Wildlife photographer of the year

India’s Leopards, Indonesia’s Orangs: The Best Wildlife Photos of 2016

Turning the lens on the beauty and fragility of the wild. | By NGT Staff

It takes a little bit of craziness (and a lot of hard work) to be a wildlife photographer. The winning photograph from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2016 competition, of an orangutan in the wild, was shot from a tree 100 ft from the ground on the third day that the photographer spent scaling the canopy of the Indonesian rainforest. Others were shot after attempts over years.

For the last 52 years, the competition developed and produced by London’s Natural History Museum, has spotlighted images that capture the beauty and fragility of our planet’s wildlife, and tell stories from an innovative angle. This year’s photos include tense moments between a lion and a pangolin in South Africa, an orgy of red snappers in Palau, and the bloody aftermath of a wildebeest river crossing in Kenya.

The top prize went to Tim Laman, an American field biologist and photojournalist, whose work includes documenting wild orangutans in the forests of Gunung Palung in Indonesia. Laman spent three days climbing up and down massive trees to set up GoPro cameras in the hope of photographing an orangutan. Laman is also a National Geographic contributor; most of his work focuses on rainforests and their inhabitants.

Two photographers from India—Nayan Khanolkar and Ganesh H Shankar—won first place in the categories of Urban Wildlife and Birds, respectively. Khanolkar’s image was of a leopard skulking through a chawl in Mumbai’s Aarey Milk Colony; Shankar caught the drama of a parrot sparring for its nest hole with an invading lizard in Rajasthan’s Keoladeo National Park.

The photos are on display at the Natural History Museum in Lodnon, and will be touring across the UK, and onto destinations like Spain, Canada, the U.S.A., Germany, and Macau. The exhibition will run until 10 September 2017.

Amateur and professional photographers can submit entries for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017 until 15 December 2016. Categories include “Animal Portraits”, “Behaviour”, “Urban Wildlife”, “Underwater”, and “Black & White”. More here.