In March 2022, global photography platform Picfair opened submissions on the first free-to-enter Urban Wildlife Photography Awards, following the emerging trend of wildlife photography in cities and towns during the pandemic.
With big sponsors from the likes of Nikon, Peak Design, Camtraptions, and MPB, the competition received submissions from over 6000 photographers and Picfair users based all over the world, submitting shots from every continent on the planet.
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A perfectly composed shot of two Coyotes captured in a dimly-lit suburban street in Ontario, Canada, was crowned as the first winner of Picfair's inaugural Urban Wildlife Photography Awards 2022. The deadline for entries was 31 May 2022.
The photographer of this spectacular shot, titled Date Night, and overall competition winner is 31-year-old digital advertiser from Ontario, Andrew Interisano, who explains that he captured the winning image while driving late one evening.
"I thought it was my car that had caught their attention as I rounded the corner, and maybe it had at first, but as I rolled down the window I heard it was another group of howling coyotes," Andrew shares. "I parked, turned the engine off, and frantically went to work with the camera… however, in the rush of that moment I was soon compelled to put my camera down and soak in the scene"
Another striking image is very reminiscent of the cute Disney Ratatouille rodent, Remy, and looks like it could've been taken from a live-action remake of the animated film. The image (above) won the Nightlife category and is titled Life Beyond The Sewer, captured on the streets of Mexico by photographer, Austin Montero, who is based in the USA.
He shares: "the pandemic forced me to stay in a small town for the last two years. This led me to find several animals using different parts of our city. I have been surprised to see the number of urban structures that many species use. They shelter under bridges, move through aqueducts, or nest along roads. But usually, we don't notice it”.
The judging panel for the awards consisted of Picfair’s head of content, Philip Mowbray, and professional wildlife photographers: Melissa Groo, Andrew Budziak and Will Burrard-Lucas, plus writer and urban wildlife author Florence Wilkinson.
The judges selected the other competition category winners that included the Daylight category winning entry of a Flamingo captured by Hungarian Zoologist, Mano Aliczki, while on holiday in Italy. The perfectly timed (and framed!) image demonstrates exceptional composition and impressed the judges.
The winner of the Fancy Seeing You Here category, which was put to a public vote on social media, was awarded to an image depicting a Racoon in a subway station ravine, titled Trash Panda captured by photographer Jill Finney, who only took up her dream of becoming a wildlife photographer during the stages of lockdown.
View the full Urban Wildlife photography Awards finalists and check out the winners’ gallery on Picfair's website, all of Picfair's profits on the sale of prints will be given to global conservation non-profit organization, Re:Wild.
There's no mention yet of whether the Picfair Urban Wildlife photography Awards will return for a 2023 edition, but be sure to keep an eye on Picfair's social channels for any updates and entry information.