These Wildlife Photographer of the Year Photos Are Breathtaking
The competition, now in its 55th year, presents a glimpse into the beauty, intensity and tragedy of our planet.
The collection of images are at times stunning and just as often brutal. They range from absolute serenity and delicacy to thrilling displays of the circle of life. The most moving images, though, show interactions between nature and humanity. One tells a story of barbaric waste, one of adaptation and another of hope.
The competition is one of the most prestigious of the year so if you find yourself in London sometime in the next six months, be sure to check it out. The exhibition opens in October and runs through to May next year. In the meantime, check out some of the photographs below.
‘Canopy hangout’ by Carlos Pérez Naval
This serene image of a three-toed sloth gazing through the mist was taken by a teenage photographer on holiday with his family in Panama.
‘Beach waste’ by Matthew Ware
This haunting photo of a sea turtle strangled in a beach chair bearing the University of Alabama’s logo brings a harrowing new meaning to their sporting moniker, the ‘Crimson Tide’.
‘The hair-net cocoon’ by Minghui Yuan
What you are looking at is a cocoon suspended in a cage woven to protect the insect while it matures. Minghui found this one on the wall of a bathroom in China.
‘Big cat and dog spat’ by Peter Haygarth
This image shows the ferocity of the wild. A pack of wild dogs take on a lone cheetah after a warthog escaped their hunt. The battered cheetah managed to flee, but not before this frantic photo could be taken.
‘Lucky Break’ by Jason Bantle
Adapt or die. This image shows a mother raccoon poking her head out of the wrecked car she has been using to raise her family. The hole in the windshield is the only way in and it’s too small for any wily coyotes who might want to break up the family.
‘The climbing dead’ by Frank Deschandol
This haunting photo shows the damage of a parasitic ‘zombie’ fungus. It infects the weevil while it is alive and gradually takes over its body before sprouting. Sounds like a Stephen King novel.
‘If penguins could fly’ by Eduardo Del Álamo
This image of a leopard seal chasing its minuscule prey captures the raw power of nature. We hope Mumble was able to dance his way out of this one.
‘Touching trust’ by Thomas P Peschak
A whale approaches a tourist for a pat. After decades of whaling, humans and whales have developed a trusting relationship in Mexico’s San Ignacio Lagoon built upon mutual respect.
‘Sleeping like a Weddell’ by Ralf Schneider
This image captures a seal cosying up for a long nap. Who says you need someone to cuddle.
‘Cool drink’ by Diana Rebman
Birds in Hokkaido, Japan, take turns pecking at this icicle to stay hydrated in the -20°C cold.