21 stunning, award-winning photos that will make you fall in love with the world

Tanner Latham/The Nature Conservancy‘Slender Slots’ by Tanner Latham.

The Nature Conservancy, a global conservation organisation, received over 57,000 entries from 135 countries for their annual nature photography contest this year – the most they have ever received.

“We have wonderful entries from all over the world, from beautiful Western landscapes to squirrels in a backyard in Austria,” Bill Marr, director of photography for The Nature Conservancy and a judge in the competition, said in a statement. “Photography is a common language for all.”

Here are the winning photos across the categories of People and Nature, Landscape, Water, Wildlife, and Cities and Nature, as well as the grand prize winner.

“O Caçador (The Hunter)” by Roberto Moccini Formiga

Roberto Moccini Formiga/The Nature ConservancyMexico.
“A large white shark hunts in the waters of Guadalupe Island, Mexico.”

“Polar Bear” by Florian Ledoux

Florian Ledoux/The Nature ConservancyCanada.
“The polar bear wandering on ice looking at the ice melting.”

“Slender Slots” by Tanner Latham

Tanner Latham/The Nature ConservancyUtah.
“Squeezing through one of the incredibly narrow slot canyons in Escalante National Monument. Taken on a week-long expedition through the deserts of southern Utah.”

“Her Majesty” by Aristo Risi

Aristo Risi/The Nature ConservancyAustralia.
“A plastic bag in its natural habitat, the ocean. Plastic was once worshiped, now it destroys everything we love. Nature connects us all, we have a duty to protect her.”

“Namibian Curves” by Paul Zizka

Paul Zizka/The Nature ConservancyNamibia.
“We were on our Chronicles of Namibia workshop, wrapping up a wonderful evening of shooting in the Sossusvlei area. On the drive back to camp, this most simple composition caught my eye. I couldn’t resist and stopped the group to get this shot.”

“Energía Pura y Fuego (Pure Energy and Fire)” by Hernando Alonso Rivera Cervantes

Hernando Alonso Rivera Cervantes/The Nature ConservancyMexico.
“Colima volcano erupting during the night showing its strength. Volcanic eruptions in small quantities help reduce global warming.”

Second place: “The End is Near” by Andre Mercier

Andre Mercier/The Nature ConservancyIceland.
This ice could be thousands of years old, and only recently broke off the Vatnajokull Glacier at Jokulsarlon Bay in Iceland, and will soon melt into the sea.”

“Watching You Watching Me” by Megan Lorenz

Megan Lorenz/The Nature ConservancyCanada.

“Red Fox in Bonavista in Newfoundland.”

“Waterfall Wonders” by Harry Randell

Harry Randell/The Nature ConservancyZimbabwe.
“Victoria Falls is the seventh wonder of the world. Carved into the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, what better place for two nationalities to meet, and be awed by the never ending thunder of the water 100 meters below.”

“Serenity” by Jeremy Stevens

Jeremy Stevens/The Nature ConservancyIceland.
“Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall in Iceland, January 2018. The places that are hardest to get to are often the best and most peaceful.”

“Reclamation” by Jesse Yang

Jesse Yang/The Nature ConservancyUnited Arab Emirates.
“The eeriness of exploring this ghost town in the United Arab Emirates went away after an hour or so of exploring. But I still felt uneasy about entering some of these ‘homes.’ It felt like I was trespassing, so I tried being oddly respectful. The Arabian Desert obviously didn’t feel the same way, reminding me that nature will always reclaim what we abandon.”

“Welcome to my Humble Abode” by Duncan Mcnaught

Duncan Mcnaught/The Nature ConservancyScotland.
“A tiny fungi knat sheltering inside the canopy of a toadstool.”

“Lava Explosion” by Elyse Butler

Elyse Butler/The Nature ConservancyHawaii.
“On the Kīlauea Lava Flow in Kalapana, lava hits the ocean, creating an explosion of molten basalt rocks and acidic steam plumes skyward. When hot lava vaporizes cool sea water, it blasts lava rock fragments every direction and creates a billowing cloud of ‘lava haze’ made up of a mixture of acidic seawater steam, hydrochloric acid, and tiny shards of volcanic glass.”

“La Pacha Mama” by Ruben Dario Mejia

Ruben Dario Mejia/The Nature ConservancyColombia.
“A model holding the ribs of a dry leaf. Nature is a generous Mother.”

“Autumn in the Big Apple” by Yonca Ables

Yonca Ables/The Nature ConservancyNew York City.

“World Trade Center, New York.”

“My Home My City” by Kwok Kui Andus Tse

Kwok Kui Andus Tse/The Nature ConservancyHong Kong.
“Lion Rock is a symbol of Hong Kong. Many Hong Kong people, including me, grow up under the mountain. It represents the spirit of Hong Kong people.”

“Floating in the Dead Sea” by Aline Fortuna

Aline Fortuna/The Nature ConservancyIsrael.
“One of the most unique experiences of the world in the lowest point on Earth. We belong to nature and not the reverse. Without the nature we do not live, but without us it lives.”

“Vama Veche Sunrise” by George Bufan

George Bufan/The Nature ConservancyRomania.
“Sunrise in Vama Veche, Romania.”

“Reunião de Jacarés (Meeting of Alligators)” by Jorge André Diehl

Jorge André Diehl/The Nature ConservancyBrazil.
“Lagoon with many alligators in the Northern Pantanal, Poconé region. Late afternoon left the scene a bluish colour.”

Third place: “Frog Hug” by Terra Fondriest

Terra Fondriest/The Nature ConservancyArkansas.
“Down at the mud puddles on our road, we found several young bullfrogs hopping around. Up on our hilltop, wet spots are few and far between, so our mud puddles are home to a constant flow of tadpoles, frogs and toads. My daughter loves all critters, her goal is to create a wildlife rehab center someday. She constantly inspires me with her care towards every living thing.”

Grand prize winner: “Stallions Playing” by Camille Briottet

Camille Briottet/The Nature ConservancyCamargue, France.

“The power of the animal kingdom.”

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