Winners of a Nature Photo Contest: Pick Your Favorites—From Royal Monkeys to Magical Landscapes, and More

Winners of a Nature Photo Contest: Pick Your Favorites—From Royal Monkeys to Magical Landscapes, and More
(© Thomas Vijayan/Courtesy of All About Photo)
Anna Mason
10/17/2023
Updated:
10/17/2023
0:00

A lion-like monkey perched on a cliff edge, a curious red-eyed frog hypnotizing the camera, and rat snakes entwined around a tree branch: these are just some of the fascinating subjects captured in All About Photo (AAP) magazine’s 33rd Nature photography awards.

Many of the 24 winning pictures feature dazzlingly exotic animals and landscapes. Here are some of the selected pictures that made it to the AAP Merit List and the three winners.

The Top Winners

The first-place winner is Thomas Vijayan from Canada, for his startling photo of an aristocratic-looking golden-headed langur (Trachypithecus poliocephalus), with its almost human-like face. Taken while the adventure photographer was riding a boat in Vietnam, it shows the thrilling moment Mr. Vijayan happened upon one of the rarest primates in the world.

“Cat Ba langur … is a critically endangered species of langur endemic to Cát Bà Island, Vietnam,” he said, adding that only 65-67 individuals remain.

"Golden Headed Langur" by Mr. Vijayan. (© Thomas Vijayan/Courtesy of All About Photo)
"Golden Headed Langur" by Mr. Vijayan. (© Thomas Vijayan/Courtesy of All About Photo)
The second place was bagged by Teri Figliuzzi from the United States for her image “Duet” from the series “Gathering.”

“‘Gathering’ is an ongoing series of phytograms using botanicals as the subject matter to bring focus to all stages of life and its fragility, both tangible and ethereal,” the magazine states.

"Duet" by Ms. Figliuzzi. (© Teri Figliuzzi/Courtesy of All About Photo)
"Duet" by Ms. Figliuzzi. (© Teri Figliuzzi/Courtesy of All About Photo)
The third-place winner is Christina Mcfaul for her picture titled “Unfurling.”

“I was raised on a lake nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains, where fences were non-existent and I roamed freely. It is where my bond with nature took root. I wish to convey this sense of wonder and discovery in my portrait, still life, and landscape photography,” Ms. Mcfaul said.

"Unfurling" by Ms. Mcfaul. (© Christina Mcfaul/Courtesy of All About Photo)
"Unfurling" by Ms. Mcfaul. (© Christina Mcfaul/Courtesy of All About Photo)

The Merit Awards Gallery

One of the most moving photos in the “Merit” category is of a stray dog with a soulful expression. Photographer Gulgun Gunal encountered him sitting on the side of a road in Turkey.
"Vigilant" ​​by Ms. Gunal. (© Gulgun Gunal/Courtesy of All About Photo)
"Vigilant" ​​by Ms. Gunal. (© Gulgun Gunal/Courtesy of All About Photo)

“The dog’s gaze reflects a deep awareness, its eye contact a response to changes and potential dangers,” Ms. Gunal said according to the AAP magazine. “This posture showcases its sensitivity to the surroundings while staying vigilant. The watchful expression in its eyes conveys readiness to react swiftly.”

The “Vigilant” humble stray dog is in fine company, sitting alongside other winners including a powerful young lion. Taken by Paolo Ameli, the lion gazes across one of Tanzania’s vast plains, a tuft of his mane blowing endearingly in the breeze.

"Young Lion" by  Mr. Ameli. (© Paolo Ameli/Courtesy of All About Photo)
"Young Lion" by  Mr. Ameli. (© Paolo Ameli/Courtesy of All About Photo)
Then there’s the bleeding-heart monkey (or gelada monkey) with the lion’s mane, captured magnificently by photographer Turgay Uzer.

A special type of baboon, these monkeys survive the threat of leopard attacks by sleeping on tiny ledges jutting out from vertical cliffs in the mountains of Ethiopia. At daybreak, they climb back on the plateau to graze, “which they do with grim determination all day because this grass is not nutritious,” the magazine states.

"Groom with a View" by Mr. Uzer. (© Turgay Uzer/Courtesy of All About Photo)
"Groom with a View" by Mr. Uzer. (© Turgay Uzer/Courtesy of All About Photo)

Mr. Uzer said: “I started photographing wildlife because I love animals. Little did I realize that in the process I'd be documenting a vanishing world—what’s here today may well be gone tomorrow! These days I am trying to keep up with the destruction of wild places and things. It is not easy.”

The annual awards—the first centered on the theme of nature—also showcased spectacular landscapes from around the world.

One heartbreakingly beautiful shot by Carmen Villar, from Spain, illustrates the moment she witnessed a magical sunrise at Patagonia’s Torres del Paine National Park. “With my heart beating strongly, I climbed up some rocks to have a better view and, to my surprise, a spectacular river dyed with the color of the sky, appeared on my left. Torres del Paine welcomed me!” Ms. Villar said.
"Colourful Sunrise in Patagonia" by Ms. Villar. (© Carmen Villar/Courtesy of All About Photo)
"Colourful Sunrise in Patagonia" by Ms. Villar. (© Carmen Villar/Courtesy of All About Photo)
Elsewhere, Austrian Thaddäus Biberauer won a prize for the emotional, dreamlike feel of his photograph “Dream Along,” taken as he traveled through Europe. While photographer Nathan Rochefort captured an infrared image revealing the vivid splendor of a hydrothermal basin located within Yellowstone National Park.
Caught in a sandstorm at the gateway to the Sahara Desert, French-Moroccan Olivier Unia braved extreme conditions to run and grab his camera—while everyone else ran for cover.

“[F]or 20 minutes, I took advantage of this gift from nature,” Mr. Unia said of his mystical winning image—titled “Merzouga 2”—of tribesmen walking with their camels.

"Dream Along" by Mr. Biberauer. (© Thaddäus Biberauer/Courtesy of All About Photo)
"Dream Along" by Mr. Biberauer. (© Thaddäus Biberauer/Courtesy of All About Photo)
The picture of a Hydrothermal Basin in Wyoming from photographer Mr. Rochefort's project "American Nature." (© Nathan Rochefort/Courtesy of All About Photo)
The picture of a Hydrothermal Basin in Wyoming from photographer Mr. Rochefort's project "American Nature." (© Nathan Rochefort/Courtesy of All About Photo)
"Merzouga 2" by Mr. Unia. (© Olivier Unia/Courtesy of All About Photo)
"Merzouga 2" by Mr. Unia. (© Olivier Unia/Courtesy of All About Photo)
Check out some more photos from this year’s All About Photos Nature photography awards.
"Ready to jump" red-eyed frog by Pablo Trilles Farrington. (© Pablo Trilles Farrington/Courtesy of All About Photo)
"Ready to jump" red-eyed frog by Pablo Trilles Farrington. (© Pablo Trilles Farrington/Courtesy of All About Photo)
"Color Poppies IV" by Jean Karotkin. (© Jean Karotkin/Courtesy of All About Photo)
"Color Poppies IV" by Jean Karotkin. (© Jean Karotkin/Courtesy of All About Photo)
"Tendril" by Kelly O'Leary. (© Kelly O'Leary/Courtesy of All About Photo)
"Tendril" by Kelly O'Leary. (© Kelly O'Leary/Courtesy of All About Photo)
"Gucci" by Lev L. Spiro. (© Lev L. Spiro/Courtesy of All About Photo)
"Gucci" by Lev L. Spiro. (© Lev L. Spiro/Courtesy of All About Photo)
"Sweet Gum Embroidered" by Myrtie Cope. (© Myrtie Cope/Courtesy of All About Photo)
"Sweet Gum Embroidered" by Myrtie Cope. (© Myrtie Cope/Courtesy of All About Photo)
"From the inside 2" by Stéphane Garnavault. (© Stéphane Garnavault/Courtesy of All About Photo)
"From the inside 2" by Stéphane Garnavault. (© Stéphane Garnavault/Courtesy of All About Photo)
"Modern Rabbit Underwater" by Alexej Sachov. (© Alexej Sachov/Courtesy of All About Photo)
"Modern Rabbit Underwater" by Alexej Sachov. (© Alexej Sachov/Courtesy of All About Photo)
"Untitled" from the series "A Passing" by Calli McCaw. (© Calli McCaw/Courtesy of All About Photo)
"Untitled" from the series "A Passing" by Calli McCaw. (© Calli McCaw/Courtesy of All About Photo)
"Buttercups" by Diane Hemingway. (© Diane Hemingway/Courtesy of All About Photo)
"Buttercups" by Diane Hemingway. (© Diane Hemingway/Courtesy of All About Photo)
"A drop of silence" by Francisco Gonzalez Camacho. (© Francisco Gonzalez Camacho/Courtesy of All About Photo)
"A drop of silence" by Francisco Gonzalez Camacho. (© Francisco Gonzalez Camacho/Courtesy of All About Photo)
"Poetry of a Leaf" by Jacqui Turner. (© Jacqui Turner/Courtesy of All About Photo)
"Poetry of a Leaf" by Jacqui Turner. (© Jacqui Turner/Courtesy of All About Photo)
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Anna Mason is a writer based in England. She majored in literature and specializes in human interest, travel, lifestyle and content marketing. Anna enjoys storytelling, adventures, the Balearic sunshine and the Yorkshire rain.