Feel like you're stuck indoors too much these days? These stunning images from the winners of the Nature Photographer of the Year (NPOTY) contest will satisfy your wanderlust—and maybe encourage you to get outside with your own camera, be it a DSLR or your phone. This year's award winners are the fifth batch of talented photographers chosen by the annual competition which held its inaugural contest in 2016. Run by the nature & photography organization Nature Talks, the contest draws the best and brightest of outdoor photography from around the world.
This year, the overall winner—now known as the Nature Photographer of the Year—is Roberto Marchegiani of Italy. The experienced landscape photographer has been shooting since he was 14 years old. To get his dreamy winning shot of a giraffe in Nakuru National Park, Kenya, Marchegiani had to arrange for a special safari in dreary weather. Using the powerful telephoto view of a 600mm lens, Marchegiani fixed his gaze on a portion of forest and waited. Luckily, a group of nearby giraffes happened to pass his view. “In the end,” he comments, “I was rewarded by my stubbornness: the giraffes passed exactly in the right place. The scene reminded me of a Jurassic landscape, with a herbivorous dinosaur in the same position as the giraffe.”
For the 2020 competition, the jury panel judged 19,547 images from photographers in over 95 countries. Categories included Black and White, Animal Art, and a special Portfolio competition. There was even a Youth category for kids over 10 years old. If you'd like to try your hand and submit your own work, consider entering the 2021 competition. As a bonus, your entry fee helps support conservation efforts in the Netherlands and Belgium. Nature Talks will also be hosting a 2-day Online Nature Photography Journey on March 13 and 14, 2021. You'll attend cool talks, masterclasses, and more.
Scroll down to check out this year's magnificent winners of each category in the Nature Photographer of the Year awards. To see the full list of runners up and commended images, check out the contest page.