Stay with us if you are passionate about nature and like to look at amazing pictures of creatures and landscapes! We review the newly minted winners of the "Wildlife Photographer of the Year" competition.

Welcome to the exciting world of wildlife photography as we present the winners of the prestigious 2023 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. From breathtaking landscapes to intimate portraits of elusive creatures, these photographs offer a glimpse into the beauty and diversity of the natural world. We will get to know people who were the best for award winning wildlife photography, and together, we will explore the winners' work to find our inspiration. In this article, you will also find valuable tips for editing your photos to look like wildlife pictures of the year.

Do you want to know the secret of eye-catching pictures of our amazing planet? Then, we immediately go on a journey through the wildlife photo contest.

The Essence of Wildlife Photography

Every year, the London History Museum holds a prestigious competition among professional photographers, amateurs, and research scientists and determines a selection of the best wildlife photographs. The International Commission of Experts chooses the best of the best and announces the winners from tens of thousands of photo works in categories from more than 95 countries worldwide. The main criteria are originality, narrative, technical excellence, and ethical practice. 

This year, winners were selected in 19 categories from among 49,957 entries. Each image was taken in different corners of our planet in different environments. Still, each demonstrates our nature's uniqueness and the urgent need to preserve it. Natural History Museum director Doug Gurr said, "Inducing absolute awe and wonder, this year's winning images present compelling evidence of our impact on nature, both positive and negative." Also, he said, "Global promises must turn into action to turn the tide of nature's decline."

In this way, you can observe the fragility of our world and the need to preserve it for future generations. Use this narrative in your wildlife photography to connect with this world of art and bring global issues to the attention of a larger audience.

Wildlife Photography Contest Winners

Winners in various categories are chosen for their exceptional skill, patience, and dedication to creating the perfect shot. Both the professional jury of the competition and the museum's audience evaluated it.

The Ancient Mariner

Wildlife Photographer of the Year Contest: Grand Winners In Photos 2023 | Skylum Blog(2)

One of the winners was the French marine biologist and underwater photographer Laurent Ballesta. This year, he won the Wildlife Photographer of the Year award for his image of a three-spined horseshoe crab accompanied by three golden travels. It was his second win after winning the title in 2021 for his photograph of camouflaged groupers mating in French Polynesia. He photographed the species feeding, mating, and thriving in the sheltered waters of Pangatalan Island in the Philippines. The Natural History Museum celebrated these amazing images. "To see a horseshoe crab alive in its natural habitat in such an incredibly beautiful way was amazing," said jury chair Cathy Moran. "We are looking at an endangered ancient species that is also critical to human health. This photo is fluorescent."

Owls' Road House

Wildlife Photographer of the Year Contest: Grand Winners In Photos 2023 | Skylum Blog(3)

Another winner was Carmel Beler from Israel. A 17-year-old photographer won the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year award for her shot of two barn owls sitting peacefully in an abandoned, dilapidated building by the side of the road. Thanks to the skillful use of natural light and long exposure, the photo turned out with an amazing combination of wildlife and the light of car headlights. The author stated that his work is designed to show "the beauty of the natural world around us, even where we least expect it; we just need to open our eyes and minds." This image successfully emphasized the passive interaction of the human and animal worlds. "It simultaneously screams 'habitat destruction' and 'adaptation', begging the question: If wildlife can adapt to our environment, why can't we respect them?"

Ice BedWildlife Photographer of the Year Contest: Grand Winners In Photos 2023 | Skylum Blog(4)

Nima Sarikhani's stunning image of a sleeping polar bear has won the 2023 Wildlife Photographer of the Year 59 Viewers' Choice award. Nima's photograph, "Ice Bed," was crowned champion after a contest in which 75,000 people voted. A picture from the Svalbard archipelago shows us a male polar bear falling asleep on an iceberg. The photographer spent three days aboard an expedition ship looking for polar bears. And despite the thick fog, his patience and endurance were rewarded with a long-awaited meeting. Nima says: "I am honored to win this year's People's Choice Award for Wildlife Photography, the most prestigious wildlife photography contest. This photo evoked strong emotions in many of those who saw it." "While climate change is the biggest challenge, I hope this photo inspires hope. There's still time to fix the mess we've made."

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The Happy TurtleWildlife Photographer of the Year Contest: Grand Winners In Photos 2023 | Skylum Blog(5)

Tzahi Finkelstein is also among the winners. This photographer managed to capture an amazing and rare moment on camera. At first, the photographer should have paid more attention to the turtle because he was focused on photographing the birds. But he took this unique picture when a dragonfly flew in front of his lens and unexpectedly landed on the turtle's nose. Instead of grabbing the insect, the turtle seemed to enjoy the interaction. Now, each of us is witnessing a moment of peaceful coexistence between the different species surrounding us.

Rubbish DrinksWildlife Photographer of the Year Contest: Grand Winners In Photos 2023 | Skylum Blog(6)

Claire Waring managed to record one of the numerous proofs of the magnitude of the impact of human activities on nature. The story behind this photo is that a group of rangers were collecting bottles for recycling from a beach on the edge of the Tangkoko Batuangus Nature Reserve on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Most of them were brought there by sea. At one point, a crested macaque came to investigate this pile of trash. It turns out that macaques are often seen biting off caps from plastic bottles to get to the contents. Animals have also learned that colored bottles contain sweet liquid, so they are chosen first. Macaques often take bottles into the forest, unknowingly polluting the surroundings. This photo should attract the attention of humanity and remind us that many animals are poisoned and suffer due to human negligence.

These were just a few of the winning works from the wildlife photography competition. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with all of them on the museum's website and read the stories behind the creation of each of them. What is left behind often gives us more information about the image, its history, and its narratives. And we're on to the next section, where we'll share tips for processing stunning wildlife shots.

Highlight the Wonder of Wildlife with Luminar Neo

Amazing shots can be taken with any camera. There is still a lot of luck in wildlife photography, and if you are in the right place at the right time, luck is on your side, and you will catch the right moment. However, if you're looking for quality equipment for this field, check out our expert advice on the best wildlife photography camera. Also, if you are thinking about how romantic the profession of a wildlife photographer is, research how much wildlife photographers make and what the pros and cons of this job are before you start buying expensive equipment and go on your first trip to wild places.

It's no secret that a good photo can be turned into a wonderful one with the help of post-processing. But it works both ways. Sometimes, bad post-processing can ruin even a good shot. Using the example of the modern photo editor Luminar NEO, we want to show you the simplest functions that will make a wow effect on your photo. Editing Wildlife Photos with Luminar is as simple as possible. Luminar has all the filters and AI enhancements you need in one package. You don't even need to look for any additional tools. Landscape Photo Editing also allows you to turn a photo with any landscape into a picture close to the look of our eyes in one click. Now, you don't need to adjust the color to achieve authenticity in the frame manually. Try it and feel the difference! After that, your editing will never be the same again.

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Bottom Line

The impact of these award-winning photographs in raising awareness of conservation issues is immense. They also spread narratives about the inevitability of positive changes in the field of nature conservation. These images are a powerful tool for educating, advocating, and appreciating the natural world. Use the creativity of photographers for your inspiration. Use modern photo editing tools to enhance your photos and focus on certain elements. Use your work to convey the importance of preserving our planet's ecosystems for future generations.

As we conclude our journey to the top winners of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2023 competition, consider the beauty, diversity, and fragility of the natural world captured in these remarkable photographs. Let them inspire you to explore, appreciate, and protect the amazing wildlife surrounding us.

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