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Stunning Images from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition

Every year, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition receives a record-breaking number of submissions from all over the world, which is then narrowed down to a small number of truly outstanding images that are selected as the final winners. This year will be no exception.

As you might expect, the images are mind-blowing, incredible, and breathtakingly beautiful. They capture nature at its most beautiful and demonstrate a wide range of undeniable photographic talent for us to admire and appreciate.

Storm Fox

Photographer Jonny Armstrong tracked down and photographed this fox for several days before capturing this incredible image against a stormy background.

As a result, another highly commended image was produced, this time in the category of animal portraits.

Net Loss

Not all of the images in the competition depict the beauty of nature; occasionally, they depict man's destruction of the environment. Take, for example, this photograph by Audun Rikardsen.

Excessive fishing has left a trail of destruction in this photograph. There were too many fish caught by a boat, and the net snapped, spilling hundreds of tonnes of dead fish into the surrounding water. One positive outcome of the photograph, however, was that it was used to bring the boat's owner to justice for his part in the incident.

Elephants at Twilight

Frans Lanting was awarded the "Wildlife Photographer of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award" in 2018 in recognition of this photograph and his more than 30 years of photographic work. At the waterhole in the evening, it's a calm and serene scene.

"One evening during Botswana's dry season, I waded into a water hole to photograph a shimmering reflection of a herd of elephants at twilight, against a backdrop of a luminous pink sky and a full moon suspended in the distance. To pay tribute to the primal qualities of southern Africa's wilderness, the majestic presence of elephants, and the precious nature of water in a land that is parched, I created this image."

The Golden Couple

Marsel van Oosten captured this image, which was selected as the Grand title winner from among the thousands of submissions, earning him the title of Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2018. He also received a cash prize of $5,000.

"Marsel struggled to keep up with the group of Qinling golden snub-nosed monkeys as they jumped from tree to tree, slipping and stumbling over logs in the process. He gradually gained an understanding of their behavior and was able to photograph this male and female resting. Their golden hair gleams against the fresh greens of the forest floor as the Sun filters through the canopy and bathes them in a mystical glow created by the Sun filtering through the canopy.

This pair of golden snub-nosed monkeys is a member of a subspecies of golden snub-nosed monkey that is only found in the Qinling Mountains. These monkeys, which are among the most visually arresting primates on the planet, are in danger of extinction. Over the years, their numbers have steadily declined, and there are now fewer than 4,000 individuals left in the world today."

Lounging Leopard

In addition to winning the Grand Prize, Skye Meake was awarded the title of Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2018 for this photograph of a leopard that appears to be in a relaxed state.

"The leopards that live in the Mashatu Game Reserve are notoriously shy and elusive, making them difficult to spot. Skye, on the other hand, was in luck this time. After a few hours of tracking the leopards, he came across Mathoja, a well-known female who had been seen before. Skye managed to capture a peaceful portrait of this majestic creature in a fleeting moment, just before the leopard nodded off.

Mathoja, as named by local guides, translates as 'the one who walks with a limp' – a moniker she earned after suffering a serious leg injury as a cub. Mathoja has survived despite the fact that her chances of survival were slim. She is now a healthy adult. She is one of the fortunate ones because this species has been designated as vulnerable, and many leopards are illegally hunted for their highly sought-after skins."

Family Portrait

This is not your typical family photograph, but it is certainly a magnificent one. Connor Stefanison captured this incredible portrait of a grey owl and her family, which has been entered into the LUMIX People's Choice Award category.

"In Kamloops, Canada, a great grey owl and her chicks are nestled in the broken top of a Douglas fir tree, where they have been for several years. In the course of the nesting season, when Connor was watching them from a tree hide 50 feet (15 metres) above the ground, they only looked at him twice."

Curious Encounter

The photographer captured an incredible encounter with a seal in Antarctica, which was taken at an unbelievably opportune moment. We're not sure if the seal was as taken aback by the photographer's presence as he seemed.

"In the vast wilderness of Antarctica, any close encounter with an animal occurs by chance, so Cristobal was overjoyed when he happened to come across a crabeater seal off the coast of Cuverville Island, on the Antarctic Peninsula. These curious creatures are well-protected and thrive in an environment where there are few predators."

Pool Party

There's a party going on, and everyone is invited. An abundance of brightly colored birds have gathered at a waterhole during a drought season, and they can be seen frolicking in the refreshing waters of the well. Luke Massey has captured a stunning image with his camera.

"As the drought in Zambia's South Luangwa National Park dragged on, the waterholes in the park became little more than pools of water. Hundreds of flocks of Lilian's lovebirds congregated together and descended to this pool when the weather conditions were favorable. As if they were on a conveyor belt, they shuffled forward, taking turns drinking and bathing, as if they were."


Another photo from the People's Choice Award that demonstrates the strength of predators in the natural world. Taking place in Zimbabwe, this photograph by Federico Veronesi captures the terrifying beauty of animals at their most ferocious, and it was published in Getty Images.

"The Chitake Springs, located in Zimbabwe's Mana Pools National Park, was a hot spot for Federico on a hot morning when an old lioness descended from a rocky outcrop on the riverbank. For the past few days, she'd been waiting for any passing animals that might stop by a nearby waterhole further down the riverbed."

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