Winners of Nature TTL’s wildlife photography contest

Reader Laurie sent me a link to the BBC’s presentation of some winners of Nature TTL’s Wildlife and Landscape Photography Contest.  I’m having trouble braining today (enforced solitude does that), so, for your delectation, here are my favorites. The BBC’s captions are indented. The fourth photo is a stunning example of crypsis (camouflage).

First, the winner among 7,000 entries.

French photographer Florian Ledoux took the winning photo, entitled “Above the Crabeater Seals”, in Antarctica.

Landscape winner: “Shadow Game” by Marek Biegalski.

“An aerial image taken in Tuscany in autumn light. A flock of sheep was hiding in the shade from the sun under the shadow of a tree.”

Wildlife category, highly commended: “Breathing”, by Bence Mate, taken in Romania.

“A brown bear growls a warning of its presence to an interloper, his breath vanishing slowly in the windless forest.”

Macro category, highly commended: “Nothing here but this tree” by Catilin Henderson, taken in Australia.

“The lichen huntsman (Pandercetes gracilis) is an incredible species of tree-dwelling spider from Australia’s tropical north. Its astounding camouflage enables it to blend perfectly with tree bark and lichens, and it’s nearly impossible to spot by day.

“At night, I went searching for these spiders with a torch, using their reflective eye-shine to discover their hiding places in plain sight.”

Landscape category, highly commended. “Flower Power” by Brandon Yoshizawa, taken in USA.

“An incredible display of man and nature. The exhaust plume of a SpaceX rocket is lit by the low sun at twilight.

“The plume takes on the shape of a flower with the trail almost looking like a broken stem, as it shoots out from behind the snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains.”

You can read more about the photos, and see more, at the BBC site.

8 Comments

  1. sted24
    Posted March 26, 2020 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Great photos all. The last seems the most technically remarkable. How do you make visible the stars, the rocket trail, the mountains and midground, all at the same time?

    Or do you take them in bits and combine them later?

    • Posted March 26, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      I understand there are various tricks that can contribute to that effect. One is to take a long exposure, and the effects can be quite startling. You mount a camera on a tripod and take an exposure lasting a minute or more. The picture that results can show a that is no longer nearly black, and the landscape clearly illuminated even though to the naked eye it was a silhouette.

      • Posted March 26, 2020 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

        Also, you can process the very same picture in different ways aimed at getting the best exposiures for each section, and then combining them. This is what most famous black-and-white landscape photographers used to do in their darkrooms (it was called “dodging”).

        • sted24
          Posted March 26, 2020 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

          Thanks, both.

  2. Posted March 26, 2020 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Naturally the spider blows me away the most. Here was natural selection shaping the color and pattern on the spider to well match a particular combination of tree bark and lichens.

  3. rickflick
    Posted March 26, 2020 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Wooo! If these don’t excite you, I guess nothing would. I note that these are far from grab shots. Each seems to have taken careful planning. And some luck as well.

  4. Posted March 26, 2020 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Wow. I need to go find my socks after viewing these.

  5. Liz
    Posted March 26, 2020 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    These are beautiful. Thank you for keeping this going while it seems like things might get worse for maybe two months. Please stay safe everyone. Stay healthy.


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