15 Stunning Photos From This Year’s Nature Photography Competition

Published 8 months ago

Nature has always been a source of inspiration for artists, photographers, and nature enthusiasts alike. Every year, photographers from around the world capture the breathtaking beauty of our natural world in the International Nature Photography Competition.

This year’s Nature TTL Photographer of the Year competition, featuring an impressive array of over 8,000 submissions, amplifies the remarkable beauty of our planet. Get ready for a captivating visual journey as we present a diverse selection of astonishing photographs that might just make you wonder if they originate from our very own Earth.

More info: Nature TTL

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#1 “Austfonna Ice Cap” by Thomas Vijayan (Canada). Overall winner and Landscapes winner

Image source: Thomas Vijayan

“Austfonna Ice Cap, the world’s third-largest, on Nordaustlandet Island in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, covers about 8,000 square kilometers. It is melting at alarming rates due to global warming and contributing to rising sea levels; a grave concern. I visited Austfonna Ice Cap and captured a striking image of a waterfall created by the melting ice. Although I had been here before, it was disheartening to see the sea ice had melted in June.”

Location: Svalbard, Norway

#2 “Crowd Control” by Andy Schmid (Switzerland). Underwater, Runner-up

Image source: Andy Schmid

“Every winter, enormous schools of herring migrate from the open ocean into the fjords of Northern Norway and attract large numbers of big predators, such as orcas and humpback whales. Witnessing orcas feeding on herring using the so-called carousel feeding technique is very exciting but not easy to capture due to various factors: limited light and visibility, fast-paced action, plus cold surface and water temperature. Being able to free dive and capture the action in an ongoing feeding frenzy in these conditions is difficult, but I managed to capture this female orca splitting a herring bait ball.”

Location: Skjervøy, Norway

#3 “Strong Solar Storm Through an Icelandic Cave” by Josselin Cornou (France). The Night Sky, Runner-up

Image source: Josselin Cornou

“This photo captures a moment of pure awe and wonder, one of my most challenging shots to date. It’s incredibly rare to witness auroras from this Icelandic waterfall cave, as they are typically visible to the north or overhead. The stars aligned with clear weather and a G1/G2 forecast. After waiting for three hours in the cold, at 3:00 a.m., the auroras shifted south, putting on a breathtaking display. I quickly took photos to capture the moment, using a 14mm lens with two exposures (0.6s, f1.8, ISO 6400 for the auroras & ~20s, f1.8, ISO 1250 for the cave at EV-1) to ensure noiseless shadows. Fifteen minutes later, the auroras moved north again.”

Location: Iceland

#4 “Caring Parent” by Igor Mikula (Slovakia). Camera Traps, Runner-up. Location: Czech Republic

Image source: Igor Mikula

“The next generation of the common blackbird lives in the bathroom window at my friend’s cottage. I watched their behavior for many
hours, and the presence of my camera did not bother them, even when feeding. No bait was used; I took the photo here using a remote trigger.”

Location: Czech Republic

#5 “House Hunting” by Lucy Monckton (United Kingdom). Overall Youth Winner and Winner, Under 17

Image source: Lucy Monckton

“On a walk in Staffordshire, UK, I was alerted to the presence of this swarm by a loud buzzing sound. I cautiously walked into the center of the swarm, where thousands of bees were crawling over a branch. It was important to remain calm, so while I was apprehensive about having hundreds of bees crawling over me, their well-being was my priority. Relocation is a natural process that occurs when a colony becomes too big for its home; the queen leaves with a few of the bees to find another home.”

Location: Staffordshire, United Kingdom

#6 “Traffic Intersection” by Simone Baumeister (Germany). Urban Wildlife, Runner-up

Image source: Simone Baumeister

“I really wanted to do some photography one evening, but without light, this is always difficult. So, I went to a pedestrian bridge that offered a direct view of one of the main traffic intersections in our city. There were many spiders on the railing of this bridge. Using an old analog lens, I photographed a spider in front of the colorful lights of the city intersection with the many cars.”

Location: Ibbenüren, Germany

#7 “Milky Way” by Bence Mate (Hungary). The Night Sky, Winner

Image source: Bence Mate

“I keep searching for new perspectives on photographing wildlife. This picture was taken with a remote-controlled camera placed into a fish tank. It was lucky that the wild boar stayed unmoved for the moment the picture was taken. In Hungary, where this composition was captured, the Milky Way is very rarely low enough in the sky to touch the horizon, and this phenomenon occurs only for a few days in the month of August.”

Location: Gyulaj, Hungary

#8 “Depth Perception” by Rowan Dear (Wales). Underwater, Winner

Image source: Rowan Dear

“Over the last few years, I have witnessed a large gathering of Jelly Blubber in Sydney around March to April when the wind and currents are right to bring them from further up North. This year, we had 2-3 times more than I had ever seen. One area had a large condensed gathering, which extended down by around 5m deep. From the surface, shooting downwards, it was great to get a real depth perception of how many there were and create this alien-like environment.”

Location: Manly Beach, Sydney, Australia

#9 “Fighting Robins” by Jane Hope (United Kingdom). Animal Behavior, Runner-up

Image source: Jane Hope

“In spring, the cute-looking Robin as seen on our Christmas cards becomes an aggressive defender of territory and breeding rights. In April 2021, I witnessed these two robins playing out their battles in front of me. The conditions were challenging for photography – there was sun and snow on the ground, but the action took place in the shadow of the hide, so the ISO ended up pretty high, and exposure compensation was needed.”

Location: Scotland, United Kingdom

#10 “Walk on the Hill” by Ákos Őrsi (Hungary). Under 17, Runner-up

Image source:  Ákos Őrsi

“We were bird-ringing with my friends during our winter school break. In the setting sun, I spotted these deer on top of a small hill. They were quite far away, but I managed to create a nice composition.”

Location: Tápióság, Hungary

#11 “Crossing Barriers” by Fernando Constantino Martínez Belmar (Mexico). Camera Traps, Winner

Image source: Fernando Constantino Martínez Belmar

“This jaguar had been seen before, so I decided to place a camera trap in a broken wall that led to the jungle. I placed one of the flashes strategically to get the jaguar’s shadow reflected on the wall behind. Poaching, deforestation, and habitat fragmentation have caused an increase in interactions with humans, and most of the time, it doesn’t end well for these cats.”

Location: Solidaridad, Quintana Roo, Mexico

#12 “Seal Hunting” by Florian Ledoux (France). Animal Behavior, Winner

Image source: Florian Ledoux

“We witnessed a polar bear’s patience during a sleepy hunt on the ice in Svalbard’s frozen expanse. This male polar bear stalked seals at their breathing holes. After they evaded him, he opted to rest, vigilant and patient. As we endured the long Arctic day of 24 hours without sleeping, we eventually retreated, in awe of his resilience. In this Arctic symphony of survival, the polar bear’s unwavering determination left an indelible mark on our souls.”

Location: Svalbard, Norway

#13 “My Kingdom” by Simon Biddie (United Kingdom). Wild Portrait, Winner

Image source: Andy Schmid

“Compared to their female counterparts, male California sea lions are larger, have thicker necks, and possess a protruding, grey sagittal crest. During mating seasons, the males become territorial and protect their harem of up to 30 females. This male allowed us to stay with the group for a long period and was more curious about us than territorial. The sea lions in this area have expanded in number compared to other colonies in Mexico. This is thanks to the protection offered by being a UNESCO World Heritage site and a National Marine Park, where the no-take zone protects the entire food chain, providing a rich food source for the sea lions.”

Location: Los Islotes, La Paz, Mexico

#14 “Paintbox” by Florian Smit (Germany). Landscapes. Runner-up

Image source: Florian Smit

“Using a drone to gain a unique perspective, I captured this image of a trickle from the Rio Tinto River in Spain.”

Location: Rio Tinto, Spain

#15 “Painting” by Florian Smit (Germany). Small World, Winner

Image source: Florian Smit

“This image was captured in Rondane National Park in Norway. It shows a dead moth lying on the surface of a bacterial film. As I looked through the viewfinder, it looked like a painting to me.”

Location: Rondane National Park, Norway

Saumya Ratan

Saumya is an explorer of all things beautiful, quirky, and heartwarming. With her knack for art, design, photography, fun trivia, and internet humor, she takes you on a journey through the lighter side of pop culture.

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nature, nature photography, nature photography contest, Nature TTL Photographer of the Year, photography
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