“For hours, I waited for the low tide to arrive along a shallow lagoon on a remote island off the Antarctic Peninsula. Like clockwork, the leopard seal arrived in the lagoon just before low tide. It put its head in the water and looked just like a rock sitting in the receding water. The young Gentoo penguins only dare to enter the water when it is shallow and when they got close enough to the seal, it turned its head at lightning speed, catching one of the penguins by its feet and taking it to deep water. Once the seal reached open water, I followed it and swam parallel to it, observing its actions. To my surprise, it let go of the penguin twice. Each time, the seal chased after the penguin again, as if it was enjoying the game. The terrified penguin tried to escape as the game continued. But soon, the end came. ”
The annual World Nature Photography Awards (WNPA) have just announced their 2021 winners, and the pictures are stunning.
The top award and cash prize of $1,000 went to Amos Nachoum from the United States for his image of a leopard seal about to capture a defenseless Gentoo penguin.
Nachoum waited patiently for hours on the remote island of Plano, off the Antarctic Peninsula, for the right moment at low tide, when the seals stealthily enter a lagoon and search for their prey.
However, all 14 categories have seen images that capture the beauty of our planet.
As humanity’s relationship with Earth slowly shifts to be one of protection rather than plunder, the organizers of the contest believe that photography can put a spotlight on the majesty and wonder of the natural world, reminding us to take action now in order to secure a better tomorrow for everyone. And when you scroll through the judges’ favorites, it’s impossible to disagree.
More info: worldnaturephotographyawards.com
#1 Black And White, Gold: Vince Burton, UK
#2 Animal Portraits, Bronze: Amit Eshel, Israel
WNPA started when a group of sustainability professionals, photography sponsorship consultants and the team behind the long-established design competition the Visual Identity Awards came together to follow up on the germ of an idea for a competition that not only promotes the world’s best photographers but also does something for the planet.
2021’s competition saw entries come in from 20 countries across 6 continents. “As always, it’s such a thrill to see the amazing caliber of entries into the awards,” Adrian Dinsdale, co-founder of the WNPAs told Bored Panda in a statement. “Seeing these images cannot fail to motivate one to do everything to protect this fragile planet of ours. We offer our heartfelt congratulations to all the winners.”
#3 Behaviour Mammals, Gold Winner And Grand Prize: Amos Nachoum, USA
#4 Urban Wildlife, Silver: Mohammad Murad, Kuwait
#5 Behaviour Amphibians And Reptiles, Silver: Massimo Giorgetta, Italy
If you’re a regular Bored Panda reader, you may have recognized Buddhilini De Soyza’s photo that won bronze in the category ‘Behaviour Mammals’ from the article we published on the cheetahs who tried to cross a flooded river in the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya.
It’s a gripping story, and we’re incredibly glad that De Soyza’s shot, which perfectly portrays the high-stakes of the crossing, has been receiving the attention it deserves.
#6 Behaviour Birds, Silver: Robert J. Ross, USA
#7 Behaviour Invertebrates, Gold: Chin Leong Teo, Singapore
#8 Behaviour Mammals, Bronze: Buddhilini De Soyza, Australia
#9 Behaviour Amphibians And Reptiles, Gold: Shayne Kaye, Canada
#10 Animal Portraits, Silver: Neelutpaul Barua, India
#11 Animals In Their Habitat, Gold: Thomas Vijayan, Canada
#12 Behaviour Mammals, Silver: William Fortescue, UK
#13 Nature Art, Bronze: Gabriel Barathieu, Mayotte
#14 Nature Photojournalism, Gold: Alain Schroeder, Belgium
#15 People And Nature, Silver: Mike Eyett, Switzerland
#16 Plants And Fungi, Bronze: Jan Czeczotka, Germany
#17 Animals In Their Habitat, Silver: Celia Kujala, USA
#18 Animal Portraits, Gold: Tom Vierus, Fiji
“Long-tailed macaques enjoy the warmth of each other during a hot day in Bali, Indonesia. These animals show very similar behaviour to us humans including enjoying each other trusting company. The macaques are used to humans and are commonly found around temples where they tend to feed on food sacrifices by the locals.”