The winners of the 2021 Wildlife Photographer Of The Year are out, and the list includes a French underwater biologist and a 10-year-old from Bengaluru. The 19 captivating winning images will be on display in an exhibition at the National History Museum, London, from October 15. By Naina Atri
The National History Museum, London, has staged the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition since 1964. As the largest wildlife photography competition, this year, the 57th edition received more than 5,000 entries from across the world, reports NPR. 19 photographers secured wins across categories ranging from ‘animals in their environment’ to ‘plants and fungi’. The winners captured the essence of what they saw with technical excellence while making poignant commentaries.
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The grand-title winner this year is French underwater biologist and photographer Laurent Ballesta. The Guardian describes Ballesta’s image, called Creation, as capturing a trio of endangered camouflage groupers amidst a milky cloud of eggs and sperms in lagoon in Fakarava, French Polynesia. The director of the Natural History Museum said that the image captures “a fleeting moment of fascinating animal behaviour that very few have witnessed,” reports NPR.
What’s more, among this year’s winners of the Wildlife Photographer Of The Year awards is 10-year-old Bengaluru boy Vidyuan R Hebbar, who won an award in the 17 and under category. Called Dome Home, The Guardian reports that Vidyuan was exploring a theme park when he spotted a tent spider, as a tuk tuk passed by. The silk construction of the spider was set against the backdrop by the bright colours of the tuk tuk. Hebbar managed to photograph a tiny little spider in a moment that many may have missed, as he saw the beauty of it.
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Here’s the complete list of winners, whose images along with other entries will be on display at the National History Museum, London, from October 15:
- Animals in their Environment – Zack Clothier’s Grizzly Leftovers
- Rising Star Portfolio – Martin Gregus’ Cool Time, From Land Time for Sea Bears
- Behaviour: Birds – Shane Kalyn’s Intimate Touch
- Plants and Fungi – Justin Gilligan’s Rich Reflections
- Behaviour: Mammals – Stefano Unterthiner’s Head to Head
- Behaviour: Invertebrates – Gil Wizen’s Spinning the Cradle
- Behaviour: Amphibians and Reptiles – Joã Rodrigues’ When the Giant Newts Breed
- Animal Portraits – Majed Ali’s Reflection
- Underwater – Laurent Ballesta’s Creation
- Portfolio Award – Angel Fitor’s Face-Off
- Wetlands: The Bigger Picture – Javier Lafuente’s Road to Ruin
- Oceans: The Bigger Picture – Jennifer Hayes’ Nursery Meltdown
- Urban Wildlife – Gil Wizen’s The Spider Room
- Photojournalist Story Award – Brent Stirton’s The Healing Touch of Community
- Photojournalism – Adam Oswell’s Elephant in the Room
- Natural Artistry – Alex Mustard’s Bedazzled
- 15-17 years – Lasse Kurkela’s High Flying Jay
- 11-14 years – Andrés Luis Dominguez Blanco’s Sunflower Songbird
- 10 years and under – Vidyun R Hubbar’s Dome Home
The exhibition will also travel to the USA, Germany, Australia, Belgium, Canada and Denmark. The 2022 round for entries will open on October 18 and close on December 9.
Related: Meet Suyash Keshari, The 25-Year-Old Award-Winning Wildlife Photographer On Creating An OTT Platform For Wildlife Lovers