This year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition has already stirred our emotions with its amazing shortlisted images. And now, the winners of the 2019 competition have been announced, and they’re equally awe-inspiring. They show us all the extremes of the natural world, its beauty and cruelty. And they will remind you just how breathtaking the natural is, and why we need to look after it.
The winners of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition were revealed yesterday at a ceremony at the Natural History Museum, London. There were 19 category winners selected from over 48,000 entries from 100 countries, so I believe that the judges had had a very tough choice ahead of them.
Yongqing Bao from the Chinese province of Qinghai has won the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2019 title for his image titled The Moment. And the title is more than fitting, considering that the photo captures a perfect and incredibly intense moment of a standoff between a Tibetan fox and a marmot. “A powerful frame of both humor and horror,” as the contest judges described it, and I find it to be a perfect description of this dramatic and intense photo.
Chair of the judging panel, Roz Kidman Cox, said about the winning image:
“Photographically, it is quite simply the perfect moment. The expressive intensity of the postures holds you transfixed, and the thread of energy between the raised paws seems to hold the protagonists in perfect balance. Images from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau are rare enough, but to have captured such a powerful interaction between a Tibetan fox and a marmot – two species key to the ecology of this high-grassland region – is extraordinary.”
Natural History Museum Director Sir Michael Dixon comments:
“This compelling picture captures nature’s ultimate challenge – its battle for survival. The area in which this was taken, often referred to as the ‘third pole’, because of the enormous water reserves held by its ice fields, is under threat from dramatic temperature rises like those seen in the Arctic. At a time when precious habitats are facing increasing climate pressures, seeing these fleeting yet fascinating moments reminds us of what we need to protect.”
The title of Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2019 went to fourteen-year-old Cruz Erdmann. His winning photo is a serene portrait of an iridescent big fin reef squid captured on a night dive in the Lembeh Strait off North Sulawesi, Indonesia.
Cruz has been in love with the ocean from a very early age. In fact, he gained his diving certification when he was only ten years old. After inheriting his father’s old underwater camera, he found the perfect medium to express his passion for all things aquatic. And this passion and skill brought him this year’s award for the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum, London. The winning photos will be on a display from 18 October 2019 till 31 May 2020, along with 98 other spectacular photos. The exhibition will start in London and then tour internationally to locations such as Canada, Spain, the USA, Australia, and Germany. So, if you’re in any of these locations or the road takes you there, don’t forget to drop by and see the exhibition live.
Otherwise, check out some of the winning photos below, and make sure to see the rest on Wildlife Photographer of the Year’s website.