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Photography

Spectacular Winners of the 2021 Drone Photography Contest Capture a Bird's-Eye View of the World

September 17, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Pink-Footed Geese Meeting the Winter” by Terje Kolaas. All images courtesy of the 2021 Drone Photography Awards, shared with permission

Following last year’s competition eclipsed by this serendipitous shot of a shark swimming in a heart-shaped school of fish, the 2021 Drone Photography Awards brings together a slew of aerial images framing the myriad patterns, textures, and colors found around the world. Norwegian photographer Terje Kolaas captured the winning composition, which joins a flock of thousands of pink-footed geese as they make their way to Svalbard. The shot is particularly interesting because the winged creatures are early on their journey to the snow-covered arctic region, a premature arrival that’s likely sparked by the changing climate.

Hosted by the Siena Awards Festival, the 2021 competition garnered hundreds of thousands of submissions from photographers working across 102 countries, an immense and diverse collection that was culled down to a few dozen winners. An exhibition titled Above Us Only Sky will showcase the finalists from October 23 to December 5 as part of the annual event.

 

“Duoyishu Terraces” by Ran Tian

“Volcano Show” by Oleg Rest

“Sheep in Congress” by Yoel Robert Assiag

“Poisoned River” by Gheorghe Popa

“Bank Of Buriganga” by Md Tanveer Hassan Rohan

“Melting Ice Cap” by Florian Ledoux

“Hippopotamus Group From Above” by Talib Almarri

 

 



Photography Science

A Spectacularly Colorful Shot of an Oak Leaf Tops Nikon's 2021 Photomicrography Competition

September 13, 2021

Grace Ebert

By Jason Kirk, trichome (white appendages) and stomata (purple pores) on a southern live oak leaf. All images coutesy of Nikon Small World, shared with permission

Unless they were under a microscope, it would be difficult to see the shimmery barbs of a louse claw or cracks running through a single piece of table salt. The winning entries of the 47th annual Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition unveil these otherwise imperceptible features, showing the unique textures, colors, and shapes in stunning detail. We’ve chosen some of our favorite images below—these include the crystal-like webbing of a slime mold captured by Allison Pollack (previously), the first-prize winning glimpse of an oak leaf by Jason Kirk, and the kaleidoscopic head of a tick revealed by doctors Tong Zhang and Paul Stoodley—and you can find more from this year’s competition on the contest’s site and Instagram.

 

By Frank Reiser, rear leg, claw, and respiratory trachea of a louse (Haematopinus suis)

By Alison Pollack, slime mold (Arcyria pomiformis)

By Saulius Gugis, table salt crystal

By Martin Kaae Kristiansen, filamentous strands of Nostoc cyanobacteria captured inside a gelatinous matrix

By Sébastien Malo, vein and scales on a butterfly wing (Morpho didius)

By Jan van IJken, water flea (Daphnia) carrying embryos and peritrichs

By Dr. Tong Zhang and Dr. Paul Stoodley, head of a tick

By Oliver Dum, the proboscis of a housefly (Musca domestica)

 

 



Photography Science

Brilliant Solar Flares and the Northern Lights Appear in the Astronomy Photographer of the Year Shortlist

August 2, 2021

Grace Ebert

“The Magnetic Field of our Active Sun” by Andrew McCarthy. All images courtesy of Royal Museums Greenwich, shared with permission

A trippy shot of the psychedelic California Nebula, a panorama of the Milky Way sprawling above French lavender crops, and a phenomenal glimpse of the sun’s magnetic field bursting after a solar flare are a few of the stellar images on the 2021 Astronomy Photographer of the Year shortlist. Hosted by Royal Museums Greenwich for the past 13 years, the annual contest garnered more than 4,5000 images of the green lights of the Aurora, distant nebula, and other galactic sights from entrants in 75 countries. The winner will be announced on September 16 prior to the National Maritime Museum’s exhibition of the works opening on September 18. You can see more of the top photos on the contest site. (via Kottke)

 

“Harmony” by Stefan Liebermann

“Iceland Vortex” by Larryn Rae

“Alien Throne” by Marcin Zajac

“California Dreamin’ NGC 1499” by Terry Hancock

“Milky Way rising over Durdle Door” by Anthony Sullivan

“Break of a New Day” by Nicholas Roemmelt

 

 



Photography

A Dusty Roadrunner, Sleepy Sandhill Crane, and Shy Sandpiper Top the 2021 Audubon Photography Awards

July 7, 2021

Grace Ebert

Anna’s Hummingbird and cattail, Karen Boyer Guyton/Audubon Photography Awards/2021 Plants For Birds Honorable Mention. All images courtesy of Audubon, shared with permission

Most years, the Audubon Photography Awards garners entries from photographers who journey around the world to spot the elusive, extraordinary winged creatures they don’t usually see near their homes. The last few months have necessarily restricted travel, though, prompting 2021’s entrants to seek out the unique and remarkable moments happening right around them. Selected from 8,770 images and more than 260 videos, this year’s winners capture a wide array of avian species, including a greater roadrunner enveloped by a cloud of dust at Los Novios Ranch in Texas, a sleepy sandhill crane lounging on its mother in Florida, and a northern harrier as she spreads her wings before gliding down to catch her prey. You can see more of the top shots below, and check out previous year’s winners, too.

 

Sandhill crane, Robin Ulery/Audubon Photography Awards/2021 Amateur Award Winner

Greater roadrunner, Carolina Fraser/Audubon Photography Awards/2021 Grand Prize

Purple sandpiper, Arav Karighattam/Audubon Photography Awards/2021 Youth Award Winner

Northern cardinal, Steve Jessmore/Audubon Photography Awards/2021 Professional Award Winner

Anna’s hummingbird, Patrick Coughlin/Audubon Photography Awards/2021 Fisher Prize

Red-winged blackbird on a lily pad, Shirley Donald/Audubon Photography Awards/2021 Plants For Birds Award Winner

Northern harrier, Elizabeth Yicheng Shen/Audubon Photography Awards/2021 Female Bird Prize

 

 



Photography

A Resilient Kangaroo, Exploding Volcano, and School of Barracuda Take the Top Spots in the 2021 BigPicture Competition

June 3, 2021

Grace Ebert

“New Kid in School” by Yung-Sen Wu. All images courtesy of BigPicture, shared with permission

Encompassing plumes of mushroom spores, preying venus flytraps, and an opportunistic leopard seal, the 2021 BigPicture Natural World Photography contest showcases the beautiful, peculiar, and resilient flora and fauna across the globe. Now in its eighth year, the annual competition, which is held by the California Academy of Sciences, is centered largely around conservation and humans’ impact on the environment. The 2021 contest garnered entries showing the profound changes to the planet in recent months alone by documenting the desolate landscape following Australian bushfires and a disposable face mask floating off the coast of California. See some of the winning shots below and all finalists on the competition’s site. (via Kottke)

 

“Hope Amidst the Ashes” by Jo-Anne McArthur

“Ice Bears” by Peter Mather

Top left: “Sign of the Tides” by Ralph Pace. Top right: “Boss” by Michelle Valberg. Bottom left: “Another Planet” by Fran Rubia. Bottom right: “Facing Reality” by Amos Nachoum

“Nutritional Supplement” by Nick Kanakis

Left: “Rain Dance” by Sarang Naik. Top right: “Running Atta” by Petr Bambousek. Bottom right: “Beak to Beak” by Shane Kalyn

“Taking a Load Off” by Nicolas Reusens

“Down the Hatch” by Angel Fitor

 

 



Photography

A Stunning Shot of Sharks Cruising Under a French Polynesian Sunset Wins the 2021 Underwater Photographer of the Year

February 10, 2021

Grace Ebert

Category Winner. Underwater Photographer of the Year 2021 © Renee Capozzola (U.S.) /UPY2021. All images courtesy of UPY 2021, shared with permission

An exquisite shot of blacktip reef sharks circling underneath a jewel-toned sky in French Polynesia tops this year’s Underwater Photographer of the Year contest (previously). Captured by California-based Renee Capozzola, the winning entry frames a pair of the white-bellied fish and airborne seagulls, forming a serendipitous composition that combines air, land, and sea. “I dedicated several evenings to photographing in the shallows at sunset, and I was finally rewarded with this scene: glass-calm water, a rich sunset, sharks, and even birds,” she said.

This year’s competition received more than 4,500 entries from photographers in 68 countries, including images of wrecked barges, frogs peering out from a muddy pond, and two ornery blenny mid-tussle. Capozzola is the first woman to ever win the U.K.-based contest since its inception in 1965.

We’ve gathered some of our favorites below, but you can see all of the winning shots and watch interviews with the photographers on the contest’s site. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

Winner. British Waters Wide Angle, My Backyard © Mark Kirkland (U.K.)/UPY2021

Third Place. Up & Coming Underwater Photographer of the Year 2021. © Danny Lee (Australia)/UPY2021

Runner Up. Behavior. © Jing Gong Zhang (China)/UPY2021

Left: Winner. Portrait. © Ryohei Ito (Japan)/UPY202. Right: Runner Up. Portrait. © Keigo Kawamura (Japan)/UPY2021

Winner. Wrecks © Tobias Friedrich (Germany)/UPY2021

Runner Up. Macro © Steven Kovacs (U.S.)/UPY2021

Third Place. Underwater Photographer of the Year 2021 © Oleg Gaponyuk (Russian Federation)/UPY2021

Runner Up. Wide Angle © Martin Broen (U.S.)/UPY2021

Third Place. British Waters Wide Angle © Kirsty Andrews (U.K.)/UPY2021