Photo Contest

2023 Photo Contest Winners

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A shark creates a hole in a massive bait ball of small fish as it swims through looking for a meal.

The Nature Conservancy is proud to announce the winners of our 2023 contest.

Parting the Tide A grey reef shark parts the tide of a bait ball in the shallows of the Ningaloo Reef. This was a once in a lifetime experience, as millions of small fish were gathered together and forced into the narrow alleys of a shallow coral reef by hunting predators. This photo was taken inside the baitball, as a shark burst out, hunting its next mouthful of fish. © Daniel Nicholson/TNC Photo Contest 2023

The Nature Conservancy is proud to announce the winners of the 2023 photo contest.

Your images gave voice to nature and showed us the power and peril of the natural world.

The following photos submitted to our 2023 photo contest captivated our judges the most.

 

Grand Prize Winner

Litauszki Tibor, Hungary
@tiborlitauszki_naturphtgrphy

A newt is silhouetted floating above a large mass of eggs. Light from above is diffused through the opaque eggs.
Between the Stars I photographed this moment underwater. I was able to do it by putting my camera in an underwater case, attaching it to a metal weight and placing it all under the eggs. I waited nearby for it to be dark, and when the newt appeared, I lit it with an LED lamp. I started the camera with a home-made wired remote release. It turned out 1-2 sharp pictures. © Litauszki Tibor/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Celebrity Judge Choice

Hermis Haridas, United Arab Emirates
@Hermis.haridas


This image is a clear display of the patience, coincidence, technical adaptability and composition that earns top choice in the competition. Well-constructed and simply beautiful. The outward simplicity of the photo almost makes it easy to forget how much waiting is required to get a shot like this. The high-speed nature of the subject means you have to be dialed in perfectly when the shot arrives.
Cole Sprouse, Celebrity Guest Judge

A bird in flight is silhouetted against a background of light and dark--the golden light of sunrise and a dark stripe of shadow.
Dawn's Whispers: Graceful Hoopoe Silhouette at Sunrise A Hoopoe took flight with its wings spread in a smooth motion across the canvas of the early-morning sky that was illuminated by the sunrise's bright hues. I saw that this bird would occasionally grab its prey in the air and other times on the ground. Additionally, I observed that each time it caught its prey, it flew in the same direction to a nearby tree.​ © Hermis Haridas/TNC Photo Contest 2023

 


Aerials

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First Place, Aerials

Agnieszka Wieczorek, Poland
@polatinaphotoandtravel

A small community of boxy white building sits like an island surrounded by brilliant golden yellow farm fields.
Living inside the yellow fields Inspired by yellow colour I decided to take a photo with a drone showing an aerial perspective of a small settlement of the city of Swidnica, Poland, which was built in the middle of a field. In the spring months the buildings are surrounded by beautiful rapeseed fields.​ © Agnieszka Wieczorek/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Second Place, Aerials

Neelutpaul Barua, India
@neel.barua.photography

Aerial view looking down on a lake. The water is red with a curling ripple of white through the center. Flamingos fly over the lake in a curving flock.
Magadi Airshow The alkaline Lake Magadi provides breathtaking patterns on the surface of the lake to photograph flamingos. Lake Magadi, Kenya 12 Sept, 2023. © Neelutpaul Barua/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Third Place, Aerials

Derek Robertson, United States
@derekrobertsonphotography​

Looking down on a wide creek. The dark water splits the middle of the image, running between snow covered banks.
Black and White Drone photo of a creek during a snowstorm, Salisbury Mills, New York © Derek Robertson/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Honorable Mention, Aerials

Maman Sukirman, Indonesia

Rectangular fish pens create an abstract geometry on the surface of a lake.
Freshwater Fish Farming Freshwater fish farming area at Lake Balang Tonjong, Antang Village, Manggala District, Makassar. Freshwater fish farming is a form of animal husbandry that produces fish as a source of animal protein that is beneficial for human health.​ © Maman Sukirman/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Honorable Mention, Aerials

Mostafijur Rahman Nasim, Indonesia

People and blankets create a brightly colored patchwork on the roof decks of three long boats. A smaller green decked boat floats at an angle behind the larger vessel in the center.
Home bound Bangladesh is a densely populated country. The scenario of public transport changes during Eid festival as people leave Dhaka in over crowded transports. In the photo, huge crowded launches (water vessels) are seen in Sadarghat launch terminal in Dhaka. People took position on the roof of the river trucks. © Mostafijur Rahman Nasim/TNC Photo Contest 2023

 


Birds

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First Place, Birds

Grzegorz Długosz​, Poland
@gdlugosz_photography

A small bird flies away from a basket shaped nest that dangles from a thin branch. The nest is framed by the greenery of surrounding trees and shrubs.
Busy Builder A penduline tit builds its unique nest in the marshes of Biebrza National Park, Poland. The male is shown leaving the nest to bring more material to finish up the build. © Grzegorz Długosz/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Second Place, Birds

Mike Krehbiel, United States
@krebbs28

A brown and white bird leaps into the air above the Kansas prairie, folding its wing tips into itself to hide its face.
Peek-a-Boo This lesser prairie chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) image was taken in western Kansas. I was in a blind overlooking a lek on April 1, 2023. It was a cold morning and by the time the activity died down enough to exit the blind I was shivering. I wasn't sure if it was due to the cold or the excitement of getting an opportunity to witness the non-stop activity of the prairie chicken.​ © Mike Krehbiel/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Third Place, Birds

Juan Jose Murillo​, Colombia
@jjmurillorolon

Barn swallows sit closely together, filling several power lines. The intersecting lines create a pattern with the crosswalks and other painted markings on the road beneath them.
Golondrinas These pretty golondrinas (Hirundo rustica) rest on the power lines. © Juan Jose Murillo/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Honorable Mention, Birds

Mario Labado​, United States
@bobby_labado

A bird with a thing neck and long beak feeds a grub to one of its small, fluffy chicks.
Sandhill Crane mama feeding colts I saw this sandhill crane mama feeding its colts. Taken April 8, 2023 in Gainesville, Florida. © Mario Labado/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Honorable Mention, Birds

Petr Bambousek​, Czech Republic​

White birds crowd the sides of a rock outcropping. A long bird is in flight, framed by an opening in the cliff. Waves crash on the rocks in the background.
Gannet Colony The giant cliffs that line the shores of the archipelago are home to a variety of attractive bird species. Probably the most spectacular colonies are those of the northern gannets (Morus bassanus). In this photo I tried to capture as best I could just the unique environment of the terrier colonies with the typical combination of strong winds and rough seas. © Petr Bambousek/TNC Photo Contest 2023

 


Climate

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First Place, Climate

Raphael Alves, Brazil
@photoraphaelalves

A woman sits at the window of a blue house, holding a baby in her arms. Below her, a young boy looks up at her from the deep water that flows beneath the house.
Stranded Euridice Castro, 33, holds her nephew Otavio, in the window, while her son Aquiles plays in the rising rivers, in Anama, Brazil on May 24, 2021. Anama has been an "amphibian city" for years. Without work, adults stay at home most of the time; children, without classes and without public leisure spaces, are left playing in the flooded areas.​ © Raphael Alves/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Second Place, Climate

Mustafa Binol, Turkey
@mustafabinol

Mustard yellow fields frame a large fallow field. Hummocks of gray dirt are pushed up at the end of parallel tracks.
Farmland Although this is actually an irrigable land, it became dehydrated due to the decrease in the water level as a result of excessive water use. The vehicle, which has deep well drilling equipment, is about to start work to dig a new and deeper well on the land below, which has become ineffective. We must have water for a healthy future with conscious agriculture.​ © Mustafa Binol/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Third Place, Climate

Luisa Lynch Harris, Spain

A helicopter drops a bucket of water on a wildfire. A second helicopter turns and flies in the opposite direction. A bird flies in the air between them.
Our Saviors In Tenerife on August 16, 2023 the largest fire in Spain was declared. For days we watched the mountains burn behind our houses. This photo taken from behind my house shows the importance of firefighting services, including helicopters, which were essential to control and extinguish the flames. This photograph was taken from the town of Santa Úrsula on August 27, 2023.​ © Luisa Lynch Harris/TNC Photo Contest 2023

A helicopter drops a bucket of water on a wildfire. A second helicopter turns and flies in the opposite direction. A bird flies in the air between them.


Honorable Mention, Climate

Zhenhuan Zhou, Canada
@zzh_hiland

A fence winds and bends up a snow covered hill towards the house sitting atop it.
Peaceful "It looks so peaceful".​ In early February 2022, southern Ontario was hit by the worst snowfall in decades. I captured this photo of a horse farm, which was turned into a winter wonderland by the snowstorm. © Zhenhuan Zhou/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Honorable Mention, Climate

Adra Pallón, Spain

Four people in fire gear hold a water hose and stand at the edge of a forest. The air is orange and thick with smoke. Bits of ash and debris float in the air around them.
Fire and Ashes Several firemen working directly against the advancing fire in the largest fire in the history of Galicia, Spain, one of the regions with the highest number of forest fires in Europe. After several days the fire was still out of control. According to EFFIS (European Forest Fire Information System) data on fire seasons, 2022 has been the worst year of the century.​ © Adra Pallón/TNC Photo Contest 2023

 


Freshwater

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First Place, Freshwater

Jeanny Tang, Hong Kong

A group of people stand at the edge of a large, open sandy area. Large holes dot the surface, filled with green and orange water.
Dry Fish Pond The holes dug by fish for spawning can be seen after the pond has dried up.​ Tai Sang Wai, Yuen Long, Hong Kong © Jeanny Tang/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Second Place, Freshwater

Alan Taylor​, United States
@alantaylorphotography​

An elk stands in the middle of a river taking a drink. Tall trees grow over the water casting it in shade.
A Cool Drink A bull elk stopping in the Oconaluftee River in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to a refreshing drink © Alan Taylor/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Third Place, Freshwater

Rubens Rebouças, Brazil
@rubensreboucas

A single tree grows on a small circle of land surrounded by water. The tree is covered with white egrets roosting for the night.
O Pé de Garças A small island with a tree welcomes a flock of herons every evening, who come from far away to rest for the night until they leave again the next morning. The image was taken at a small lagoon in Uberlândia, Minas Gerais, Brazil. © Rubens Rebouças/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Honorable Mention, Freshwater

Jorge Castro Urbiola, Mexico
@thesantogrial

A salamander floats just beneath the surface of the water.
Axolotl (Ambystoma velasci) The beauty of a river monster. In spite of finding water levels well below normal, drought and lack of rain, this salamander may choose to be a salamander and walk away, if the water stress continues. They are organisms highly adapted to natural conditions, I am very impressed. San Luis Potosi, Mexico.​ © Jorge Castro Urbiola/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Honorable Mention, Freshwater

Gianluca Gianferrari​, Italy
@camouflajj

Rows of leafless, white barked birch trees are reflected back in the still water that surrounds them.
Flooding Po is the largest river in Italy. In the past, the floods have always been the cause of great damage and decades ago embankments were built to contain them. Due to climate change, these floods are increasingly rare. During the last flood I took this photo of the semi-submerged birches. I chose a long exposure to get a watercolor effect in the reflection on the water. A warning of nature​. © Gianluca Gianferrari/TNC Photo Contest 2023

 


Insects & Arachnids

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First Place, Insects & Arachnids

Benjamin Salb, United States
@bens_small_world​

Close up view of a spider covered in its tiny baby spiders.
Wolf Spider Mama This image is a 129 frame focus bracket of a wolf spider with her babies. I encountered her in the middle of an asphalt path during an early morning macro outing this summer. You can usually expect some movement from the kids, which could ruin a stack attempt, but they were all completely still for this set. © Benjamin Salb/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Second Place, Insects & Arachnids

Soumya Ranjan Bhattacharyya​, India

A yellow insect stands on top of a fungus as spores curve and disperse in the air around it.
Galaxies at my Feet A yellow leafhopper came and sat on a spore dispersing bracket fungus. It stayed there until the fungul spore dispersal gained pace. I captured this moment inside the moist deciduous forest of Goa in India.​ © Soumya Ranjan Bhattacharyya/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Third Place, Insects & Arachnids

雷 波 / Lei Bo, China

Two butterflies float next to each other, illuminated by a golden light. Long, thin stalks of grass wave around them.
Love Follows Butterflies chasing under the setting sun at Nankun Mountain, Guangzhou, China. © 雷 波/Lei Bo​/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Honorable Mention, Insects & Arachnids

Tibor Litauszki, Hungary
@tiborlitauszki_naturphtgrphy

A long shutter exposure shows the flight of a green moth, creating multiple images of the insect as it flies through the air.
A Graceful Flight An antlion flies in the summer night in Hungary's Kiskunság steppe. To show the dynamics of the movement, I chose a long shutter speed. I followed it with an LED light, I set the focus to manual. The flash flashed on the second shutter. Only a few sharp pictures turned out.​ © Litauszki Tibor/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Honorable Mention, Insects & Arachnids

Jaime Daniel Fajardo Torres​, Ecuador
@Jaime.f.torres

A long legged spider hangs suspended from an egg sac spun from its own silk. The round sac seems to glow with a soft golden light.
Terrifying Geometry This is a species of spider known as ogre spiders, of the genus Deinopis. The photograph was taken at night in the middle of a mature forest in northern Ecuador in the tropical rainforest of the Ecuadorian Chocó, a place considered a hotspot. The spider photographed was generating its egg sac with its own web.​ © Jaime Daniel Fajardo Torres/TNC Photo Contest 2023

 


Lands

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First Place, Lands

Alessandro Carboni​, Italy
@alessandro_carboni

Tall evergreens and low plants colored red and gold and obscured and softened by a heavy fall of snow.
Sound and Vision This picture represents one the most intense moments I could remember during my life. It was September, when after a two-week wait I was lucky enough to experience an amazing mix of extraordinary elements, which I will never forget: the impressive display of the autumn colours at their peak and the first snow of the season.​ © Alessandro Carboni/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Second Place, Lands

Roberto Valdez​, Ecuador
@robinski__

A column of steam rises from the snow capped dome of a volcano. Clouds fill the valley between the volcano and the the snow covered glacier in the foreground.
Cotopaxi Volcano from the Antisana Glaciers After several hours of ascending and navigating the vast crevasses of the Antisana volcano's glacier, as the first rays of sunlight began to shine, I spotted the illuminated Cotopaxi in the distance with a massive column of steam rising from it. I carefully positioned myself between crevasses, pulled out my camera, and took the shot with a slow shutter speed, trying my best. © Roberto Valdez/TNC Photo Contest 2023

A column of steam rises from the snow capped dome of a volcano. Clouds fill the valley between the volcano and the the snow covered glacier in the foreground.


Third Place, Lands

Adam Mowery, United States
@adammoweryphoto

Purple and orange colored fruits grow from the flat, prickly scales of a cactus. The face of El Capitan glows in the light of the setting sun.
Fruits of Labor Prickly pear cactus fruits at the base of El Capitan at sunset, Guadalupe National Park, Texas. © Adam Mowery/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Honorable Mention, Lands

Cosmin Ovidiu Stan, Romania
@cosminstan.ro

An image made in the Apuseni Mountains, mountains that are part of the Western Carpathians. I witnessed a special sunrise seen from Poiana Calineasa towards the Poiana Horea - Belis area. Wild forests under the warm sunlight. The image was made on May 1, 2023.
Dreamland An image made in the Apuseni Mountains, mountains that are part of the Western Carpathians. I witnessed a special sunrise seen from Poiana Calineasa towards the Poiana Horea - Belis area. Wild forests under the warm sunlight. The image was made on May 1, 2023.​ © Cosmin Ovidiu Stan/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Honorable Mention, Lands

Bruce Hogle, United States

A glowing line of fire edges the horizon. Plumes of smoke rise in the orange tinged sky. The fire line is blurred and reflected in the surface of a lake.
Planned Burn at Chase State Fishing Lake This is the late evening on April 17, 2014 with the planned pasture burn creeping along the ridge of the hill at the end of the lake. The evening was cool and got downright chilly by 1:30 AM when we finally quit photographing. Driving back from a ranch outside Elmdale, KS, I spotted the red glow, which looked like there might be a chance it would be reflecting in the lake, and it was!​ © Bruce Hogle/TNC Photo Contest 2023

 


Mammals

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First Place, Mammals

Siddhartha Ghosh​, India

Three wolves leap and play with each other.
Wolf Trinity Here you can see three wolves leaping through the air showcasing their enthusiasm and companionship. It's like a moment in time that captures their nature in the wild. Each wolf exudes happiness and energy with their eyes shining bright from the excitement and their strong bond as a pack. This image serves as a reminder of the elegance and charm of these animals, in their natural environment. © Siddhartha Ghosh/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Second Place, Mammals

HJ Yang, United States

A killer whale uses its tale to propel itself out of the shallow surf and onto the beach in pursuit of two small seals.
Morning Attack An orca attacks two seals in the morning on the beach. © HJ Yang/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Third Place, Mammals

Luisa Pericoli, United States
@vittoria_thecutestfrenchie

A grizzly bear dries itself by shaking its body. The massive head appears still at the center of a swirling spray of water.
Shaking Off Free yourself. The bear. © Luisa Pericoli/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Honorable Mention, Mammals

Bing Lin, United States
@earth.abloom

A large, furry brown monkey blends into the background against tall, fuzzy grasses and mist covered green mountains.
Rainy Rendezvous A drenched adult male gelada monkey looks on by the cliff edge in a moment of tranquility during a thunderous rainstorm at Guassa, 12,000 feet above sea level, deep in the  Ethiopian highlands. Incessant downpours in the rainy season often resulted in rain splatters on my camera lens, soaked habitats and lots of wet fur, all pictured here. © Bing Lin/TNC Photo Contest 2023

 


Oceans

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First Place, Oceans

Estebane Rezkallah, France
@panchovilaaa

Four dolphins swim beneath the surface of the water in front of a boat. A fifth dolphin bursts out of the water, leaping vertically.
The Rangiroa Gang These dolphins jumped and played in front of our boat as we crossed Rangiroa, the largest of the Tuamotu Atolls and the second largest in the world. The dolphins play in the waves with each ship that passes by. © Estebane Rezkallah/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Second Place, Oceans

Bambang Wirawan, Indonesia
@bro_matra

Two men free dive on a coral reef, floating in crystal blue water. One hold a large woven fish trap. The other uses a long grabbing device to catch sea creatures.
Ocean Guard Sea Tribe The sea tribe in Alor, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia are wise people; their commitment to protecting the surrounding sea is truly extraordinary. Using simple equipment they catch fish only according to their food needs and the rest they sell in the market. © Bambang Wirawan/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Third Place, Oceans

Giovanni Allievi, Italy

A massive wave crashes on the shore, creating a wide curtain of water. The base of the wave is pale green. The white foam spray blends into the low hanging storm clouds.
Rough sea 12 A sea wave charges towards the shore during a fierce storm. For two decades, I've dedicated myself to documenting the mesmerizing spectacle of ocean waves crashing on the shore. This ongoing project is a visual ode to the sea's enduring allure, a diary of its ever-changing moods. Varigotti, Italy. © Giovanni Allievi/TNC Photo Contest 2023

 


People & Nature

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First Place, People & Nature

Michael Hegyi, United States
@michaelhegyiphoto

A group of six wildebeest are dwarfed by the enormous orange and yellow hot air balloon that gently deflates on the short grass of the savanna.
Wildebeest Breakfast Balloon Safari A small troupe of wild blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) watches from a safe distance as a hot air balloon lands on the Maasai Mara, spills out its breakfast safari tourists and deflates. Maasai Mara National Park, Kenya. July 2018. © Michael Hegyi/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Second Place, People & Nature

Mano Aliczki, Hungary
@manoaliczkiphoto

A tall wading bird with a thin beak is visible between the legs of a man as he walks by in an urban park.
Walking Over Wildlife A gray heron (Ardea cinerea) perches in a pond in an urban park in Budapest, Hungary as people walk by; the bird went unnoticed by most of the passers-by, just as we often do not generally notice the creatures living around us in the city. However, we do not need to leave the city to meet wildlife. If we slow down, we can see how many living creatures we share our habitat with. © Mano Aliczki/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Third Place, People & Nature

Randall Hudson, United States
@kcstorys

A woman sits on a sofa, her face softly illuminated by the glow of her tablet screen. A thick bolt of lightening is visible through the open door, splitting the gray sky.
Startled! Lightning evokes a primal response at a motel along the northern shore of Lake Superior. © Randall Hudson/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Honorable Mention, People & Nature

Narayan Malu, India

Two male tigers face each other, standing on their hind legs as they spar. A crowd of tourists watch then from four open topped safari jeeps parked close by.
Fighter Jets I was lucky to capture these two male tigers fighting in the air. Taken in Tadoba Tiger Reserve, India​. © Narayan Malu/TNC Photo Contest 2023​

Honorable Mention, People & Nature

Fatih Yilmaz, Turkey
@rotadefterim

A large flock of sheep curve up a mountain path, kicking up a thick cloud of dust that glows golden in the sunlight.
Dusty Ride In Anatolia, Turkey, people engage in animal husbandry for their livelihood. After a harsh winter, the valleys overflow with lush grass, but it is not easy to reach this food source in rough terrain. The shepherds and their flocks, who walk 10 km every day to the foot of Mount Nemrut, leave behind a dusty story of their journey. © Fatih YILMAZ/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Honorable Mention, People & Nature

Md. Safayet Hossain Shanto, Bangladesh
@safayethossainshanto2017

A man sits in a canoe as it floats through a dense mangrove forest. Blue plastic crates hold guavas for sale.
Floating Guava Market The floating guava vendor collects and sells his fruit by boat; the guava market is crowded every year during monsoon. The vendor’s income goes to support his family, including education for boys and girls. Atghar Kuriana, Swarupkathi, Barishal, Bangladesh. © Md. Safayet Hossain Shanto/TNC Photo Contest 2023

 


Plants & Fungi

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First Place, Plants & Fungi

Jose Pereyra Lucena​, Argentina
@josepereyralucena

A large cactus reaches up to the sky like a human hand against a night sky of brilliant stars. Snow capped mountain peaks line the horizon.
SER*ES - Lunático El Cardón, venerated by the native peoples of northwestern Argentina, surrounded by myths and legends. It is impossible not to be absorbed by its strange beauty. A direct shot on a winter moonlit night.​ Province of Salta, Argentina, 2021 © Jose Pereyra Lucena/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Second Place, Plants & Fungi

Vittorio Ricci, Italy

A lone conifer tree is dwarfed by the vast expanse of drifting snow around it.
Lost in Snow Waves A lonely conifer tree in Dolomites highlands in winter time, Fanes-Sennes-Braies Regional Natural Park, Italy. © Vittorio Ricci/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Third Place, Plants & Fungi

Ashley Sykes, Australia
@Ausmashmash

White capped mushrooms with glowing green gills grow from the side of a log.
Ghost Mushrooms This is a group of ghost mushrooms, Omphalotus nidiformis. They grow and then disappear quickly on warm nights after a few rainy days, particularly on rotting and decaying tree stumps in coastal forests. This clump I photographed was in a coastal woodland area in Gerroa, New South Wales, Australia. March 21, 2022.​ © Ashley Sykes/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Honorable Mention, Plants & Fungi

Gero Heine, United States
@geroheinephotography

Burn scars revealing lines and curves of lodge pole pines broken up by patches of quaking aspens in fall color display form an almost abstract pattern. I took this image in Northwest Glacier National Park with a medium telephoto lens to "flatten" the scene to let the peripheral vision wander.
Bright yellow patches of quaking aspen trees are broken by curving stands of lodge pole pines. Burn scars reveal lines and curves of lodge pole pines, broken up by patches of quaking aspens in their fall color display, forming an almost abstract pattern. I took this image in northwest Glacier National Park with a medium telephoto lens to "flatten" the scene to let the peripheral vision wander.​ © Gero Heine/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Honorable Mention, Plants & Fungi

Mohammed Salman, India

A group of ten mushrooms of varying heights, growing in a row against a black background. White gills peek out beneath brilliant orange caps.
Orange Mushrooms Orange mushrooms growing out of a dead bark on the forest floor, fruiting bodies of delicate fungi. © Mohammed Salman/TNC Photo Contest 2023

 


Reptiles & Amphibians

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First Place, Reptiles & Amphibians

Irina Petrova Adamatzky​, United Kingdom
@microcosmic_world

A snake's head outlined in glowing blue neon, colors created by placing the snake under ultraviolet light.
Alien Portrait In this photograph, the intricate skin of a Corn Snake (Pantherophis guttatus) is showcased in a unique way, using ultraviolet light. Scientifically proven, snakeskin exhibits a glowing effect under ultraviolet light, a phenomenon that herpetologists have utilized since the late 20th century to locate snakes in the dark. © Irina Petrova Adamatzky/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Second Place, Reptiles & Amphibians

Petr Bambousek, Czech Republic
@sulasulacom

A small yellow frog sits on the end of a bird-of-paradise plant. A light in the background creates a diffused glow behind the frog.
Hourglass Frog (Dendropsophus ebraccatus) I found this beautiful frog resting at the edge of a flower in the garden of my hotel in Costa Rica. I used the decorative lights from the opposite building as background, and a subtle diffused flash to lighten the frog. EXIF: OM System OM-1, OM System 90mm/3.5 IS, ISO 640, f/3.5, 1/40s, tripod, diffused flash​. © Petr Bambousek/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Third Place, Reptiles & Amphibians

Joseph Mullica, United States
@Scarletkingcowboy

A red, yellow and black striped snake crawls headfirst down a pine tree.
Scarlet Kingsnake A scarlet kingsnake (Lampropeltis elapsoides) climbing down a pine tree presumably hunting lizards at dusk. © Joseph Mullica/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Honorable Mention, Reptiles & Amphibians

Sergio Emmanuel Comisso, Argentina
@emmanuelcomisso

A small toad sits in a pool of light, bright against a black background. The toad's image with its bulging white throat is reflected in the water.
El Cantante This common toad sings in his pond to attract females, and at the same time, warn his opponents that the pond belongs to him, through the waves generated by the vibrations caused by his throat. Cordoba, Argentina. © Sergio Emmanuel Comisso/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Honorable Mention, Reptiles & Amphibians

Christian Passeri, Germany
@chrissparrows

An African bullfrog attacks a rival in an attempt to defend its mating territory. These big frogs congregate in shallow waters during rain season, where they fight in order to be able to mate with the females. During the few hours I spent observing them, the dominant male, as seen in the picture, was defending the middle of the water puddle from all his rivals, attacking them one by one.
Attack An African bullfrog (Pyxicephalus adspersus) attacks a rival in an attempt to defend its mating territory. These big frogs congregate in shallow waters during rain season, where they fight in order to be able to mate with the females. During the few hours I spent observing them, the dominant male, as seen in the picture, was defending the middle of the water puddle from all his rivals, attacking them one by one.​ © Christian Passeri/TNC Photo Contest 2023

 


Underwater Life

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First Place, Underwater Life

Russell Laman, United States
@russlaman

Sea nettles float through murky water trailing long, stinging tentacles.
Phantoms Adrift Pacific sea nettles (Chrysaora fuscescens) swarm in the murky waters off Monterey, California. August 2021. © Russell Laman/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Second Place, Underwater Life

Cai Jialing, China
@homoplankton

A large red eye peeks out from beneath the shell of a nautilus. Tiny particles in the water column reflect light, creating the impression of snowfall under water.
Snowy Night Following the Taal Volcano eruption in the Philippines in early 2020, ocean sediments were stirred up into the water column. During a blackwater dive in Batangas Bay, I encountered a female paper nautilus hitchhiking on floating debris. The particles around it reflected my flashlight, resembling falling snowflakes. Rather than depicting post-disaster chaos, the scene created a serene fairytale. © Cai Jialing/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Third Place, Underwater Life

Daniel Nicholson, Australia
@barefoot.wandering

A shark punches a hole through an enormous, tightly packed baitball of fish as it hunts for a meal.
Parting the Tide A grey reef shark parts the tide of a bait ball in the shallows of the Ningaloo Reef. This was a once in a lifetime experience, as millions of small fish were gathered together and forced into the narrow alleys of a shallow coral reef by hunting predators. This photo was taken inside the baitball, as a shark burst out, hunting its next mouthful of fish. © Daniel Nicholson/TNC Photo Contest 2023

Honorable Mention, Underwater Life

Juan Carlos Huitrón Baca, Mexico
@biton72023

Close view of the surface of a coral. Orange ridges are covered with bright green scales.
Living Texture Macro photo of a hard coral of the genus Mycetophyllia. Guatemala is not well known for its coral reefs and yet they have very interesting corals around Cabo Tres Puntas. This coral was found at 12 meters depth.​ Cabo Tres Puntas, Guatemala, March 2023. © Juan Carlos Huitrón Baca/TNC Photo Contest 2023