URBAN WINNER: “Shadow Walker”, by Richard Peters, UK. Naturally skittish and wary, “urban wildlife” seek out the shadows when roaming about. In this case, however, Surrey-based photographer Richard Peters was seeking the shadow of one particular vixen and on one moonless night he found what he was looking for. The final result, however, depended on Peters’ neighbors fortuitously switching on a backyard light at the penultimate moment.
WINNER FROM THE SKIES: “The Art of Algae”, by Pere Soler, Spain. The Bahía de Cádiz Natural Park on the coast of Andalucia, Spain is an interwoven web of marshes, sand dunes, beaches and salt deposits that change in color and contrast from day to day. Photographer Pere Soler captured the rich natural tapestry at its brilliant best in early June when he rented an airplane and overflew the intertidal wetlands at noon while the tide was out.
YOUNG WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR 11-14: “Ruffs on Display”, by Ondrej Pelánek, Czech Republic. Things can get “ruff” on Norway’s far northeastern Varanger Peninsula when Ruffs – a medium-sized species of sandpiper – compete for prime courtship areas. Young photographer Ondrej Pelánek captured his money shot when one male Ruff made a grandiose leap into the air; flashing his plumage in a bid to scatter potential rivals.
YOUNG WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER 15-17: “Flight of the Scarlet Ibis”, by Jonathan Jagot, France. A majestic flock of Scarlet Ibis’ is silhouetted against sand dunes on the Brazilian island of Lençóis in Jonathan Jagot’s award-winning image. Jagot put plenty of work into capturing this inspiring scene: he patiently studied the birds from afar, learning their preferred feeding spots on the mudflats and the daily pattern of the ocean tides. Luck was with Jagot one cloudless day when he anchored his dinghy just off the island’s coast and waited for the tide to come in. As the waters rose to cover the mudflats, the bright red birds rose into the sky allowing Jagot to snap this spectacular shot.
IMPRESSIONS WINNER: “Life Comes to Art”, by Juan Tapia, Spain. European barn swallows mate for life and usually return to the same nest year after year. The habits of one particular pair of swallows piqued the interest of photographer Juan Tapia as they had built a nest in an old storehouse on his farm in Almeria. Tapia positioned a damaged old painting from his childhood over the broken windowpane used by the birds to enter and exit the building; then waited… and waited… for the optimum moment. It ended up taking 300 shots over 8 excruciating hours but Tapia finally got his prize-winning photo.