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Nat Geo’s 2016 Nature Photographers Of The Year

By Shivani Reddy on December 13th 2016

Many photographers dream of the chance to shoot for one of the world’s most reputable nature, landscape, travel, and wildlife magazines, National Geographic, but aren’t quite aware of the challenges that come with the terrain or the length to which one must go to get the shot.

National Geographic’s annual Nature Photographer of The Year contest brings to light a group of talented artists that capture the world’s beauty in a single shot, telling a story words can’t seem to do justice to.


After receiving thousands of awe-inspiring entries, Nat Geo has crowned Greg Lecoeur of Nice, France its 2016 Nature Photographer of the Year. As this year’s grand prize winner, Lecoeur will journey on a 10-day trip for two to the Galápagos with National Geographic Expeditions.  Here’s more insight on the winning photo itself entitled ‘Sardine Run’:

I captured this image during the migration of the sardines along the wild coast of South Africa. Natural predation, sardines are preyed upon by cape gannet birds and common dolphins. The hunt begins with common dolphins that have developed special hunting techniques. With remarkable eyesight, the gannets follow the dolphins before diving in a free fall from 30 to 40 meters high, piercing the surface of the water head first at a speed of 80km/h to get their fill of sardines.


Second Place Winner for Action – Approach by Tori Shea-Ostberg.


Third Place Winner for Action – Changing Fortunes of the Great Egret by Zsolt Kudich. A remarkable conservation success story, the graceful Great Egret was saved from the brink of disappearance in Hungary, when in 1921 there were only 31 mating pairs remaining, we can now count over 3,000 mating pairs in Hungary alone.


First Place Winner for Landscape – Struggle of Life by Jacob Kaptein. “In autumn when rainfall is high, pieces of forest get flooded. Once i saw this little beech in the water, trying to survive under these harsh conditions.”


First Place Winner for Landscape – Pacific Storm by Santiago Borja. A colossal Cumulonimbus flashes over the Pacific Ocean as we circle around it at 37000 feet en route to South America.


Third Place Winner for Animal Portraits – Friendship knows no color by Jose Pesquero Gomez. Two Empusa Pennata which seem to play a game on the thin plant.


Honorable Mention for Animal Portraits – Puffin Studio by Mario Suarez Porras. Puffins do not feel afraid of humans, and so people can be close to puffins and the photographer can think about the right composition and take this kind of intimate portraits.


First Place Winner for Environmental Issues – Life and Death by Vadim Balakin. These polar bear remains have been discovered at one of the islands of Northern Svalbard.


To see all of the winners click here.

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Shivani wants to live in a world where laughter is the cure to pretty much everything. Since she can’t claim “Serial Bingewatcher” as an occupation, she’ll settle for wedding/portrait photographer at Lin and Jirsa & marketing coordinator here at SLR Lounge. For those rare moments when you won’t find a camera in her hand, she will be dancing, eating a donut, or most likely watching Seinfeld.

Follow her on Instagram: @shivalry_inc

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