A Sneak Peak at Images from Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2023
Nearly 50,000 images from 95 countries have been entered into the 2023 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. Entries are anonymously judged based on their creativity, originality and technical excellence by an international panel of experts. An exhibition of the 100 most extraordinary photos will be featured at London’s Natural History Museum on October 13, 2023.
Here is a sneak peak at some of the most highly commended images from this year’s grand selection. Can you pick your favorite?
1. Forest Rodeo. In Yakushima, Kagoshima, Japan a young female macaque appears to be enjoying a free ride on a deer’s back. Deer riding by the island’s monkeys is rare, but not unheard of. Sometimes young males attempt to mate with them but in this image, by Atsuyuki Ohshima, the macaque is female.
2. Firebirds. During a controlled fire at Rhino Ridge in the Maasai National Reserve, Kenya, Elza Friedländer photographed a pair of storks in the shimmering blaze after hundreds of birds came in search of easy prey.
3. Mushroom Magic. Agorastos Papatsanis has illuminated the beauty of spore dispersal beneath the gills of a deer shield mushroom. This particularly magical image was taken at Mount Olympus, Pieria, Greece.
4. Death in Waiting. A particularly ghostly looking Mediterranean stargazer is just lying in wait for unsuspecting prey on the sandy floors of Rijeka, Croatia. Credit for this chilling image goes to underwater photographer Pietro Formis.
5. Possum’s Midnight Snack. Caitlin Henderson found this unexpected guest on her balcony in Malanda, Queensland, Australia. The nocturnal marsupial was hungrily dismembering a large northern greengrocer cicada while carrying its baby in its pouch.
6. Coral Connections. At a healthy coral reef, which supports a network of interconnected species, ghost gobies swim within the branches of a sea fan at the Lembeh Strait, North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Photographer Alexander Mustard is particularly fond of gobies, which are normally skittish, but he was able to capture a few in this frame alongside the vibrant colors of gorgon sea fans which they use as a refuge or feeding frame.
7. War Cub. Michał Siarek photographed the moment that a team from Poznań Zoo in Poland opened a crate to check on a tiger cub evacuated from Ukraine. The Polish photographer has been documenting the efforts to evacuate animals including wild animals in private ownership from war-torn Ukraine.
8. Race for Life. Donglin Zhou witnessed the drama of a snow leopard hunting a Pallas’s cat in Gayi, Sichuan, China. When the snow leopard sprang into action, Zhou assumed it was after a marmot as “the Pallas’s cat blended in so well with the rocks” but in less than a minute it was in the snow leopard’s jaws.
9. Mason Bee at Work. A two colored mason bee, near Witzenhausen, Hesse, Germany, is building its nest. Photographer Solvin Zankl knew the bee was memorizing landmarks around the nest so it could find it again. So as not to disorient it, he edged his equipment closer each time it left. After two hours, the bee was using his equipment as a landmark.
10. Coot on Ice. Young photographer Zhai Zeu waited in the cold, watching coots move across a frozen pond in Dalian, northeast China. This particular coot struggles to stay upright while subduing its wriggling prey.
11. Fight to the Death. Photographer Jasper Doest shows us a distressed elephant during its final moments after being hit by a train in Lopé National Park, Gabon.
12. The Catwalk. After many hours of patiently searching the Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, Shashwat Harish managed to obtain this elegant leopard portrait.
13. The Vanishing Seal. This Mediterranean monk seal was spotted by Bruno D’Amics gliding through the shallows before disappearing into a cave off the coast of Greece.
14. Snow Bison. From his vehicle Max Waugh caught sight of this plains bison kicking up flurries of snow over its bulky frame as it gathered momentum while heading downhill towards the road. This photo was taken in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA.
15. Prize Catch. Jef Pattyn took this image of an artisan fisher dragging a sailfish across a beach in Puerto López, Manabí Province, Ecuador.