These award-winning nature photographs will blow you away

The winner and finalists of the Nature TTL Photographer of the Year 2021 awards have been announced, and the top shots are absolutely stunning. Despite the many challenges and restrictions of the last year, photographers around the world have still managed to capture some remarkable nature photographs.

With over 8,000 image entries, choosing an overall winner for the Nature TTL Photographer of the Year wasn’t easy. Canadian photographer Thomas Vijayan ultimately took the top prize for his image of an orangutan ascending (or descending?) a tree. At first glance, the orangutan appears to be climbing down the tree with the sky behind him. But that sky is actually a reflection in the water below. Vijayan “climbed up on the tree and waited for hours” to capture the incredible shot.

“It’s one of those photos where you can’t skim past it,” said Will Nicholls, founder of Nature TTL. “The unique perspective and composition mean you are immediately trying to figure out what exactly you are looking at.”

Photographers competed in eight categories: Animal Behaviour, Camera Traps, Landscapes, Small World, Underwater, Urban Wildlife, Wild Portraits, and The Night Sky. The Young Nature TTL Photographer of the Year was awarded to 13-year old Thomas Easterbrook, from the UK, for his photo of a peregrine falcon preying on a starling murmuration.

Nature TTL is an online resource that offers photography tutorials and workshops, equipment reviews, and other resources for wildlife and landscape photographers. To see this year’s honourable mentions in each category, visit the complete winner’s gallery here. The winners and runner-ups for each category can be seen above and below.

Landscapes – Winner

Rocks on the beach, set against the colours of the Northern Lights above.
© Ivan Pedretti / Nature TTL

On Uttakleiv beach, in Norway, these particular rocks looked like an eye. The shot is set against the beautiful colours of the Northern Lights above.”

Landscapes – Runner-up

A rock formation jutting out of the ice.
© Amos Ravid / Nature TTL

Night photography at minus 25 degrees Celsius can be a bit challenging. And yet, it is most enjoyable and satisfying. This photo is from Ogoy Island in Lale Baikal, Russia. It is also known as the Dragon Island, hence I call [the photo] The Sleeping Dragon.”

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