Wild animal photography is often serious business, but the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards prove that you can find humor in nearly any setting. Now in their fourth year, the competition reveals some of the world’s most stereotypically “tough” creatures doing things that’ll make you laugh. Earlier in 2018, they shared some of the funniest pictures submitted so far. They’ve since narrowed down the selection from over 2,000 entries to just 41 finalists.
The competition, which is open to both amateurs and professionals, features a wide variety of creatures. From bears to monkeys to tree frogs, the candid shots capture humor in many ways. Some animals are seen with silly grins or making surprised faces that transform otherwise ordinary portraits into bizarre scenes. Other images are the epitome of “right place, right time,” where the photographer managed to create animal hybrids in-camera by standing at the perfect vantage point. And of course, there are portraits of creatures getting themselves into hilariously compromising situations—like the polar bear that stuck half its body in the snow.
There are five categories in the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards, and they include: On the Land, Under the Sea, In the Air, the Portfolio Category, and the Overall Winner. You too can help decide the funniest photos with the Affinity Photo People’s Choice Award. The winners will be announced on November 15, 2018.
While laughs are intended, the founders Tom Sullam and Paul Joynson-Hicks have a greater purpose—to support wildlife conservation efforts. “Our strong belief here at Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards is that the smallest thing can help conservation,” Sullam explains. “In 20 years some researchers estimate that elephants may well be gone from East Africa. Lions would be the next to follow. It’s pretty grim reading, so ultimately we think the smallest snowflake could help turn into the biggest snowball. We just need to create lots of snowflakes!” To help them in this pursuit, the competition has a forthcoming book that helps raise awareness of conservation. You can also follow the organization Born Free on social media and financially support their efforts.