Stunning Winners of the 2021 World Nature Photography Awards

Leopard seal chasing a Gentoo penguin

Amos Nachoum (USA). Overall winner and Gold, Behaviour – Mammals. Location: Antarctica. Leopard seal chasing a Gentoo penguin.

From a hungry leopard seal to an icy cave on Lake Baikal, the natural world is on full display thanks to the winners of the World Nature Photography Awards. Nature and wildlife photographers from 20 countries submitted their work to the contest, which hopes to shape the planet through positive visual messaging. This year, American photographer Amos Nachoum was named the overall winner for his incredible photo taken in Antarctica.

In the image, a Leopard seal opens wide and prepares to finish off a defenseless Gentoo penguin. To get the shot, Nachoum waited for hours on a remote island on the Antarctic Peninsula for the moment when the tide was low enough for the seals to enter the water and seek out prey. His patience more than paid off when he was awarded with this incredible photo.

But Nachoum's is just one of many worthy winners of the contest. Across numerous categories, everything from animal behavior to Earth's landscapes is captured in rich detail. “As always, it’s such a thrill to see the amazing caliber of entries into the awards,” shares contest co-founder Adrian Dinsdale. “Seeing these images cannot fail to motivate one to do everything to protect this fragile planet of ours.”

Check out more winners from the 2021 contest and get inspired to do something for the planet today.

Here are the winners of the World Nature Photography Awards.

Bornean orangutan

Thomas Vijayan (Canada). Gold, Animals in their habitat. Location: Borneo. Bornean orangutan.

Ice Cave in Lake Baikal

Sabrina Inderbitzi (Switzerland). Gold, People and nature. Ice cave. Location: Lake Baikal, Russia.

Red ants

Chin Leong Teo (Singapore). Gold: Behaviour – Invertebrates. Location: Indonesia. Red ants.

Long Tailed Macaques in Bali

Tom Vierus (Fiji). Gold, Animal portraits. Location: Bali, Indonesia. Long-tailed macaques.

Juvenile California sea lion with mouth open

Celia Kujala (USA). Silver, Animals in their habitat. Location: Coronado Islands, Baja California, Mexico. Juvenile California sea lion.

Three-month-old female orangutan being operated on

Alain Schroeder (Belgium). Gold, Nature Photojournalism. Location: Sibolangit, SOCP Quarantine Centre, North Sumatra, Indonesia. Three-month-old female orangutan.

The photo contest hopes these images give the public a different perspective on the world.

Scuba diver with a school of mackerel

Mike Eyett (Austria). Silver, People and nature. Location: Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Scuba diver with a school of mackerel.

Beautiful Landscape at South Island in New Zealand

Sam Wilson (Australia). Gold, Planet Earth's landscapes and environments. Location: South Island, New Zealand. Landscape .

Pacific Tree Frog

Shayne Kaye (Canada). Gold, Behaviour – Amphibians and reptiles. Location: In a city park, Canada. Pacific tree frog.

Abandoned House in Goa, India

Gautam Kamat Bambolkar (USA). Gold, Plants and fungi. Location: Goa, India. Abandoned house.

Vulture and fox feasting on wildebeest

Ashok Behera (India). Gold, Behaviour – Birds. Location: Masai Mara in Kenya. Vulture and fox feasting on wildebeest.

And that the photos will shape the future of our planet in a positive way.

Brown bear mother and her cubs in South Kamchatka Sanctuary

Neelutpaul Barua (India). Silver, Animal portraits. Location: South Kamchatka Sanctuary, Russia. Brown bear mother and her cubs.

Red billed queleas at a game reserve in Tanzania

Robert Ross (USA). Silver, Behaviour – Birds. Location: Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania. Red billed queleas.

Rare blue morph arctic fox in the snow in Iceland

Vince Burton (UK). Gold, Black and white. Location: Iceland. Rare blue morph arctic fox.

Black and White Tuscan Landscape

Federico Testi (Italy). Gold, Nature art. Location: San Quirico d'orcia, in Tuscany, Italy. Landscape with trees.

Humpback Whale Tail Emerging from the Water in New York City

Matthijs Noome (USA). Gold, Urban wildlife. Location: New York City. Humpback whale.

Elephants at Amboseli National Park, Kenya

William Fortescue (UK). Silver, Behaviour – Mammals. Location: Amboseli National Park, Kenya. Two bull elephants sparring with one another.

World Nature Photography Awards: Website | Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by World Nature Photography Awards.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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