Results of the annual ‘Wildlife Photographer of the Year’ awards have been announced for 2017, and the winning photos are staggering. Photography plays an incredibly important role in wildlife conservation, and the following photos are testament to the work these professionals put in. This type of powerful imagery represents the good photographers can achieve through education and promotion of both critical needs, and the beauty of the natural world.
Natural History Museum, based in London, are the organisers of the famous annual photography competition, and will be exhibiting the collection from October 20, 2017 through to May 28, 2018. The winner for this year was ‘Memorial to a species’ by Photojournalist Brent Stirton, which shows a killed and dehorned black rhino in South Africa.
Competition judge Roz Kidman says of the winning photo: “To make such a tragic scene almost majestic in its sculptural power deserves the highest award. There is rawness, but there is also great poignancy and therefore dignity in the fallen giant. It’s also symbolic of one of the most wasteful, cruel and unnecessary environmental crimes, one that needs to provoke the greatest public outcry”
Here are the winners, along with some of the other incredible entries:
Memorial to a species – Brent Stirton – Grand Title Winner 2017
Natural History Museum Director Sir Michael Dixon says, “Brent’s image highlights the urgent need for humanity to protect our planet and the species we share it with.”
“The black rhino offers a sombre and challenging counterpart to the story of ‘Hope’, our blue whale,” he continued. “Like the critically endangered black rhinoceros, blue whales were once hunted to the brink of extinction, but humanity acted on a global scale to protect them. This shocking picture of an animal butchered for its horns is a call to action for us all.”
Contemplation – Peter Delaney
Crab surprise – Justin Gilligan
Giant gathering – Tony Wu
In the grip of the gulls – Ekaterina Bee
Palm-oil survivors – Aaron Gekoski
Polar pas de deux – Eilo Elvinger
Stuck in – Ashleigh Scully
The ancient ritual – Brian Skerry
The good life – Daniel Nelson – Grand Title Winner (Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017)
Daniël Nelson took the award for Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017 with his charismatic portrait of a young western lowland gorilla from the Republic of Congo, lounging on the forest floor whilst feeding on fleshy African breadfruit. Daniël’s image captures the inextricable similarity between wild apes and humans, and the importance of the forest on which they depend.
“This intimate scene of a gorilla lounging on the forest floor is peaceful, a state of being we would wish for all these magnificent creatures,” says Daniel Beltra, competition judge and previous grand title winner.
The ice monster – Laurent Ballesta
The incubator bird – Gerry Pearce
The jellyfish jockey – Anthony Berber
The night raider – Marcio Cabral
The two images were selected from 16 category winners, depicting the incredible diversity of life on our planet, from displays of rarely seen animal behaviour to hidden underwater worlds. Images from professional and amateur photographers are selected by a panel of industry-recognised professionals for their originality, artistry and technical complexity.
Beating almost 50,000 entries from 92 countries, Brent’s image will be on show with 99 other images selected by an international panel of judges at the fifty-third Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition.