The inaugural Nature TTL Photographer of the Year competition has announced its winning images, ranging from the ice floes of Antarctica to the rolling hills of Tuscany.
The contest attracted 7,000 entries in all, from wildlife, landscape, and macro photographers from 117 different countries.
Here’s our favourite snaps, and what their photographers said about them…
Above the Crabeater Seals, Florian Ledoux – Overall Winner
Florian Ledoux says: "For me, it’s very important to show the state of the Arctic and Antarctic regions. It’s important that anyone inspired by this kind of drone image understands the importance of being ethical in your approach. Ensure that your drone does not spook animals or disturb them, and always conduct yourself in accordance with local regulations."
I’m Not Going Easy, Robert Ferguson – Winner, People’s Choice Award
Robert Ferguson says: "This great white pelican [in Singapore] is struggling with a non-native fish. The bird swam in circles, dipping its bill in the water and raising its beak in an attempt to swallow its large prey, but every time the fish extended its sharp spines it lodged its firmly on the beak. This went on for over 20 minutes, with no sign of either party tiring."
Shadow Game, Marek Biegalski – Winner, Landscape
Marek Biegalski says: "An aerial image taken in Tuscany in autumn light. A flock of sheep was hiding from the sun under the shadow of a tree."
Chinese Painting, Minghui Yuan – Winner, Macro
Minghui Yuan says: "I was in a stream in the Dabie Mountains, waiting to observe this Matrona basilaris (damselﬂy). Matrona basilaris is the king of the stream here, and there is a male every three metres. Against the background of the sky, I saw the connection between the lines of the grass and the subject. Nature is a simple painting."
Valley Of The Scheldt, Bart Heirweg – Highly Commended, Landscape
Bart Heirweg says: "In early autumn the Valley of the Scheldt in Belgium is often ﬁlled with a thick layer of fog on clear, windless mornings. When the sun starts to rise the fog slowly disappears, revealing the landscape underneath. When seen from above the atmosphere is simply magical."
Breathing, Bence Máté – Highly Commended, Wildlife
Bence Máté says: "A brown bear growls a warning of its presence to an interloper, his breath vanishing slowly in the windless forest."
Nothing Here But This Tree, Caitlin Henderson – Highly Commended, Macro
Caitlin Henderson says: "The Lichen Huntsman is a species of tree-dwelling spider from Australia’s tropical north. Its astounding camouﬂage enables it to blend perfectly with the tree bark and lichen, and it’s near-impossible to spot by day. At night, I went searching for them with a torch, using their reﬂective eye-shine to discover them hiding in plain sight."
Fox, Matej Borjancic – Highly Commended, Under 16
Matej Borjancic says: "My grandfather took me on a tour of the quarry to see if there were any animals there. We were lucky, and I photographed a young fox as she looked out of her hiding place."
Viking Rainbows, Alessandro Cantarelli – Runner-Up, Lanscape
Alessandro Cantarelli says: "I am very attached to this photograph, because of the technical diﬃculty and because it took years to make it. Over the last few years I’ve found myself in Iceland dozens of time, and was lucky enough to witness incredible conditions on the Vestrahorn. The very intense rain made things difficult for me, but gave me a great gift – a double rainbow on my left that perfectly compensated the strong light on the right."
Badger Blues, Dave Hudson – Highly Commended, Wildlife
Dave Hudson says: "I had been putting in the hours watching a number of setts in the area, but decided to focus on this one due to the abundance of bluebells. After a couple of hours, I began to hear movement. An adult badger came towards me ﬁrst, but to my delight behind it was a cub. He seemed comfortable enough, so I clicked the shutter and got a couple of shots."
Mating Red-Eyed Damselflies, Robert Page – Runner-Up, Macro
Robert Page says: "I’ve photographed damselﬂies on the ponds of my local park in London for years. Last summer, on a hot and muggy but overcast day, the damselﬂies were out in great numbers all over the surface, and this group stood out due the symmetry. This breeding behaviour had already subsided when I went back the next day."
Coexistence, Dipanjan Pal – Highly Commended, Landscape
Dipanjan Pal says: "This scene is very close to a popular mountain in Iceland. While ﬂying my drone with the camera pointed downward, I suddenly noticed this beautiful landscape, with the blue river perfectly popping against the black sand. The sun peeking through the clouds added more drama to the scene."
Phoenix, Saptarshi Gayen – Winner, Under 16
Saptarshi Gayen says: "At the end of every winter, farmers on this huge grassland [in India] generally burn the grass and reeds to clean the land for upcoming crops. When the fire spreads small insects come out, so brave Black Drongos capitalise by eating them while flying above the live fire."
Startled Owl, Paul Holman – Runner-Up, Wildlife
Paul Holman says: "This baby little owl appeared at the window during a burst of early morning sun. A couple of jackdaws were spooked by his presence and started dive bombing him. After a few passes I noticed the jackdaw’s reﬂection in the adjacent windowpane and decided to try and capture this behaviour."
Flower Power, Brandon Yoshizawa – Highly Commended, Landscape
Brandon Yoshizawa says: "An incredible display of man and nature – the exhaust plume of a SpaceX rocket lit by the low sun at twilight. The plume takes on the shape of a ﬂower and the trail a broken stem as it shoots out from behind the snow capped Sierra Nevada mountains. I couldn’t have asked for a better scene as it shot up over a brilliant display of colourful fall aspens."