The 2023 Nature TTL Photographer of the Year competition has announced its victors, with a poignant image capturing the top spot. This year, the contest attracted over 8,000 entries from nature photographers worldwide, all vying for the coveted £1,500 cash prize.
Thomas Vijayan, hailing from Canada, emerged as the overall winner with his captivating photograph titled ‘Austfonna Ice Cap.’ This mesmerizing image showcases a waterfall formed as a result of rapid ice melt due to global warming. Vijayan’s stunning panoramic composition, created by stitching together 36 images, serves as an undeniable testament to the stark reality of climate change and its consequences on rising sea levels.
In another category, Lucy Monckton, representing the United Kingdom, was bestowed with the title of Young Nature TTL Photographer of the Year 2023 for her compelling portrayal of a honey bee swarm in search of a new hive.
In total, photographers competed in 8 different competition categories celebrating the natural world: Animal Behaviour, Camera Traps, Landscapes, Small World, The Night Sky, Underwater, Urban Wildlife, and Wild Portraits.
Scroll down and inspire yourself, Check their website for more information.
You can find more info Nature TTL:
#1 Nature TTL Photographer of the Year 2023 By Thomas Vijayan, Canada
Austfonna Ice Cap, the world’s third-largest, on Nordaustlandet Island in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, covers about 8,000 square kilometres. It is melting at alarming rates due to global warming and contributing to rising sea levels; a grave concern. I visited Austfonna Ice Cap and captured a striking image of a waterfall created by the melting ice. Although I had been here before, it was disheartening to see the sea ice had melted in June.
#2 Young Nature TTL Photographer of the Year 2023 By Lucy Monckton, United Kingdom
On a walk in Staffordshire, UK, I was alerted to the presence of this swarm by a loud buzzing sound. I cautiously walked into the centre of the swarm, where thousands of bees were crawling over a branch. It was important to remain calm, so while I was apprehensive about having hundreds of bees crawling over me, their well-being was my priority. Relocation is a natural process that occurs when a colony becomes too big for its home; the queen leaves with a few of the bees to find another home.
#3 Wild Portraits – Winner By Simon Biddie, United Kingdom
Compared to their female counterparts, male California sea lions are larger, have thicker necks, and possess a protruding, grey sagittal crest. During mating seasons, the males become territorial and protect their harem of up to 30 females. This male allowed us to stay with the group for a long period and was more curious about us than territorial. The sea lions in this area have expanded in number compared to other colonies in Mexico. This is thanks to the protection offered by being a UNESCO World Heritage site and a National Marine Park, where the no-take zone protects the entire food chain, providing a rich food source for the sea lions.
#4 Wild Portraits – Runner Up By Robert Gloeckner, USA
#5 Wild Portraits – Highly Commended By Julie Grohs
#6 Wild Portraits – Highly Commended By Simon Jenkins
#7 Animal Behaviour – Winner By Florian Ledoux, France
We witnessed a polar bear’s patience during a sleepy hunt on the ice in Svalbard’s frozen expanse. This male polar bear stalked seals at their breathing holes. After they evaded him, he opted to rest, vigilant and patient. As we endured the long Arctic day of 24 hours without sleeping, we eventually retreated, in awe of his resilience. In this Arctic symphony of survival, the polar bear’s unwavering determination left an indelible mark on our souls.
#8 Animal Behaviour – Runner Up By Jane Hope, United Kingdom
#9 Animal Behaviour – Highly Commended By Amish Chhagan
#10 Animal Behaviour – Highly Commended By Paul Lennart Schmid
#11 Camera Traps – Winner By Fernando Constantino Martínez Belmar, Mexico
This jaguar had been seen before, so I decided to place a camera trap in a broken wall that led to the jungle. I placed one of the flashes strategically to get the jaguar’s shadow reflected on the wall behind. Poaching, deforestation, and habitat fragmentation have caused an increase in interactions with humans, and most of the time, it doesn’t end well for these cats.
#12 Camera Traps – Runner Up By Igor Mikula, Slovakia
#13 Camera Traps – Highly Commended By Tibor Litauszki
#14 Camera Traps – Highly Commended By Florian Smit
#15 Landscapes – Winner By Thomas Vijayan, Canada
#16 Landscapes – Runner Up By Florian Smit, Germany
Using a drone to gain a unique perspective, I captured this image of a trickle from the Rio Tinto River in Spain.
#17 Landscapes – Highly Commended By Justin Minns
#18 Landscapes – Highly Commended By Bernhard Schubert
#19 Small World – Winner By Florian Smit, Germany
This image was captured in Rondane National Park in Norway. It shows a dead moth lying on the surface of a bacterial film. As I looked through the viewfinder, it looked like a painting to me.
#20 Small World – Runner Up By Yicai Chang, Australia
#21 Small World – Highly Commended By Andrew Neal
#22 Small World – Highly Commended By Bernhard Schubert
#23 Underwater – Winner By Rowan Dear, United Kingdom
Over the last few years, I have witnessed a large gathering of Jelly Blubber in Sydney around March to April when the wind and currents are right to bring them from further up North. This year, we had 2-3 times more than I had ever seen. One area had a large condensed gathering, which extended down by around 5m deep. From the surface, shooting downwards, it was great to get a real depth perception of how many there were and create this alien-like environment.
#24 Underwater – Runner Up By Andy Schmid, Switzerland
#25 Underwater – Highly Commended By Mike Korostelev
#26 Underwater – Highly Commended By Talia Greis
#27 The Night Sky – Winner By Bence Mate, Hungary
I keep searching for new perspectives on photographing wildlife. This picture was taken with a remote-controlled camera placed into a fish tank. It was lucky that the wild boar stayed unmoved for the moment the picture was taken. In Hungary, where this composition was captured, the Milky Way is very rarely low enough in the sky to touch the horizon, and this phenomenon occurs only for a few days in the month of August.
#28 The Night Sky – Runner Up By Josselin Cornou, France
#29 The Night Sky – Highly Commended By Josselin Cornou
#30 Urban Wildlife – Winner By Florian Smit, Germany
This image shows a brown rat in an abandoned house captured back in 2018. I used three flashes to illuminate the scene, and used a PIR motion sensor to trigger the camera.
#31 Urban Wildlife – Runner Up By Simone Baumeister, Germany
#32 Urban Wildlife – Highly Commended By Jan Piecha
#33 Urban Wildlife – Highly Commended By Antonio Aguilera Galisteo