“Bond of Brothers” by David Lloyd, New Zealand / UK. Winner, LUMIX People's Choice Award. These two adult males, probably brothers, greeted and rubbed faces for 30 seconds before settling down. Most people never have the opportunity to witness such animal sentience, and David was honored to have experienced and captured such a moment. The picture was taken in Ndutu, Serengeti, Tanzania.
The renowned Wildlife Photographer of the Yearannounced its 2018 winners in October, but the competition wasn't over right then and there. The LUMIX People's Choice Award, which is newly named for the 2018 contest, has just announced the winning and highly commended wildlife images selected from a shortlist of 25. Taking home the top prize is David Lloyd for his touching photograph of two male adult lions greeting each other by nuzzling faces.
The beautiful black and white photograph was captured while Lloyd was in the Serengeti and highlights a different aspect of this ferocious animal. “I’m so pleased that this image did well because it illustrates the emotion and feeling of animals and emphasizes that this is not limited to humans,” shared Lloyd. “It is something I think more people need to be aware of for the sake of all animals.”
Indeed, it was Lloyd's ability to capture the complexity of social interactions within the animal kingdom that helped set his work apart. Four other photographs were honored with the Highly Commended title, each image diverse in its mood. From a heartbreaking photograph of a polar bear struggling to survive in the Canadian Arctic to a pack of African wild dog pups playfully romping about, each photograph is a unique look at global wildlife.
Lloyd's winning photograph will be on display as part of the Natural History Museum's Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, which runs until June 30, 2019. As the public enjoys these newly revealed winners, the 2019 contest is already in full swing. An expert panel is currently judging work in anticipation of a winner's announcement in October 2019.
“One Toy, Three Dogs” by Bence Mate, Hungary. Highly Commended, LUMIX People's Choice Award. While adult African wild dogs are merciless killers, their pups are extremely cute and play all day long. Bence photographed these brothers in Mkuze, South Africa–they all wanted to play with the leg of an impala and were trying to drag it in three different directions!
“A Polar Bear’s Struggle” by Justin Hofman, USA. Highly Commended, LUMIX People's Choice Award. Justin’s whole body pained as he watched this starving polar bear at an abandoned hunter's camp, in the Canadian Arctic, slowly heave itself up to standing. With little, and thinning, ice to move around on, the bear is unable to search for food.
“Three Kings” by Wim Van Den Heever, South Africa. Highly Commended, LUMIX People's Choice Award. Wim came across these king penguins on a beach in the Falkland Islands just as the sun was rising. They were caught up in a fascinating mating behavior–the two males were constantly moving around the female using their flippers to fend the other off.
“Fox Meets Fox” by Matthew Maran, UK. Highly Commended, LUMIX People's Choice Award. Matthew has been photographing foxes close to his home in north London for over a year and ever since spotting this street art had dreamt of capturing this image. After countless hours and many failed attempts, his persistence paid off.