this year's best nature photographers capture ball of bees, whale mouth, & hungry snake

this year's best nature photographers capture ball of bees, whale mouth, & hungry snake

wildlife photographer of the year 2022 rediscovers nature

 

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2022, developed and produced by the National History Museum in London, has revealed its series of winning photography which captured a ball of bees, the mouth of a whale, a snake snapping up a bat, a flamboyance of heavenly flamingos, a dancing giant sea star, and the passing of a mountain gorilla among the anthology of nature-centered images.

 

Leading the series, american photographer Karine Aigner centers her lens on a bee-level close-up and captures an intimate moment between the bees. All except one are male bees, and they intend to mate with the single female at the center. Aigner’s winning image underlines the threats the bees face on habitat loss, pesticides, and climate change as well as farming practices that disrupt their nesting grounds.

 

Sixteen-year-old Katanyou Wuttichaitanakorn from Thailand takes on the beauty of baleen. When a Bryde’s whale surfaced close to the tour boat that Katanyou was on, the young photographer tries to steady his hands as the waves rocked the boat and managed to capture the 370 pairs of gray-colored plates of baleen growing inside its upper jaws. Tiny anchovies even dangle from the plates, and the young photographer timed his shot well to capture that scene too. Other photographers capture the natural behaviors of the wild species.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2022
images courtesy of The National History Museum (London) | image: The big buzz by Karine Aigner, Wildlife Photographer of the Year USA | header image: Heavenly flamingos by Junji Takasago, Wildlife Photographer of the Year Japan

 

 

NATURE photographers look into wild species

 

The other winning images portray living beings being at home in their natural habitat. Fernando Constantino Martínez Belmar waits in darkness as a Yucatan rat snake snaps up a bat.  Using a red light to which both bats and snakes are less sensitive, Fernando kept an eye on this Yucatan rat snake poking out of a crack. Junji Takasago powers through his altitude sickness, climbs to the Andes, Salar de Uyuni – the world’s largest salt pan – creeps towards the flamboyance of Chilean flamingos, and frames their choreography within the reflected clouds. 

 

Dmitry Kokh presents a haunting scene as he captures polar bears padding through an abandoned house that is shrouded in fog at the long-deserted settlement on Kolyuchin. Brent Stirton shares the closing chapter of the rescued mountain gorilla, arresting the viewers with the photo of the gorilla spending the last few minutes of her life in the arms of her rescuer and caregiver of 13 years, ranger Andre Bauma. Tony Wu watches through a macro lens a giant sea star dancing and swaying as it tries to release eggs and sperm and sweep them into the currents where they fertilize together in the water. 

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2022
The beauty of baleen by Katanyou Wuttichaitanakorn, Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year Thailand

 

 

Aigner & Wuttichaitanakorn win grand titles

 

The National History Museum in London held an awards ceremony where two grand titles were given to select photographers. The American photographer Karine Aigner was announced as this year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year for her image of a buzzing ball of cactus bees spinning over the hot sand on a Texas ranch while 16-year-old Katanyou Wuttichaitanakorn from Thailand was awarded the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2022 for his image of a whale’s mouth. Aigner was the fifth woman in the competition’s 58-year history to be awarded the Grand Title award. 

 

The two Grand Title winners were chosen from the 19 category winners and among the 38,575 entries from 93 countries which were all judged anonymously by an international panel of experts on the entries’ originality, narrative, technical excellence, and ethical practice. The museum will host an exhibition to showcase the winning images on October 14th in London.

 

Dr. Doug Gurr, Director of the Natural History Museum comments, ‘Wildlife photographers offer us unforgettable glimpses into the lives of wild species, sharing unseen details, fascinating behaviors and front-line reporting on the climate and biodiversity crises. These images demonstrate their awe of and appreciation for the natural world and the urgent need to take action to protect it.’ 

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2022
The bat-snatcher by Fernando Constantino Martínez Belmar, Wildlife Photographer of the Year Mexico

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2022
Ndakasi’s passing by Brent Stirton, Wildlife Photographer of the Year South Africa

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2022
House of bears by Dmitry Kokh, Wildlife Photographer of the Year Russia

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Puff perfect by José Juan Hernández Martinez, Wildlife Photographer of the Year Spain

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2022
Battle stations by Ekaterina Bee, Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year Italy

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2022
Spectacled bear’s slim outlook by Daniel Mideros, Wildlife Photographer of the Year Ecuador

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2022
The great cliff chase by Anand Nambiar, Wildlife Photographer of the Year India

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Shooting star by Tony Wu, Wildlife Photographer of the Year USA/Japan

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