’

This weeks theme got me thinking about what creates a feeling of space in am image? Take these two images of the same Cenote in Mexico for example. Shot at the same time of day with the same gear. The divers are roughly the same size in the image yet its the landscape orientation photo that feels more spacious to me. Please let me know what you think in the comments below?

If you want to see my underwater photos from various places then check out the collection of galleries in my Reef Beasties Gallery. Or my best from 2012 here.

To see all the other photo Friday entries (and submit your own) for ‘Spacious’ here.

PS: I’m currently still selling my 60mm/D300 underwater macro set-up. Click here for more details & the full list of equipment for sale or email me at scubasuzy-sellingnikongear@yahoo.co.uk. Thanks for supporting my work!

PhotoFriday – ‘Dad’

This week’s Photo Friday entry: ’Dad’

Here in the UK its fathers day on Sunday. While we’re all thinking about our dear old dads, spare a thought for the tiny fathers in the sea who actually give birth to their offspring such as this very pregnant pygmy seahorse above!

If you want to see my underwater photos from various places then check out the galleries in my Reef Beasties Gallery. Or my best from 2012 here.

See all the other photo Friday entries (and submit your own) for ‘Dad’ here.

PS: I’m currently selling my 60mm/D300 underwater macro set-up. Click here for more details & the full list of equipment for sale or email me at scubasuzy-sellingnikongear@yahoo.co.uk. Thanks for supporting my work!

PhotoFriday – ‘Travelling’

This week’s Photo Friday entry: ’Travelling’

Travelling is actually a tricker theme than you might think. For those of us that are lucky enough to travel, a lot the photos that we tend to take are of the destination or subjects at the destination, not the travelling itself. For me that’s usually beneath the sea. However on our last trip (to Raja Ampat) I tried something different. I love panorama photos but when you are on a boat there is very little point bringing a tripod and trying for serious panoramas. I did however enjoy creating these from my iphone. I tried to include the boat in them which for me makes them suitable for this theme. Click them to see them larger in pbase.

You can see more non-underwater travel photo galleries here.

If you want to see my underwater photos from various places then check out the galleries in my Reef Beasties Gallery. Or my best from 2012 here.

See all the other photo Friday entries (and submit your own) for ‘Travelling’ here.

PS: I’m currently selling my 60mm/D300 underwater macro set-up. Click here for more details & the full list of equipment for sale or email me at scubasuzy-sellingnikongear@yahoo.co.uk. Thanks for supporting my work!

PhotoFriday – ‘Little things’

This week’s Photo Friday entry: ’Little things’

I’ve very recently did two large posts on underwater macro photography (see here for with a 60mm – the set-up still for sale and here for 105mm). I love to take photographs of little things – this weeks photofriday theme, so I thought I’d focus (no pun intended ;)) on newer photos. The photo above is of a tiny pygmy squid I saw on my recent trip to Raja Ampat. Another little creature is the now famous pygmy seahorse. If you are thinking of photographing these adorable little creatures be sure to check out the Pygmy Pledge – the code of conduct for photoing these little guys. They get stressed by the light of the flashguns incredibly easily and can die as a result so to limiting your shots (to four or five) means you spend a long time waiting at depth for them to turn their little heads towards you. It doesn’t aways result in you getting the shot as these photos show but you get to spend quality time observing them safe in the knowledge you arn’t harming or upsetting them.

There are a couple of different types, above is a photo of a bargibanti pygmy seahorse (the knobbly-looking chubby ones) and below a photo of a Denise pygmy seahorse (the slightly less knobbly and skinner ones). There are also other types but I didnt see those on that trip.

They are masters of camouflage – can you spot the one in the photo below? Sometimes on the dive its hard to see them even when they are pointed out to you.

You can see more Raja Ampat photos here.

If you want to see my underwater photos from various places then check out the galleries in my Reef Beasties Gallery. Or my best from 2012 here.

See all the other photo Friday entries (and submit your own) for ‘Little things’ here.

PS: I’m currently selling my 60mm/D300 underwater macro set-up. Click here for more details & the full list of equipment for sale or email me at scubasuzy-sellingnikongear@yahoo.co.uk. Thanks for supporting my work!

PhotoFriday – ‘Candid Shot’

This week’s Photo Friday entry: ’Candid Shot’

This weeks theme is candid shot and I was thinking of putting in a photo of a fish yawning. It was however pointed out to me that the word candid only applied to people, so disbeliever that I am I looked it up on the oxford online dictionaries and darned if it isnt true! It makes mention specially as

“(of a photograph of a person) taken informally, especially without the subject’s knowledge”

So here we are, transported back to 2008 when I first got my DSLR, location: Venice, event: Masked Ball for Carnevale di Venezia. Bear in mind four things when looking at these photos, one, I was a newbie, two, I should probably reprocess them in a newer version of LR, three, there wasn’t much light and finally, four, I’m better at taking pictures of fish 😉 I hope you enjoy reliving this experience with me anyway. Below is a photo of me in my get-up (taken by Mike), the rest of the photos are all candid shots I took through an evening of opera & dinner – all done incognito:

To see more images from this ball, the gallery is here. It’s great fun if you ever get a change to go.

If you do want to see my underwater photos from various places then check out the galleries in my Reef Beasties Gallery. Or my best from 2012 here.

See all the other photo Friday entries (and submit your own) for ‘Candid Shot’ here.

PS: I’m currently selling the my nikon gear. Click here for more details & the full list of equipment for sale or email me at scubasuzy-sellingnikongear@yahoo.co.uk. Thanks for supporting my work!