From 42,000 amazing entries, Michael ‘Nick’ Nichols’ black and white image of lions in repose was selected as the grand title winner for the 2014 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. The prestigious competition, which is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, is put on by the UK’s Natural History Museum and BBC Worldwide. Here is Nichols’ award winning image, The Last Great Picture:
Canon EOS 5D Mark III + 24–70mm f2.8 lens at 32mm; 1/250 sec. at f/8; ISO 200
“Nick set out to create an archetypal image that would express both the essence of lions and how we visualize them – a picture of a time past, before lions were under such threat. Here, the five females of the Vumbi pride – a ‘formidable and spectacularly cooperative team’ – lie at rest with their cubs on a kopje (a rocky outcrop), in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park.”
Overall Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Eight-year-old Carlos Perez Naval, of Spain, was named the 2014 Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year for his photo, Stinger in the Sun:
Nikon D300 + 105mm f/2.8 lens (28–300mm lens for the background); 1/320 sec. at f/10; ISO 320; flash
“The late afternoon sun was casting such a lovely glow over the scene that Carlos decided to experiment with a double exposure (his first ever) so he could include the sun. He started with the background, using a fast speed so as not to overexpose the sun, and then shot the scorpion, using a low flash. But he had to change lenses (he used his zoom for the sun), which is when the scorpion noticed the movement and raised its tail. Carlos then had to wait for it to settle before taking his close-up, with the last rays of the sun lighting up its body.”
The adult competition has 10 categories that highlight Earth’s diversity, Earth’s environments, creativity, and technique. Here are just two of the many category winners:
The World in Our Hands
Canon EOS 5D Mark II + 17–40mm f4 lens at 38mm; 1/160 sec. at f/4; ISO 400
“A teenager from a village in southern Tunisia offers to sell a three-month-old fennec fox, one of a litter of pups he dug out of their den in the Sahara Desert. Catching or killing wild fennec foxes is illegal in Tunisia but widespread, which Bruno discovered as part of a long-term project to investigate the issues facing endangered species in the Sahara.”
Nikon D300 + Sigma 70–200mm f2.8 lens; 1/541 sec. at f/2.8; ISO 200; tripod; remote control
“Straight after the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcanic complex began erupting, Francisco travelled to Puyehue National Park in southern Chile, anticipating a spectacular light show. But what he witnessed was more like an apocalypse. From his viewpoint – a hill quite a distance to the west of the volcano – he watched, awestruck, as flashes of lightning lacerated the sky and the glow from the molten lava lit up the smoke billowing upwards and illuminated the landscape.”
Winners are selected by a panel of international judges who base their decisions on “artistic composition, technical innovation, and truthful interpretation of the natural world.”
All images via Natural History Museum/Wildlife Photographer of the Year and used with permission.
Like This Article?
Don't Miss The Next One!
Join over 100,000 photographers of all experience levels who receive our free photography tips and articles to stay current: