Animals

Jaw-dropping winning images chosen from 120,000 entries to a prestigious nature photo contest

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From a staggering 121,774 entries, an incredible underwater shot of a California sea lion has won the Grand Prize in a prestigious nature photo contest.

The image, by photographer Tyler Schiffman, from California, has scooped the gong in The Nature Conservancy’s 2019 Photo Contest.

Mr Schiffman said: ‘I had framed this shot waiting for a sea lion to swim by. After five minutes, one swam up and paused for a few seconds. I took three photos and as rare as it was, the moment left in a blink of an eye.’

Photographers from 152 countries submitted images across five categories – wildlife, water, people in nature, landscape, and cities and nature.

‘The natural world inspires a sense of wonder in all of us,’ said Richard Loomis, Chief Marketing Officer for The Nature Conservancy. ‘Indeed, at the very soul of conservation is a deep awe of nature. These photographs are a powerful reminder of the importance of sharing our vision of nature and working together to save the lands and waters on which all life depends.’

Here we present the category winners and some of the jaw-dropping runners-up.

The Grand Prize winner in The Nature Conservancy's 2019 Photo Contest is Californian Tyler Schiffman for this shot of a California sea lion framed by kelp beds in Monterey Bay, California. Mr Schiffman said: 'I had framed this shot waiting for a sea lion to swim by. After five minutes, one swam up and paused for a few seconds. I took three photos and as rare as it was, the moment left in a blink of an eye'
The Grand Prize winner in The Nature Conservancy’s 2019 Photo Contest is Californian Tyler Schiffman for this shot of a California sea lion framed by kelp beds in Monterey Bay, California. Mr Schiffman said: ‘I had framed this shot waiting for a sea lion to swim by. After five minutes, one swam up and paused for a few seconds. I took three photos and as rare as it was, the moment left in a blink of an eye’
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First prize in the cities and nature category goes to American Jay Huang for this image of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco during a low fog event
First prize in the cities and nature category goes to American Jay Huang for this image of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco during a low fog event.
Colin Ronald from Austria has been awarded first prize in the landscape category for this beautiful picture of a skier in Slovenia
Colin Ronald from Austria has been awarded first prize in the landscape category for this beautiful picture of a skier in Slovenia
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First prize in the water category goes to Australian Alex Kydd for this mesmerising shot of a whale shark swimming in the depths off Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia
First prize in the water category goes to Australian Alex Kydd for this mesmerising shot of a whale shark swimming in the depths off Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia
This image of a polar bear in Svalbard, Norway, was taken by Fernando O'Farrill. It's the winning image in the wildlife category
This image of a polar bear in Svalbard, Norway, was taken by Fernando O’Farrill. It’s the winning image in the wildlife category
The people and nature category winner is this shot by of fisherman in Hon Yen, Phu Yen, Vietnam. It was taken by Vietnamese photographer Le Van Vinh
The people and nature category winner is this shot by of fisherman in Hon Yen, Phu Yen, Vietnam. It was taken by Vietnamese photographer Le Van Vinh
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Alex Kydd also takes third place in the water category for this extraordinary photo of a large grouping of cownose rays on Ningaloo Reef
Alex Kydd also takes third place in the water category for this extraordinary photo of a large grouping of cownose rays on Ningaloo Reef
Brazilian Giovani Cordioli gets an honorable mention in the people in nature category for this amazing shot of a storm over Varadero in Cuba
Brazilian Giovani Cordioli gets an honorable mention in the people in nature category for this amazing shot of a storm over Varadero in Cuba
Third place in the landscape category goes to Brazilian Guilherme Gomes de Mesquita for this knock-out snap taken in Trolltunga, Norway
Third place in the landscape category goes to Brazilian Guilherme Gomes de Mesquita for this knock-out snap taken in Trolltunga, Norway
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Yevhen Samuchenko from Ukraine has been awarded the runner-up spot in the cities and nature category for this picture of Mestia, a small city in Georgia, at night
Yevhen Samuchenko from Ukraine has been awarded the runner-up spot in the cities and nature category for this picture of Mestia, a small city in Georgia, at night
Tsz Ho Tse from Hong Kong took this image of his city's world-famous Victoria Harbour under the clouds in the early morning - and it has landed him an honorable mention in the cities and nature category
Tsz Ho Tse from Hong Kong took this image of his city’s world-famous Victoria Harbour under the clouds in the early morning – and it has landed him an honorable mention in the cities and nature category
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Diyanto Sarira from Indonesia gets the people's choice award for this image of a small waterfall and stream in Wasior, West Papua
Diyanto Sarira from Indonesia gets the people’s choice award for this image of a small waterfall and stream in Wasior, West Papua
An honorable mention in the wildlife category goes to Giuseppe Bonali from Italy for this remarkable image of three damselflies after a storm, which he took in his home country
An honorable mention in the wildlife category goes to Giuseppe Bonali from Italy for this remarkable image of three damselflies after a storm, which he took in his home country
An honorable mention in the landscape category goes to Carlos Eduardo Goulart for this shot of Torres Del Paine National Park in Chile
An honorable mention in the landscape category goes to Carlos Eduardo Goulart for this shot of Torres Del Paine National Park in Chile
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José David Altamirano González from Costa Rica gets an honorable mention in the wildlife category for this thrilling image of baboons in Botswana
José David Altamirano González from Costa Rica gets an honorable mention in the wildlife category for this thrilling image of baboons in Botswana

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