It is, without a doubt, one of the most important photography contests in the world and with the greatest impact. We talk about Wildlife Photographer of the Year that offers us what happens to be the best images of nature and wildlife of the year. A few weeks ago we showed you some of the finalists and now we finally meet the winners of the 2021 edition, among the ones who there are three Spaniards.
As many of our readers will already know, this contest is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum in London in order to reward images that “celebrate the captivating beauty of the natural world and highlight crucial ecosystems, many of which are in danger of extinction“.
To this end, in its 57th edition the organization received more than 50 thousand photos participants (similar number to the previous year) from 95 countries, which were framed in 19 categories, three of them new: ‘Oceans’, ‘Wetlands’ and ‘Natural Art’.
Among all these photos, the jury (among which was the Spanish Javier Aznar González de Rueda) chose the final winners starting with the one who wins the main prize, endowed with ten thousand pounds and the title of ‘Wildlife Photographer of the Year‘, which this year was for the French photographer and biologist Laurent crossbow for the photo that you have already seen on the cover.
Its titled ‘Creation‘and shows the frenzied mating ceremony of a few groupers in French Polynesia. Something that only occurs once a year in shallow waters, on the full moon in July, and it barely lasts an hour; therefore it cost Ballesta and his team five years capture the moment. A take that, for the jury, is’it works on so many levels: it’s amazing, energetic and intriguing, and it has an otherworldly beauty. It also captures a magical moment, a truly explosive creation of life, leaving the end of the egg exodus hanging for a moment like a symbolic question mark.‘.
Unfortunately, despite the fact that there were two Spaniards who were competing for this grand prize, finally our country had to settle for three awards in both categories (in addition to several nominations), which is not bad at all. Specific, Javier Lafuente won in the ‘Wetlands’ category, Angel Fitor the best ‘Wildlife Portfolio of the Year’ and Andrés Luis Dominguez Blanco the award for the best ‘Young Wildlife Photographer from 11 to 14 years old’.
This year, once again, the awards ceremony was carried out online, but the usual exhibition is being held at the Natural History Museum in London, which will open its doors this year. Friday, October 15, 2021 and then you will travel to other countries (including Denmark, Canada, the United States, and Australia).
We, as always, we congratulate all the winners and we leave you with the winning photos of each category, not without strongly recommending visiting their website to see many more amazing photographs of nature and wildlife.
Winner in the category ‘Under water’ and Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2021
Laurent Ballesta (France) with the photo ‘Creation’:
Winner of the ‘Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2020’ award (and category 15-17 years old)
Vidyun R Hebbar (India) with the photo ‘Dome home’:
Winner in the category ‘Young Wildlife Photographer – 11 to 14 years old’
Andrés Luis Dominguez Blanco (Spain) with the photo ‘Sunflower songbird’:
Winner in the category ‘Young Wildlife Photographer – 10 years or less’
Lasse Kurkela (Finland) with the photo ‘High-flying jay’:
Winner in the category ‘Animals in their environment’
Zack Clothier (USA) with the photo ‘Grizzly leftovers’:
Winner in the category ‘Animal Portraits’
Majed Ali (Kuwait) with the photo ‘Reflection’:
Winner in category ‘Behavior of invertebrates’
Gil Wizen (Israel / Canada) with the photo ‘Spinning the cradle’:
Winner in the category ‘Bird Behavior’
Shane Kalyn (Canada) with the photo ‘The intimate touch’:
Winner in category ‘Mammals Behavior’
Stefano Unterthiner (Italy) with the photo ‘Head to head’:
Winner in the category ‘Behavior of amphibians and reptiles’
João Rodrigues (Portugal) with the photo ‘Where the giant newts breed’:
Winner in category ‘Natural art’
Alex Mustard (UK) with ‘Bedazzled’ photo:
Winner in category ‘Oceans’
Jennifer Hayes (USA) with the photo ‘Nursery meltdown’:
Winner in the category ‘Plants and Fungi’
Justin Gilligan (Australia) with the photo ‘Rich reflections’:
Winner in the category ‘Urban Life’
Gil Wizen (Israel / Canada) with the photo ‘The spider room’:
Winner in category ‘Wetlands’
Javier Lafuente (Spain) with the photo ‘Road to ruin’:
Winner Best Journalistic Wildlife Photo 2021
Adam Oswell (Australia) with the photo ‘Elephant in the room’:
Winner of the award Best Wildlife Photojournalistic Series 2021
Brent Stirton (South Africa) with the photo ‘The healing touch, from Community care’:
Winner in the category ‘Emerging Portfolio’
Martin Gregus (Canada / Slovakia) with the photo ‘Cool time, from Land time for sea bears’:
Winner in the category ‘Wildlife Portfolio of the Year’
Angel Fitor (Spain) with the series ‘Face-off, from Cichlids of Planet Tanganyika’:
More information and photos | Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2021