The 2022 World Nature Photography Awards winners revealed

The 2022 World Nature Photography Awards winners revealed


The wonders of planet earth never cease to amaze – a point perfectly illustrated by the winning photos of the World Nature Photography Awards (WNPA).  

Entries flooded in from 20 countries across six continents, and judges have now revealed the very best pictures. 

U.S-based Amos Nachoum was the overall winning photographer for his stunning image of a leopard seal about to capture a defenceless Gentoo penguin. Nachoum waited patiently for hours on the remote Antarctic island of Plano for the right moment at low tide, when the seals stealthily enter a lagoon and search for their prey.

Other category-winning entries include a moving photo of Brenda, a three-month-old orangutan about to undergo surgery, and an astounding shot of a humpback’s fluke with the New York City skyline in the distance. 

Adrian Dinsdale, co-founder of the WNPAs, said: ‘As always, it’s such a thrill to see the amazing calibre of entries into the awards. Seeing these images cannot fail to motivate one to do everything to protect this fragile planet of ours.’

Scroll down for our selection of the best WNPA winners, from the wonderful to the wild… 

The 2022 World Nature Photography Awards winners revealed

Judges were wowed by this sensational picture of a Leopard seal lunging for a Gentoo penguin in Antarctica. Amos Nachoum from the USA waited patiently for hours on the remote island of Plano, off the Antarctic Peninsula, for the right moment at low tide, when the seals stealthily enter a lagoon and search for their prey. Aside from the stunning shot, Nachoum was rewarded with Gold in the Mammals category, and crowned World Nature Photographer of the Year 

In this moving photo, Brenda, a three-month-old female orangutan, is about to undergo surgery to fit pins and screws to secure her damaged humerus. A critically endangered species, the Sumatran orangutan was confiscated from someone in a nearby village who was keeping her as a pet, Belgium-based photographer Alain Schroeder explains. The picture, which was taken in North Sumatra at the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme centre, was awarded Gold in the Nature Photojournalism category

In this moving photo, Brenda, a three-month-old female orangutan, is about to undergo surgery to fit pins and screws to secure her damaged humerus. A critically endangered species, the Sumatran orangutan was confiscated from someone in a nearby village who was keeping her as a pet, Belgium-based photographer Alain Schroeder explains. The picture, which was taken in North Sumatra at the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme centre, was awarded Gold in the Nature Photojournalism category 

This blenny fish has found an unusual home in a discarded beer bottle in Chowder Bay, New South Wales. Australian photographer Dr Gaetano Gargiulo captured the nest in incredible detail, and the picture was awarded Bronze in the People and Nature category

This blenny fish has found an unusual home in a discarded beer bottle in Chowder Bay, New South Wales. Australian photographer Dr Gaetano Gargiulo captured the nest in incredible detail, and the picture was awarded Bronze in the People and Nature category 

Arabian Red Foxes, like the one pictured here in Kuwait City, usually breed in the desert far away from human contact, explains Kuwait-based photographer Mohammad Murad. 'This is a really rare case that I monitored for almost three months,' Murad said of his photo subject, which is framed by the glow of the city streetlights. The photographer visited the inner-city den for up to five hours at a time, four days a week to get the shot, which was awarded Silver in the Urban Wildlife category

Arabian Red Foxes, like the one pictured here in Kuwait City, usually breed in the desert far away from human contact, explains Kuwait-based photographer Mohammad Murad. ‘This is a really rare case that I monitored for almost three months,’ Murad said of his photo subject, which is framed by the glow of the city streetlights. The photographer visited the inner-city den for up to five hours at a time, four days a week to get the shot, which was awarded Silver in the Urban Wildlife category

Taken in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania, this powerful photo shows a tangle of frogs and toads with legs removed for human consumption. The compelling work of Hungarian photographer Bence Mate, it was awarded Bronze in the Nature Photojournalism category

Taken in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania, this powerful photo shows a tangle of frogs and toads with legs removed for human consumption. The compelling work of Hungarian photographer Bence Mate, it was awarded Bronze in the Nature Photojournalism category 

A lone female polar bear is dwarfed by a huge glacial wall in this picture by UK photographer Christian Tuckwell-Smith, which bagged Bronze in the Animals in their Habitat category. Taken on the eastern coast of Svalbard, Norway, Tuckwell-Smith noted the poignance of the two subjects - 'a glacier and a polar bear - two icons of the Arctic with uncertain futures in the face of climate change'

A lone female polar bear is dwarfed by a huge glacial wall in this picture by UK photographer Christian Tuckwell-Smith, which bagged Bronze in the Animals in their Habitat category. Taken on the eastern coast of Svalbard, Norway, Tuckwell-Smith noted the poignance of the two subjects – ‘a glacier and a polar bear – two icons of the Arctic with uncertain futures in the face of climate change’

These male cheetahs braved the powerful currents of a river after monstrous rains in Masai Mara, Kenya, in January 2020, remembers Australian photographer Buddhilini de Soyza. 'The lead cheetah looked straight at us during the crossing while gritting teeth with swimming effort, as if accusing us of not helping them and watching them about to die,' they said of the picture, which won Bronze in the Mammals category. They added: 'We screamed with delight as we saw them finally cross over'

These male cheetahs braved the powerful currents of a river after monstrous rains in Masai Mara, Kenya, in January 2020, remembers Australian photographer Buddhilini de Soyza. ‘The lead cheetah looked straight at us during the crossing while gritting teeth with swimming effort, as if accusing us of not helping them and watching them about to die,’ they said of the picture, which won Bronze in the Mammals category. They added: ‘We screamed with delight as we saw them finally cross over’

'I was ready and waiting on the jetty overlooking the lake,' says UK photographer Robert Maynard on capturing this magical scene one morning at Heath Pond in Hampshire in the UK. 'I was blown away by what I had witnessed - to see so many Cormorants climbing out of the water through the mist which hugged the lake.' The black cormorants gathered on a string of boats, making a silhouette so striking it was awarded Bronze in the Birds category of the WNPA

‘I was ready and waiting on the jetty overlooking the lake,’ says UK photographer Robert Maynard on capturing this magical scene one morning at Heath Pond in Hampshire in the UK. ‘I was blown away by what I had witnessed – to see so many Cormorants climbing out of the water through the mist which hugged the lake.’ The black cormorants gathered on a string of boats, making a silhouette so striking it was awarded Bronze in the Birds category of the WNPA

Japan-based photographer Rie Asada won Bronze in the Landscapes and Environments category with this stunning photo of the ice falls in Gifu Prefecture, Japan

Japan-based photographer Rie Asada won Bronze in the Landscapes and Environments category with this stunning photo of the ice falls in Gifu Prefecture, Japan

A green huntsman spider is captured towering over a doomed vinegar fly in incredible detail by UK photographer Irina Petrova Adamatzky. Taken in Magnitogorsk, Russia, the picture was awarded Bronze in the Behaviour - Invertebrates category

A green huntsman spider is captured towering over a doomed vinegar fly in incredible detail by UK photographer Irina Petrova Adamatzky. Taken in Magnitogorsk, Russia, the picture was awarded Bronze in the Behaviour – Invertebrates category 

A family of Asiatic elephants are about to disappear into the Sri Lankan undergrowth in this photo by Australian photographer Michael Stavrakakis. Taken in the Udawalawe National Park, the picture was awarded bronze in the Black and White category

A family of Asiatic elephants are about to disappear into the Sri Lankan undergrowth in this photo by Australian photographer Michael Stavrakakis. Taken in the Udawalawe National Park, the picture was awarded bronze in the Black and White category

U.S photographer Patrick Nowotny won Bronze in the Behaviour - Amphibians and Reptiles category for this exquisite picture of a green iguana clinging to a branch in Costa Rica

U.S photographer Patrick Nowotny won Bronze in the Behaviour – Amphibians and Reptiles category for this exquisite picture of a green iguana clinging to a branch in Costa Rica

Judges were bowled over by this shot of the mountains on South Island in New Zealand, by Australian photographer Sam Wilson. So much so, it was crowned with Gold in the Landscape and Environment category

Judges were bowled over by this shot of the mountains on South Island in New Zealand, by Australian photographer Sam Wilson. So much so, it was crowned with Gold in the Landscape and Environment category

This solemn cluster of cypresses in the municipality of San Quirico D'Orcia, Tuscany, are among the most photographed trees in the world, and Italian photographer Federico Testi has captured them beautifully. The bewitching photo was awarded Gold in the Nature Art category

This solemn cluster of cypresses in the municipality of San Quirico D’Orcia, Tuscany, are among the most photographed trees in the world, and Italian photographer Federico Testi has captured them beautifully. The bewitching photo was awarded Gold in the Nature Art category  

U.S-based photographer Gautam Kamat Bambolkar has captured the Tomb Raider-esqe magic of this abandoned house in Goa, India. Judges awarded the photo Gold in the Plants and Fungi category

U.S-based photographer Gautam Kamat Bambolkar has captured the Tomb Raider-esqe magic of this abandoned house in Goa, India. Judges awarded the photo Gold in the Plants and Fungi category 

The icicles in this cave seemingly hang like teeth over a tiny van and its passengers on Lake Baikal, Russia. Switzerland-based photographer Sabrina Inderbitzi was awarded Gold in the People and Nature for this powerful snap

The icicles in this cave seemingly hang like teeth over a tiny van and its passengers on Lake Baikal, Russia. Switzerland-based photographer Sabrina Inderbitzi was awarded Gold in the People and Nature for this powerful snap 

'I finally got the shot I wanted,' rejoiced U.S-based photographer Matthijs Noome, whose photo of a humpback's fluke with the New York City skyline in the distance was awarded Gold in the Urban Wildlife category. 'As water quality measures and conservation efforts start to show real results over the last years, humpback whales are becoming more and more a common sight in New York waters,' Noome added

‘I finally got the shot I wanted,’ rejoiced U.S-based photographer Matthijs Noome, whose photo of a humpback’s fluke with the New York City skyline in the distance was awarded Gold in the Urban Wildlife category. ‘As water quality measures and conservation efforts start to show real results over the last years, humpback whales are becoming more and more a common sight in New York waters,’ Noome added

Singapore-based photographer Chin Leong Teo was awarded Gold in the Behaviour - Invertebrates category for this picture of three red ants delicately crossing a pool of water in Indonesia

Singapore-based photographer Chin Leong Teo was awarded Gold in the Behaviour – Invertebrates category for this picture of three red ants delicately crossing a pool of water in Indonesia 

A vulture pulls a wildebeest's eye from its socket in this gruesome yet perfectly-timed picture, captured by Indian photographer Ashok Behera. Taken in Masai Mara, Kenya, the photo was awarded Gold in the Behaviour - Birds category

A vulture pulls a wildebeest’s eye from its socket in this gruesome yet perfectly-timed picture, captured by Indian photographer Ashok Behera. Taken in Masai Mara, Kenya, the photo was awarded Gold in the Behaviour – Birds category 

German photographer Jan Czeczotka zooms in on the micro world of these panaeolus papilionaceus mushrooms, taken in Bavaria, Germany. The detailed image won over judges and was awarded Bronze in the Plants and Fungi category

German photographer Jan Czeczotka zooms in on the micro world of these panaeolus papilionaceus mushrooms, taken in Bavaria, Germany. The detailed image won over judges and was awarded Bronze in the Plants and Fungi category 

Mayotte-based photographer Gabriel Barathieu explores an intriguing new perspective on the vibrant blooms of lettuce coral in Indonesia. Taken on the Raja Ampat archipelago, Barathieu was awarded Bronze in the Nature Art category for their entry

Mayotte-based photographer Gabriel Barathieu explores an intriguing new perspective on the vibrant blooms of lettuce coral in Indonesia. Taken on the Raja Ampat archipelago, Barathieu was awarded Bronze in the Nature Art category for their entry 

The chill of the wind is visceral as it ploughs into this blue arctic fox in Iceland, a rare morph of the more well known white fur arctic fox. The photo, taken by UK-based photographer Vince Burton, was awarded Gold in the Black and White category

The chill of the wind is visceral as it ploughs into this blue arctic fox in Iceland, a rare morph of the more well known white fur arctic fox. The photo, taken by UK-based photographer Vince Burton, was awarded Gold in the Black and White category 

Named Mother's Love, this tender image shows a toque macaque being fed by its mother in Yala National Park, Sri Lanka. Captured by Sri Lanka-based photographer Avanka Fernando, the picture was awarded Silver in the Black and White category

Named Mother’s Love, this tender image shows a toque macaque being fed by its mother in Yala National Park, Sri Lanka. Captured by Sri Lanka-based photographer Avanka Fernando, the picture was awarded Silver in the Black and White category

Scooping Gold in the Animals in their Habitat category, a Bornean orangutan seems to look straight at the camera in this stunning picture taken by Canada-based photographer Thomas Vijayan

Scooping Gold in the Animals in their Habitat category, a Bornean orangutan seems to look straight at the camera in this stunning picture taken by Canada-based photographer Thomas Vijayan

Ukrainian photographer Alexej Sachov was awarded Silver in the Nature Photojournalism category with this thought-provoking picture titled 'True Maldives', in which a hotel sewage pipe drains into the deep blue sea

Ukrainian photographer Alexej Sachov was awarded Silver in the Nature Photojournalism category with this thought-provoking picture titled ‘True Maldives’, in which a hotel sewage pipe drains into the deep blue sea

This tranquil image shows a Pacific tree frog nestled in a flower in a city park in Canada. Taken by Canadian photographer Shayne Kaye, this picture won Gold in the Behaviour - Amphibians and Reptiles category

This tranquil image shows a Pacific tree frog nestled in a flower in a city park in Canada. Taken by Canadian photographer Shayne Kaye, this picture won Gold in the Behaviour – Amphibians and Reptiles category 

Two dandelion seeds cling to the receptacle in this photo by German photographer Monika Schneider. The inventive entry was awarded Silver in the Nature Art category

Two dandelion seeds cling to the receptacle in this photo by German photographer Monika Schneider. The inventive entry was awarded Silver in the Nature Art category 

India-based photographer Neelutpaul Barua submitted this photo of a brown bear mother and her two cubs, taken in South Kamchatka Sanctuary, Russia. 'By lying down on the ground I could capture an eye level frame that vividly captured the expression of a watchful mother and the carefree nature of the cubs,' recalls Barua, who won Silver in Animal Portraits for their entry

India-based photographer Neelutpaul Barua submitted this photo of a brown bear mother and her two cubs, taken in South Kamchatka Sanctuary, Russia. ‘By lying down on the ground I could capture an eye level frame that vividly captured the expression of a watchful mother and the carefree nature of the cubs,’ recalls Barua, who won Silver in Animal Portraits for their entry 

This flock of red-billed queleas was captured mid-flight by U.S-based photographer Robert Ross. The stunning picture, taken in Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania, was awarded Silver in the Behaviour - Birds category

This flock of red-billed queleas was captured mid-flight by U.S-based photographer Robert Ross. The stunning picture, taken in Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania, was awarded Silver in the Behaviour – Birds category

This dynamic photo by UK-based photographer William Fortescue portrays the intense power of two bull elephants sparring. Bestowed with Silver in the Behaviour - Animals category, the picture was taken in the Amboseli National Park, Kenya

This dynamic photo by UK-based photographer William Fortescue portrays the intense power of two bull elephants sparring. Bestowed with Silver in the Behaviour – Animals category, the picture was taken in the Amboseli National Park, Kenya

Awarded Bronze in the Animal Portraits category, this snapshot of family life for a puma and her cubs in Patagonia, Chile, was the work of Isreal-based photographer Amit Eshel

Awarded Bronze in the Animal Portraits category, this snapshot of family life for a puma and her cubs in Patagonia, Chile, was the work of Isreal-based photographer Amit Eshel 

'This hawk moth emerged after sunset to sip nectar from garden flowers, always remaining hovering in mid-air as it fed in the dim glow of the surrounding houselights,' remembers Australian photographer Lincoln Macgregor. The image, which was awarded Silver in the Behaviour - Invertebrates category, was taken in the Kangaroo Valley Region, Australia

‘This hawk moth emerged after sunset to sip nectar from garden flowers, always remaining hovering in mid-air as it fed in the dim glow of the surrounding houselights,’ remembers Australian photographer Lincoln Macgregor. The image, which was awarded Silver in the Behaviour – Invertebrates category, was taken in the Kangaroo Valley Region, Australia

A school of mackerel tentatively avoid a scuba diver in this image taken off the coast of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Awarded Silver in the People and Nature category, the photograph was taken by Austria-based photographer Mike Eyett

A school of mackerel tentatively avoid a scuba diver in this image taken off the coast of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Awarded Silver in the People and Nature category, the photograph was taken by Austria-based photographer Mike Eyett

This jaw-dropping photo of an American crocodile is the brave work of Italian photographer Massimo Giorgetta. Taken in the Cuban archipelago Jardines de la Reina, it was awarded Silver in the Behaviour - Amphibians and Reptiles category

This jaw-dropping photo of an American crocodile is the brave work of Italian photographer Massimo Giorgetta. Taken in the Cuban archipelago Jardines de la Reina, it was awarded Silver in the Behaviour – Amphibians and Reptiles category 

'Open Wide' is the perfect title for this playful picture of a juvenile California sea lion. U.S-based photographer Celia took the photo in the Kujala Coronado Islands, Mexico, and was awarded Silver in the Animals in their Habitat category for the stellar shot

‘Open Wide’ is the perfect title for this playful picture of a juvenile California sea lion. U.S-based photographer Celia took the photo in the Kujala Coronado Islands, Mexico, and was awarded Silver in the Animals in their Habitat category for the stellar shot 

Taken by UK-based photographer Vladislav Tasev, this image shows a young pine tree buckling under the weight of the snow in Central Stara Planina in Bulgaria. The photo bagged Silver in the Plants and Fungi category

Taken by UK-based photographer Vladislav Tasev, this image shows a young pine tree buckling under the weight of the snow in Central Stara Planina in Bulgaria. The photo bagged Silver in the Plants and Fungi category

This photo of three long-tailed macaques snuggled up during a hot day in Bali, Indonesia, was crowned Gold in the Animal Portraits category. It was taken by Fiji-based photographer Tom Vierus

This photo of three long-tailed macaques snuggled up during a hot day in Bali, Indonesia, was crowned Gold in the Animal Portraits category. It was taken by Fiji-based photographer Tom Vierus

A seemingly simple picture of the Argentinian Puna in fact shows three distinct landscapes, explains Italian photographer Alessandro Gruzza: the eroded mountains in the background, volcanic sand in the foreground, and a pumice stone field in the centre formed by the eruption of a volcano 15 million years ago. Taken in the Catamarca Province, Argentina, the picture won silver in the Landscape and Environment category

A seemingly simple picture of the Argentinian Puna in fact shows three distinct landscapes, explains Italian photographer Alessandro Gruzza: the eroded mountains in the background, volcanic sand in the foreground, and a pumice stone field in the centre formed by the eruption of a volcano 15 million years ago. Taken in the Catamarca Province, Argentina, the picture won silver in the Landscape and Environment category 



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Author: Shirley