I was taking pics of pigeons in flight when this leaf landed on the bird’s face.
It’s that time of the year, folks—the time when all of our precious wildlife shows off its true colors, i.e. their comedic side, whether it’s a deliberate pose or just extremely lucky timing.
Yep, the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards are here and the winners have been revealed.
beautyofplanet.com has collected all of the winning and highly commended photos to make a neat curated list for you to peruse below. So, why not get to know the winners, read their stories and our exclusive interview with the people behind the awards, and vote as well as comment on the submissions you enjoyed the most!
#1 Spectrum Photo Creatures In The Air Award And Affinity Photo People’s Choice Winner: “I Guess Summer’s Over” By John Speirs
After a long year of picking out finalists, the people behind the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards have finally decided upon the winners and the honorable mentions for this year.
The winning entries were revealed on BBC’s ‘The One Show’ in front of millions, which the organizers of the awards said is record-breaking since the launch of the awards in 2015.
#2 Highly Commended: “See Who Jumps High” By Chu Han Lin
#3 Alex Walker’s Serian Creatures On The Land Award Winner: “Ninja Prairie Dog!” By Arthur Trevino
When this Bald Eagle missed on its attempt to grab this prairie dog, the prairie dog jumped towards the eagle and startled it long enough to escape to a nearby burrow. A real David vs Goliath story!_x000D_
This year’s grand-prize winner is “Ouch” by Ken Jensen, introduced as a keen amateur photographer from Blackburn, UK. The photo went up against 7,000 other comedic entries from all over the world.
In particular, Ken’s winning photo is of a golden silk monkey caught in a rather nasty predicament whereby it has slipped on a tightrope and its family jewels have just lost a carat or two.
And while all of us are sending our sympathies to the monkey and its prospective offspring, you gotta admit, it was definitely worth it because the monkey became the winning face of this year’s Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards, and that should surely amount to something in the animal kingdom.
#4 Creatures Under The Water Award Winner: “Time For School” By Chee Kee Teo
A smooth-cated otter “bit” its baby otter to bring it back to and fro for swimming lesson.
#5 Highly Commended: “The Green Stylist” By Gurumoorthy K
“I was absolutely overwhelmed to learn that my entry had won, especially when there were quite a number of wonderful photos entered,” elaborated Ken Jensen.
“The publicity that my image has received over the last few months has been incredible, it is such a great feeling to know that one’s image is making people smile globally as well as helping to support some fantastically worthwhile conservation causes.”
Besides being titled the grand winner of this year’s Comedy Wildlife Photographer Awards, he also got a chance to partake in a safari in Masai Mara, Kenya, as well as a unique handmade trophy—Alex Walker’s Serian—from the Wonder Workshop in Tanzania, among other goodies.
#6 Highly Commended: “Chinese Whispers” By Jan Piecha
The little raccoon cups are telling secrets to each other
#7 Amazing Internet Portfolio Award Winner: “The Joy Of A Mud Bath” By Vicki Jauron
An elephant expresses his joy in taking a mud bath against the dead trees on the shores of Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe on a hot afternoon.
“I think, over the years, we have covered just about every wild animal—it certainly feels that way when we sift through the initial entries, the variety of species is vast and growing each year as the competition reaches more people,” explained Michelle Wood of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards when asked what animals or species are yet to make a debut among winning photographs. “It would be great to see more marine photography, as we know there is so many habitats in our oceans it would be amazing to be able to share that in a compelling and engaging way.”
#8 Highly Commended: “How Do You Get That Damn Window Open?” By Nicolas De Vaulx
This raccoon spends his time trying to get into houses out of curiosity and perhaps also to steal food.
#9 Highly Commended: “Peekaboo” By Pal Marchhart
A young bear descending from a tree looks like he/she is playing hide and seek.
#10 Overall Competition Winner: “Ouch!” By Ken Jensen
A golden silk monkey in Yunnan China – this is actually a show of aggression however in the position that the monkey is in it looks quite painful!
The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards is a contest where wildlife photography meets comedy. Founded by professional photographers Paul Joynson-Hicks MBE and Tom Sullam in 2015 to help promote wildlife conservation through humor.
And promote they do! This year, the contest is supporting Save Wild Orangutans, a non-profit charity that takes a multifaceted approach to orangutan conservation through education, awareness, sustainable living, wildlife investigation and research. The contest donated 10% of all of its net revenue to the charity.
#11 Highly Commended: “Let’s Dance” By Andy Parkinson
Two Kamchatka bear cubs square up for a celebratory play fight having successfully navigated a raging torrent (small stream!)
#12 Highly Commended: “Missed” By Lea Scaddan
Two Western Grey Kangaroos were fighting and one missed kicking him in the stomach.
At this point, we just had to ask the people behind the contest whether they thought animals have a sense of humor:
“Of course we’d like to think they do and that they are chuckling along with us, or at least playing with us, but who knows. Maybe they are the same as humans—some do and some don’t,” laughed Michelle Wood.
#13 Highly Commended: “Majestic And Graceful Bald Eagle” By David Eppley
Bald Eagles will use the same nest for years, even decades, adding new material to it at the beginning and throughout the nesting season. Normally, they are highly skilled at snapping branches off of trees while in flight. Possibly tired from working nonstop all morning on a new nest, this particular Bald Eagle wasn’t showing its best form. Yes, sometimes they miss. Although this looks painful, and it might very well be, the eagle recovers with just a few sweeping wing strokes, and choses to rest a bit before making another lumber run.
#14 Highly Commended: “Treehugger” By Jakub Hodan
This Proboscis monkey could be just scratching its nose on the rough bark, or it could be kissing it. Trees play a big role in the lives of monkeys. Who are we to judge…
But this year is done and another one begins as the competition prepares for it, so we asked Wood if 2022 will be bigger and better for the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards. She had this to say:
“The hard work starts on preparations for 2022 now, and all that will be up for discussion—it might be time to mix it up a bit. There are lots of exciting projects lined up for next year, plus we are hoping to hold an Awards Night for the first time since the pandemic, so plenty to look forward to.”
#15 Highly Commended: “I Got You” By Roland Kranitz
I spent my days in my usual “gopher place” and yet again, these funny little animals haven’t belied their true nature.
#16 Video Category Winner: “Hugging Best Friend After Lockdown” By Rahul Lakhmani