High praise for Australians at 2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
13 October 2021
The winners of the Natural History Museum’s 2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition have just been announced, having been selected from more than 50,000 across 95 countries.
The 2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year was French underwater photographer and biologist Laurent Ballesta for his image, Creation. The image, that captures camouflage groupers exiting their milky cloud of eggs and sperm in Fakarava, French Polynesia. Every year, for five years, Laurent and histeam returned to this lagoon, diving day and night so as not to miss the annual spawning that only takes placearound the full moon in July.
Chair of the judging panel, writer and editor, Rosamund ‘Roz’ Kidman Cox OBE says, ‘The image works on so many levels. It issurprising, energetic, and intriguing and has an otherworldly beauty. It also captures a magical moment –a truly explosive creation of life –leaving the tail-end of the exodus of eggs hanging for a moment like a symbolic question mark.’
The two Grand Title winners were selected from 19 category winners, with this year’s competition seeing three new categories added, including ‘Oceans - The Bigger Picture’ and ‘Wetlands - The Bigger Picture’ to shine a spotlight on these crucial ecosystems.
Ten-year old Vidyun R. Hebbar was named the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2021 for his image, Dome home, of a tent spider as a tuk-tuk passes by. Vidyun first featured in the competition when he was just eight years old and loves to photograph the often-overlooked creatures that live in the streets and parks near his home in the city of Bengaluru, India.
Australian winners and finalists
A number of Australians were recognised in the 2021 competition with two taking out top honours, along with Highly Commended awards being received in five categories.
Wildlife photographer Justin Gilligan took out the Plants and Fungi category with his portrait, Rich Reflections, which depicts a marine ranger admiring seaweed off the coast of Lord Howe Island.
Adam Oswell won the Photojournalism category, with his image, Elephant in the Room,of a young elephant performing underwater for crowds in Thailand.
Australians receiving Highly Commended awards included Caitlin Henderson (Behaviour: Invertebrates), Douglas Gimesy (Behaviour: Mammals), Juergen Freund (Plants and Fungi), Christian Spencer (Natural Artistry), Douglas Gimesy (Photojournalism).
Displayed alongside insights from Natural History Museum scientists and experts, the 100 images will be showcased in spectacular lightbox displays at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum, opening on 15 October 2021, before touring across the UK and internationally, including to Australia.
The 58th Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition opens for entries on Monday, 18 October. All the details for entry will appear on the competition website.
Category winners appear below, but to check out all the finalists, follow this link.
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