Check out these amazing Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition pictures

The Natural History Museum in London has just released some of the pictures from its annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. 

Here are a selection of the entries in the competition, with the winner being announced on October 17

Sewage surfer, by Justin Hofman, USA: Seahorses hitch rides on the currents by grabbing floating objects such as seaweed with their prehensile tails. Justin watched as this estuary seahorse ‘almost hopped’ from one bit of bouncing natural debris to the next near Sumbawa Island, Indonesia. But as the tide started to come in, the water contained more and more decidedly unnatural objects – mainly bits of plastic – and a film of sewage sludge covered the surface. The seahorse let go of a piece of seagrass and seized a long, wispy piece of clear plastic. Sony Alpha 7R II + 16–35mm f4 lens; 1/60 sec at f16; ISO 320; Nauticam housing + Zen 230mm Nauticam N120 Superdome; two Sea & Sea strobes with electronic sync.

Bold eagle, by Klaus Nigge, Germany: At Dutch Harbor on Amaknak Island in Alaska, bald eagles gather to take advantage of the fishing industry’s leftovers. Used to people, the birds are bold. ‘I lay on my belly on the beach surrounded by eagles,’ says Klaus. ‘I got to know individuals, and they got to trust me.’ Nikon D200 + 200–400mm f4 lens + 1.4x extender; 1/80 sec at f10; ISO 500

Romance among the angels, Andrey Narchuk, Russia: Andrey was on an expedition to the Sea of Okhotsk in the Russian Far East, and his intention on this day was to photograph salmon. But as soon as he jumped into the water, he found himself surrounded by thousands of mating sea angels. Sea angels are molluscs related to slugs and snails, without shells and with wing-like lobes used as swimming paddles. Canon EOS 5D Mark II + 100mm f2.8 lens; 1/ 125 sec at f13; ISO 200; Nexus housing; two Inon strobes.

Bear hug, Ashleigh Scully, USA, (11-14 Years category): After fishing for clams at low tide, this mother brown bear was leading her young spring cubs back across the beach to the nearby meadow. But one young cub just wanted to stay and play. It was the moment Ashleigh had been waiting for. She had come to Alaska’s Lake Clark National Park intent on photographing the family life of brown bears. Canon EOS 5D + 500mm f4 Mark II lens; 1/1250 sec at f8 (+1 e/v); ISO 1250; Gitzo tripod.

Swim gym, Laurent Ballesta, France: It was early spring in east Antarctica, and a mother was introducing her pup to the icy water. The world’s most southerly breeding mammal, a Weddell seal gives birth on the ice and takes her pup swimming after a week or two. The pair, unbothered by Laurent’s presence, slid effortlessly between the sheets of the frozen labyrinth. Nikon D4S + 17–35mm f2.8 lens; 1/640 sec at f11; ISO 200; Seacam housing.

The insiders, Qing Lin, China: While diving in the Lembeh Strait in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, Qing noticed something strange about this particular cohabiting group. Each anemonefish had an extra pair of eyes inside its mouth – those of a parasitic isopod (a crustacean related to woodlice). An isopod enters a fish as a larva, via its gills, moves to the fish’s mouth and attaches with its legs to the base of the tongue. Canon EOS 5D Mark III + 100mm f2.8 lens; 1/200 sec at f25; ISO 320; Sea & Sea housing; two Inon strobes.

Winter pause, Mats Andersson, Sweden: Winter is a tough time for northern animals. Some hibernate to escape its rigours, but not red squirrels. Though their mainly vegetarian diet is varied, their winter survival is linked to a good crop of spruce cones, and they favour woodland with conifers. They also store food to help see them through lean times. Nikon D3 + 300mm f2.8 lens; 1/320 sec at f2.8; ISO 800.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum, London


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