Saturday, December 17, 2016

Nature Photograpy Hits

A Few of the National Geographic’s 2016 Nature Photographer of the Year contest Winners

The Nature Photographer of the Year has been named.

Grand prize winner Sardine Run: During the sardine migration along the Wild Coast of South Africa, millions of sardines are preyed upon by marine predators such as dolphins, marine birds, sharks, whales, penguins, sailfishes, and sea lions. The hunt begins with common dolphins that have developed special hunting techniques to create and drive bait balls to the surface. In recent years, probably due to overfishing and climate change, the annual sardine run has become more and more unpredictable. It took me two weeks to have the opportunity to witness and capture this marine predation. See the contest page and Lecoeur’s profile Greg Lecoeur/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year)

Second place winner, Action Approach: An EF2 tornado bears down on a home in Wray, Colorado — May 7, 2016. As soon as we were safe, as the tornado roared off into the distance through a field before roping out, we scrambled up the hill to check on the residents.Thankfully, everyone was all right, and we were grateful for that. As I was checking in with a young woman coming out of the basement, we became very aware of a strong new circulation — right above our heads. We needed to run for cover, and did so before saying a proper goodbye. See Shea-Ostberg’s profile Tori Shea-Ostberg/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year)

Honorable mention, Landscape Serendipitous Green Meteor: This green meteor was captured while taking a time-lapse to document the urbanization around the Skyislands in India. The camera was set at 15s exposure for 999 shots and this came into one of those shots. Green Meteor’s greenish color come from a combination of the heating of oxygen around the meteor and the mix of minerals ignited as the rock enters Earth’s atmosphere. I think for those 15 seconds, I was the luckiest photographer on the planet to have capture this phenomenon. See Yadav’s profile Prasenjeet Yadav/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year)

Second place winner, Animal portraits Proud Momma: Fry of a peacock bass hover around their mom for protection against predators. Peacock bass, part of the Cichlid family, exercise excellent parental car and will protect their young against any threat that approaches them. This tropical species from South America was intentionally introduced in South Florida during the 1980s to control the African Tilapia, another invasive species. See O’Neill’s profile Michael O’Neill/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year)

Third place winner, Animal portraits Friendship knows no color: Two bodies of Empusa pennata in the same plant was the rare scene I found when I visited one of my favorite locations for macro shots. This area is located near a village called Las Rozas in Madrid, Spain. There’s a small stream about one kilometer long where you can find a varied ecosystem with many different types of insects and arachnids. From May to September, I had seen up to four different Empusas alone on their plants, but on this day I was extremely lucky when I found two individuals on the same plant. I took advantage of such a discovery and mounted my macro set and took several photos of this magical scene, where the Empusas seem to play or dance, sharing the same plant like good friends. See Gomez’s profile Jose Pesquero Gomez/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year)

Honorable mention, Animal portraits Crow Chasing Puffy Owl: The crow saw the puffy owl resting and decided to chase away the owl from its territory. See Lawrence’s profile Chia Boon Oo Lawrence/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year)

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