“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
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
“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
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)
The 2020 Drone Photography Awards garnered an arresting collection of aerial shots, and among its winners is a serendipitous image of a heart-shaped school of salmon. Captured by Australian photographer Jim Picôt, the piece is particularly special because a shark swims near the center, chasing one of the fish. Other prized shots include heron roosts nestled in the treetops, and a group of swimmers floating between crashing waves.
Hosted by the Siena Awards Festival, the contest received entries from photographers in 126 countries, and an exhibition titled Above Us Only Sky will run October 24 to November 29 in Siena to showcase the top images. Check out some of our favorites below, and dive into all the winning shots on the contest’s site. (via PetaPixel)
“Gray Whale Plays Pushing Tourists” by Joseph Cheires. “At the end of the gray whale season, I was told about a gray whale that, for the last 3 years, used to play with the boats, pushing them gently. So we went back the year after and incredibly the gray whale appeared and this shot is the result.”
“Alien Structure on Earth” by Tomasz Kowalski. “Sometimes we need to change the perspective to feel the strength of the structure stronger than we’ve ever thought. The Petronas Towers, also known as the Petronas Twin Towers, are twin skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur.”
“Where Herons Live” by Dmitrii Viliunov. “Many think that herons make nests in reeds or in a swamp. In fact, they nest in the tops of huge trees and with a drone it is sometimes possible to see them.”
“On the Sea” by Roberto Corinaldesi. “An aerial view of swimmers, where the sea becomes the place to take refuge, between the blue carpet and the white foam of the waves.”
“Frozen Land” by Alessandra Meniconzi. “With temperatures of minus 30°C, winters in the Eurasian steppe can be brutal. But life doesn’t stop, and local people move from one village to another with a sledge, crossing icy rivers and lakes.”
“Phoenix Rising” by Paul Hoelen. “The phoenix rising is a symbol of re-emergence from the ashes of fire. This is symbolized through the beginnings of an actual regeneration process at the industrial mining site of Lake Owens. After a destructive past and the creation of the most toxic dustbowl in America, migratory birds are returning, and life is beginning anew…”
“Black Flag” by Tomer Appelbaum. “Thousands of Israelis maintain social distancing due to Covid-19 restrictions while protesting against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Rabin Square on 19 April 2020.”
Starting October 23, 2020, the top photographs will be on display at the National Maritime Museum. Until then, pick up a copy of this year’s book that collects all 140 winning and shortlisted shots, and explore some of Colossal’s favorites below.