Grumpy owls and posing seals among The Nature Photo Contest's winners

The Nature Photo Contest 2024
Monday (Image credit: Panisara Sripratoom)

Puppy-dog-eyed seals and grumpy little owls are among the winners of the second-ever Nature Photography Contest. After a successful launch in 2023, the environmentally-focused contest fuses people's love for photography and a passion for the planet in a competition that raises environmental awareness and showcases the diverse beauty of Earth. 

Taking home the Photography of the Year award and a $1,087 /  £858 / €1,000 cash prize is Glee Ostle with his image, Sea Lion in Los Islotes (below). Ostle's uncanny ability to capture the sea lion seemingly posing against a backdrop of a school of fish left the judging panel awestruck. The image not only showcases the natural beauty of the animal, but also underscores the critical importance of preserving our seabeds and their diverse species. 

Sea Lion in Los Islotes (Image credit: Glenn Ostle)

Alain Schroeder was commended for his commitment to the environment and awarded Photographer of the Year 2023 for a range of striking images – including an aerial shot of a mangrove forest in Borneo, Indonesia, which has been infiltrated by the residential area of Balikpakan, and a heartwarming capture of an orangutan getting a piggyback ride. Working with One Tree Planted, Schroeder will help decide where 400 trees will be planted – one to represent each participant in the first edition of the competition. 

In total the contest featured ten categories, each highlighting a different facet of the natural world. Winners include Burning Flower by Marek Biegalski, in Natural Landscape; Stories in the Sand, by Soumya Ranjan Bhattacharyya, in Wildlife; and The Dreamer – Philaeus Chryshops, by Adrian Truchta, in Macro Photography. 

Tangle, by 家 住, came first in Underwater; Puffin in Iceland, by Alession Calviani, prevailed in Birds; Marcio Cabral's Pandora came first in Plant Life; and Los arcos y la cueva by Marc Marco was awarded the top price in the night world category. The environmental impact category was awarded to Muhammed Hossain, for Fatigue Sleep; Alain Schroeder was awarded first place in Sharing the Planet, with Saving Orangutans 01; while Monday by Panisara Sripratoom came out on top in Funny Nature. 

A Jugar (Image credit: Arturo de Frías Marqués)

The 2024 edition of The Nature Photography Contest received over a thousand submissions from 400 photographers from various corners of the globe. Organizers express amazement at the overwhelming response and anticipate that the next edition, scheduled to commence in May 2024, will surpass expectations, further amplifying the shared vision of the participants.

"These photographs are not only exceptional images but also a call to action to protect and preserve our planet. Through The Nature Photography Contest, we seek to inspire awareness and appreciation for the beauty that surrounds us," remarked a spokesperson for the competition. 

To view the full gallery of winning images and delve into the captivating world of nature photography, head to The Nature Photography Contest website. As the contest continues to grow, the images captured serve as a poignant reminder of the need to cherish and safeguard our planet for generations to come.

A small shrimp rests along a branch of whip coral in Tulamben (Image credit: Glenn Ostle)

Racing to Extinction  (Image credit: Alain Schroeder)

Take a look at the best cameras for wildlife photography, along with the best lenses for bird and wildlife. The best spotting scopes are also great tools for helping you find wildlife opportunities.

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.