The winners of the annual World Nature Photography Awards (WNPA) for 2021 have been announced, and the images are breathtaking.
Amos Nachoum of the United States won the top place and a $1,000 cash prize for his photograph of a leopard seal preparing to catch a helpless Gentoo penguin.
Nachoum waited for hours on the lonely island of Plano, off the coast of Antarctica, for the right moment at low tide, when the seals enter a lagoon and look for their prey.
However, photographs that portray the beauty of our world have been seen in all 14 categories.
The event organizers believe that photography can highlight the natural world’s majesty and grandeur, inspiring us to act now to secure a better tomorrow for all, as humanity’s relationship with Earth shifts from one of take to one of protection. After browsing through the judges’ choices, it’s impossible to disagree with them.
More info: worldnaturephotographyawards.com
#1 Animal Portraits, Bronze: Amit Eshel, Israel
#2 Black And White, Gold: Vince Burton, UK
The WNPA was founded when a group of sustainability professionals, photography sponsorship consultants, and the team behind the long-running design competition, the Visual Identity Awards, got together to pursue an idea for a contest that promotes the world’s best photographers also does something good for the environment.
The competition in 2021 had entries from 20 countries on six continents. In a statement, Adrian Dinsdale, co-founder of the WNPA, said, “As always, it’s such a delight to witness the tremendous calibre of entries into the awards.” “Seeing these sights couldn’t help but inspire you to do everything to safeguard our peaceful world. All of the awardees deserve our deepest congratulations.”
#3 Urban Wildlife, Silver: Mohammad Murad, Kuwait
#4 Behaviour Amphibians And Reptiles, Silver: Massimo Giorgetta, Italy
#5 Animals In Their Habitat, Gold: Thomas Vijayan, Canada
Amos Nachoum, the competition’s overall champion, has documented everything from conflict and fashion to car and motorbike events. On the other hand, Wildlife is what he enjoys shooting the most.
Though Amos’ interest in conservation began with sharks, he now seeks to draw attention to the most vulnerable areas of the aquatic world, with environmental preservation at the forefront of his mind. His preferred method of raising awareness and igniting interest in the ocean is to allow viewers to experience it firsthand.
Nikon, Communication Arts, and the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year have all recognized Amos’ work.
#6 Behaviour Mammals, Gold Winner And Grand Prize: Amos Nachoum, USA
“I stood in a tiny lagoon on an isolated island off the Antarctic Peninsula for hours, waiting for the low tide to arrive. Like clockwork, the leopard seal appeared in the lagoon right before low tide. It submerged its head in the water and appeared to be a rock in the receding water. The baby Gentoo penguins only enter shallow water, and when they got near enough to the seal, it moved its head at breakneck speed, snatching one of the penguins by the feet and carrying it to deep water. I followed the seal into open water and swam parallel to it, monitoring its behaviours. It let go of the penguin twice, much to my amazement. The seal pursued the penguin each time as if it were having fun with the game. As the game progressed, the terrified penguin attempted to flee. But, eventually, the end came.”
#7 Animal Portraits, Silver: Neelutpaul Barua, India
#8 Behaviour Mammals, Bronze: Buddhilini De Soyza, Australia
#9 Behaviour Invertebrates, Gold: Chin Leong Teo, Singapore
We desperately need contests like the WNPA to remind us to value our only house. Compared to pre-industrial levels, CO2 PPM (parts per million) is at 418, while global temperature has risen by 1.1 degrees Celsius.
Increased greenhouse gas emissions are causing catastrophic events all over the world, from Australia and the United States experiencing some of the most devastating bushfire seasons ever recorded to the discovery of microplastics in Antarctic ice and the intensification of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, there are plenty of signs that things aren’t going well.
#10 Behaviour Birds, Silver: Robert J. Ross, USA
#11 Amphibian And Reptile Behaviour, Gold: Shayne Kaye, Canada
#12 Animal Portraits, Gold: Tom Vierus, Fiji
“On a hot day in Bali, Indonesia, long-tailed macaques enjoy the warmth of one another. These animals are similar to humans in that they appreciate each other’s company. The macaques are used to being among people and are usually observed in temples, where they feed on food sacrifices made by townspeople.”
#13 Black And White, Silver: Avanka Fernando, Sri Lanka
According to economists like Nicholas Stern, the climate catastrophe is the outcome of several market failures.
For years, economists and environmentalists have lobbied authorities to raise the price of greenhouse gas-emitting activities (one of our biggest environmental problems).
A national carbon tax is currently in place in 27 nations worldwide, including the European Union, Canada, Singapore, Japan, Ukraine, and Argentina.
#14 Behaviour Mammals, Silver: William Fortescue, UK
#15 Robert Maynard, UK, Behaviour Birds, Bronze
#16 Gold: Sam Wilson, Australia, Planet Earth’s Landscape And Environments
#17 Michael Stavrakakis, Australia, Black And White, Bronze
However, as the 2019 OECD Tax Energy Use report points out, present tax arrangements are insufficiently matched with energy sources’ emission profiles.
The OECD, for example, claims that carbon prices are not reasonable enough on coal output, although they have proven to be effective in the energy business.
Sweden has successfully adopted a carbon tax; the price is $127 per tonne and has cut emissions by 25% since 1995, while the country’s GDP has grown by 75% in the same time period.