The 2020 BigPicture Natural World Photography Competition has added one of the most impressive nature photographs to this wonderful form of art. The contest is presented by the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco and spans six different categories, including winged animals, marine life and terrestrial wildlife.
In its 7th year, the competition has again brought eye-popping winning shots of the surreal beauty of the natural world. The Grand Prize went to UK photographer Andy Parkinson, for a wonderful shot of a mountain hare curled up in a brutal snowstorm on the Scottish highlands.
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Here are some of the brilliant photographs by the winners and finalists of the 2020 BigPicture Natural World Photography Competition.
“Fur Ball, Hare Ball!” UK photographer Andy Parkinson persisted for weeks in ferocious winds and cold to get this amazing shot of a mountain hare curled up against a winter storm in Scotland.
“Shelter in Place” in Grand Prize Winner | Image: Andy Parkinson
“Huh! Looks like a painting, doesn’t it?” The lighting and color palette induces a hallucinating and very magical effect.
“Mushroom Magic” in Landscapes, Waterscapes, & Flora category, Finalist | Image: Agorastos Papatsanis
“Beads of Nectar.” Little drops of nectar on an oblong-leaved sundew (Drosera intermedia) look absolutely ethereal.
“A Sticky Situation” in Landscapes, Waterscapes, & Flora category, Winner | Image: Edwin Giesbers
“The Cost of Cats” or “Law of Nature”? These are 200 birds that were rescued but unfortunately succumbed to death, by the staff at WildCare, a California animal rescue organization. The organization is tasked with rehabilitating hundreds of birds and other wild animals mauled by outdoor house cats.
“The Cost of Cats” in Human/Nature category, Winner | Image: Jak Wonderly
“Divers of the cold waters.” The French photographer bravely entered the frozen waters of the Antarctic, where he captured a crew of crabeater seals (Lobodon carcinophaga).
“Berg Buffet” in Aquatic Life category, Winner | Image: Greg Lecouer
“Late Night Flight”. In Gorongosa National Park, at the southern tip of Africa’s Great Rift Valley, the Mozambique long-fingered bat (Miniopterus mossambicus) is enjoying the night flight while taking a sip of water.
“Pond Skim” in Winged Life category, Winner | Image: Piotr Naskrecki
“A Patch of Mars.” In western Spain, along the Río Tinto, layers of multicolored sediment combine with blood-red waters produces an unearthly effect.
“A River Gone Awry” in Art of Nature category, Winner | Image: Juan Jesús González Ahumada
“A Hippo traffic jam.” In winters, the waters of Botswana’s Okavango River spread across its vast delta, providing a variety of African wildlife to eat, drink, and have pool parties.
“Hippo Huddle” in Terrestrial Wildlife category, Finalist | Image: Talib Almarri
“Catch or Miss?” Seems like the cheetah tripped while on a high-speed prey chase of an impala. Well, the strategy is as crucial as speed in the wild.
“Speed and Strategy” in Terrestrial Wildlife category, Winner | Image: Yi Liu
“Just trying to grab a snack, that’s all.” This African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana) tries to grab some snacks from the roof of an open-air kitchen in Malawi’s Kasunga National Park.
“Snack Attack” in Human/Nature category, Finalist | Image: Gunther De Bruyne
“Guardians of the Giraffes.” Ami Vitale’s decade-long project has been documenting the bonds between Samburu people and wildlife in northern Kenya reverses this oversight, telling the story of how Samburu people became advocates for wild animals and their habitat.
“Guardians of the Giraffes” in Photo Story category, Winner | Image: Ami Vitale