Posts tagged
with contests


Motherly Sacrifices and Aquatic Angst Top This Year’s Ocean Art Photography Contest

January 18, 2023

Grace Ebert

A photo of two fish with their mouths open and touching

“Fighting Blue Throat Pike Blennys” by Mark Green, Honorable Mention Marine Life Behavior

As they care for their unhatched babies, female octopuses refuse to eat, causing them to die of starvation before their young emerge from their eggs. Kat Zhou documented one of these marine mothers as she was in the process of such a fatal sacrifice, and the photo won the Ocean Art 2022, the 11th annual contest hosted by Underwater Photography Guide.

Zhou’s image was chosen from thousands of entries submitted from 96 countries, and the intimate photo joins a collection that encompasses a vast array of aquatic life and antics. Two aggressive pike blennies go head to head, a frog flashes a peace sign, and a menacing parasite hunts for its next victim. Find some of our favorite images below, and see all of the winning photos on the contest’s site.


“Octopus Mother,” by Kat Zhou, Best of Show, Macro

A photo of a frog appearing to hold up a peace sign

“Peace” by Enrico Somogyi, 1st Compact Wide Angle

A photo of a crab clinging to a jellyfish

“Zeepaddestoel” by Luc Rooman, Honorable Mention Marine Life Behavior

A photo of a red parasite with black eyes

“Parasite waiting for the next victim” by Lorenzo Terraneo, Honorable Mention Portrait

A close up photo of yellow coral spawning tiny pink eggs

“Coral Spawning” by Tom Shlesinger, 3rd Marine Life Behavior

A close up ohoto of a small fish among thorns

“Rose Among the Thorns” by Ipah Uid Lynn, 4th Compact Macro

A photo of a creature appearing to climb to the surface

“The Climb” by Veronika Nagy, 2nd Nudibranchs




Photography Science

Nature’s Diversity is Captured in Minuscule Detail in the 2022 Close-Up Photographer of the Year Competition

January 8, 2023

Kate Mothes

A photograph of yellow slime mold.

Nathan Benstead, “Hemitrichia calyculata,” Young Category Winner. All images © the photographers and Close-Up Photographer of the Year, shared with permission

Among the winning images of the Close-Up Photographer of the Year contest, a frilly slime mold stems from leaves, elegant insects splay colorful wings, and microscopic patterns create vivid abstractions. Now in its fourth year, the competition attracted more than 9,000 entries from 54 countries.

The overall winner of this year’s competition was captured by Samantha Stephens and glimpses two tiny amphibians trapped inside a carnivorous plant. She explains, “typically, these plants feast on invertebrates such as moths and flies, but recently, researchers at the Algonquin Wildlife Research Station discovered a surprising new item on the plant’s menu: juvenile Spotted Salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum).” It was a timely capture; by the following day, the creatures had sunk to the bottom of the pitcher.

See some of our favorite captures below, and visit the contest’s website to view the Top 100 photographs of the year.


A photo of a moth on a leaf.

Uday Hegde, “Atlas Moth.” Second Place Dragonflies and Butterflies Category Winner

A photo of two juvenile salamanders in a pitcher plant.

Samantha Stephens, “Nature’s Pitfall,” Overall Winner and Animals Category Winner

A photograph of an insect that has been eating holes out of a leaf.

Minghui Yuan, “Little Naughty Draw Circle,” Third Place Insects Category Winner

A photograph of slime mould that looks like tiny mushrooms.

Andy Sands, “Slime Mould [Didymium Squamulosum] on Holly Leaf,” Third Place Fungi Category Winner

An abstracted photograph of water in seaweed.

Angelo Richardson, “Sea in Fan,” Third Place Intimate Landscape Category Winner

A microscopic image of algae.

Marek Miś, “Batrachospermum Red Algae,” First Place Micro Category Winner

A photograph of a gordion worm knot.

Ben Revell, “Gordian Worm Knot,” Second Place Invertebrate Portrait Category Winner

Pietro Cremone, “The Martian,” Underwater Third Place

A photograph of a pink fish among shells on the sea floor.

Kate Jonker, “Beauty and the Beast,” Second Place Underwater Category Winner

A photograph of two birds on a table outside of a pizza shop in Germany.

Anton Trexler, “Doner Kebab and Pizza,” Third Place Young Category Winner




Art Dance Design

In the World of WearableArt, 88 Dramatic Garments Grace the Stage in a Spectacular Performance

November 8, 2022

Grace Ebert

A photo of a costume made of shells

“Haerenga (Journey),” Christopher Davis, of New Zealand. All images © World of WearableArt, shared with permission

Every year in Wellington, dozens of extravagant garments explode onto the stage for three weeks as part of the World of WearableArt competition. The annual performance is New Zealand’s largest theatrical production that highlights vast creativity translated through fashion and costume from around the globe. Of the 88 works from 103 international designers in this year’s contest, many are interpretations of the natural world with dried grasses pouring from sleeves and sculptural dresses mimicking coral patterns. No matter the materials or aesthetic, all of the garments have a flair for the dramatic.

In the 32 years since the competition launched, WOW has featured more than 5,000 garments on its stages, and it’s worth a visit to the contest’s site to peruse the archive.


A photo of a costume with pink ribbons suspended from the ceiling

Estère in the 2022 competition

Two photos of costumes, one with feathered wings and the other with multicolor spikes

Left: “Apocalyptic Angel,” Sherri Madison, of the United States. Right: “Wild Things,” Saar Snoek, of the Netherlands

A photo of a costume with a full bird-like face

“Call of the Kōkako,” Stephanie Cossens, of New Zealand

A photo of a costume made with white, coral like forms

“Life,” Sun Ye, Ma Yuru, Zhou Honglei, of China

A photo of a costume made of white plastic

“Plastic Marriage,” Allison MacKay and Gabrielle Edmonds, of New Zealand

Two photos of costumes, one on the left with rippled features and the other with elaborate beading

Left: “This Is the Pyrocene,” R. R. Pascoe, of Australia. Right: “The Giant Purse,” Thao Nguyen, of Vietnam

A photo of a costume that splays outward from the body

“X-Ray,” Lyndal Linton, Brett Linton, Harvey Linton, of New Zealand




The 2022 Landscape Photographer of the Year Contest Captures Stunning Environments Around the U.K.

October 31, 2022

Grace Ebert

“The Sacred Garden,” Gray Eaton. All images @ the artists, courtesy of the Landscape Photographer of the Year, shared with permission

From hazy lochs and grand mountainous vistas to water-side pedestrian paths, the 2022 Landscape Photographer of the Year contest highlights the vast splendor of Britain’s environments. Winners of this year’s competition encompass both the natural and human-made, showcasing a steam-engulfed train roaring across the Fellowman Crosses Ribblehead viaduct or a glimmering celestial sky above the limestone arch of Durdle Door.

The contest joins Network Rail for a traveling exhibition that will migrate across the U.K., starting with Paddington Station on October 31. Peruse the winning images on the competition’s site and by picking up a copy of this year’s book.


“The Fellsman Crosses Ribblehead Viaduct,” Matthew James Turner

“Durdle Door Night Lights,” Callum White

“Brecon in Winter,” Will Davies, overall winner

“Rough and Tumble,” Lloyd Lane

“Dirgelwch Penmon / Myster,” Llion Griffiths

“Regency Wharf,” Damien Walmsley

“Wild Elgol,” Fiona Campbell

“Ascension,” Demi Oral

“Gannets Overhead,” Thomas Easterbrook



Photography Science

This Year’s Small World Photo Contest Unveils the Astounding Details Only Visible Under the Light Microscope

October 15, 2022

Grace Ebert

Long-bodied cellar/daddy long-legs spider (Pholcus phalangioides), Dr. Andrew Posselt. 4th place. All images courtesy of Nikon Small World, shared with permission

For 48 years the Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition has garnered some of the most awe-inspiring and illuminated images of all that’s visible once placed under a light microscope. The 2022 contest continues the tradition with a captivating collection that exposes the minuscule details of life on Earth. Winning images zero in on the prickly hairs covering a daddy long-legs, the trippy patterns of a marine snail’s tongue, and the tessellation-like heads of a slime mold. This year’s top photos were selected from more than 1,300 entries from 72 countries, and you can see some of our favorites below. Peruse the entire collection on the competition’s site.


Radula (rasping tongue) of a marine snail (Turbinidae family), Dr. Igor Siwanowicz. Honorable mention.

Unburned particles of carbon released when the hydrocarbon chain of candle wax breaks down, Ole Bielfeldt. 6th place.

Cross sections of normal human colon epithelial crypts, Dr. Ziad El-Zaatari. 15th place.

Embryonic hand of a Madagascar giant day gecko (Phelsuma grandis), Grigorii Timin & Dr. Michel Milinkovitch. First place

A fly under the chin of a tiger beetle, Murat Öztürk. 10th place.

Slime mold (Lamproderma), Alison Pollack. 5th place.

Butterfly egg, Ye Fei Zhang. Honorable mention.

Ammophila arenaria (grass stem), Anatoly Mikhaltsov. Image of distinction.

Paper wasp stinger, Pablo Piedra. Image of distinction.




A Stunning Image of a Surfer Trapped Under One of the World’s Heaviest Waves Wins the Ocean Photographer of the Year

October 12, 2022

Grace Ebert

Image © Ben Thouard. All images courtesy of Oceanographic, shared with permission

The 2022 Ocean Photographer of the Year contest highlights the vast array of colors and textures within marine environments. More than 5,000 entrants from around the world submitted to this year’s competition, with winning images framing the iridescent, billowing membranes of creatures spotted during blackwater dives, the speckled tentacles of baby squid, and a school of baitfish swirling into a choreographed pattern. The top prize was awarded to photographer Ben Thouard for his disorienting image of a surfer trapped under one of Tahiti’s infamous Teahupo’o waves, which are among the heaviest swells in existence.

Selected photos are on view through November 7 next to Tower Bridge in London, and you can see the entire 2022 collection on the contest’s site.


Image © Katherine Lu

Image © Brook Peterson

Image © Matty Smith

Image © Brooke Pyke

Image © Ishino Shota

Image © Gergo Rugli

Image © Martin Broen



A Colossal


Sailing Ship Kite