Table of content    
  1. Between The stars
  2. Dawn's whispers: Graceful hoopoe silhouette at sunrise
  3. Wolf Trinity
  4. Morning Attack
  5. Shaking Off
  6. Living Inside The Yellow Fields
  7. Magadi Airshow
  8. Dry Fish Pond
  9. A Cool Drink
  10. Phantoms Adrift
  11. Parting The Tide
  12. Snowy Night
  13. Living Texture
  14. Sound And Vision
  15. Planned Burn at Chase State Fishing Lake
  16. Lost In Snow Waves
  17. Fighter Jets
  18. Dusty Ride
  19. Rough Sea 12
  20. Busy Builder
  21. Peek-a-boo
  22. Wolf Spider Mama
  23. Attack
  24. Stranded
  25. Our Saviors

Winners Of 2023 Nature Conservation Photo Contest Revealed—Prepare To Be Wow'ed!

In a world teeming with breathtaking landscapes and fascinating wildlife, some possess the incredible talent to capture its essence through the lens of a camera. The Nature Conservancy's 2023 Photo Contest brought together over 80,000 photographers from 191 countries and territories, each with a unique perspective on our planet's natural beauty.

After meticulous judging in 12 diverse categories, the winners and honorees have been revealed. In this article, we'll explore some of the remarkable winning images that showcase the awe-inspiring moments of nature. Many of these pictures will leave you in awe. Let's check them out! Also, don't forget to vote for your favorite photographs.


#1. Between The stars

Grand Prize Winner.

I photographed this moment underwater. I was able to do it by putting my camera in an underwater case, attaching it to a metal weight and placing it all under the eggs. I waited nearby for it to be dark, and when the newt appeared, I lit it with an LED lamp. I started the camera with a home-made wired remote release. It turned out 1-2 sharp pictures.


#2. Dawn's whispers: Graceful hoopoe silhouette at sunrise

Celebrity Judge Choice.

A Hoopoe took flight with its wings spread in a smooth motion across the canvas of the early-morning sky that was illuminated by the sunrise's bright hues. I saw that this bird would occasionally grab its prey in the air and other times on the ground. Additionally, I observed that each time it caught its prey, it flew in the same direction to a nearby tree.​


#3. Wolf Trinity

First Place, Mammals.

Here you can see three wolves leaping through the air showcasing their enthusiasm and companionship. It's like a moment in time that captures their nature in the wild. Each wolf exudes happiness and energy with their eyes shining bright from the excitement and their strong bond as a pack.

This image serves as a reminder of the elegance and charm of these animals, in their natural environment.

Photographed in Bhigwan, Maharashtra, India.


#4. Morning Attack

Second Place, Mammals.

An orca attacks two seals in the morning on a beach.


#5. Shaking Off

Third Place, Mammals.

Free yourself. The bear.


#6. Living Inside The Yellow Fields

First Place, Aerials.

Inspired by yellow color, I decided to take a photo with a drone showing an aerial perspective of a small settlement of the city of Świdnica, Poland, which was built in the middle of a field.


#7. Magadi Airshow

Second Place, Aerials.

The alkaline Lake Magadi provides breathtaking patterns on the surface of the lake to photograph flamingos. Lake Magadi, Kenya 12 Sept, 2023.


#8. Dry Fish Pond

First Place, Freshwater.

The holes dug by fish for spawning can be seen after a pond has dried up.​ Tai Sang Wai, Yuen Long, Hong Kong.


#9. A Cool Drink

Second Place, Freshwater.

A bull elk stops in the Oconaluftee River in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for a refreshing drink.


#10. Phantoms Adrift

First Place, Underwater Life.

Pacific sea nettles (Chrysaora fuscescens) swarm in the murky waters off Monterey, California.


#11. Parting The Tide

Third Place, Underwater Life.

A grey reef shark parts the tide of a bait ball in the shallows of the Ningaloo Reef. This was a once in a lifetime experience, as millions of small fish were gathered together and forced into the narrow alleys of a shallow coral reef by hunting predators. This photo was taken inside the baitball, as a shark burst out, hunting its next mouthful of fish.


#12. Snowy Night

Second Place, Underwater Life.

Following the Taal Volcano eruption in the Philippines in early 2020, ocean sediments were stirred up into the water column. During a blackwater dive in Batangas Bay, I encountered a female paper nautilus hitchhiking on floating debris. The particles around it reflected my flashlight, resembling falling snowflakes. Rather than depicting post-disaster chaos, the scene created a serene fairytale.


#13. Living Texture

Honorable Mention, Underwater Life.

Macro photo of a hard coral of the genus Mycetophyllia. Guatemala is not well known for its coral reefs, yet there are very interesting corals around Cabo Tres Puntas. This coral was found at 12 meters' depth.​ Cabo Tres Puntas, Guatemala, March 2023.


#14. Sound And Vision

First Place, Lands.

This picture represents one the most intense moments I can remember during my life. It was September; after a two-week wait, I was lucky enough to experience an amazing mix of extraordinary elements, which I will never forget: the impressive display of the autumn colors at their peak, and the first snow of the season.


#15. Planned Burn at Chase State Fishing Lake

Honorable Mention, Lands.

This is the late evening on April 17, 2014, with a planned pasture burn creeping along the ridge of the hill at the end of the lake. Driving back from a ranch outside Elmdale, Kansas, I spotted the red glow. It looked like there might be a chance it would be reflecting in the lake, and it was!


#16. Lost In Snow Waves

Second Place, Plants & Fungi.

A lonely conifer tree in the Dolomites highlands in wintertime, Fanes-Sennes-Braies Regional Natural Park, Italy.


#17. Fighter Jets

Honorable Mention, People & Nature.

I was lucky to capture these two male tigers fighting in the air. Taken in Tadoba Tiger Reserve, India​.


#18. Dusty Ride

Honorable Mention, People & Nature.

This is Anatolia, Turkey. Here, people are engaged in animal husbandry for their livelihood. After a harsh winter, the valleys overflow with lush grass, but it is not easy to reach this food source in rough terrain. The shepherds and their flocks, who walk 10 kilometers every day to the foot of Mount Nemrut, leave a dusty story behind their journey.


#19. Rough Sea 12

Third Place, Oceans.

A big sea wave charges toward the shore during a fierce storm. November 2012, Varigotti, Italy.


#20. Busy Builder

First Place, Birds.

A penduline tit builds its unique nest in the marshes of Biebrza National Park, Poland. The male is shown leaving the nest to bring more material to finish up the build.


#21. Peek-a-boo

Second Place, Birds.

This lesser prairie chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) image was taken in western Kansas. I was in a blind overlooking a lek on April 1, 2023. It was a cold morning and by the time the activity died down enough to exit the blind I was shivering. I wasn't sure if it was due to the cold or the excitement of getting an opportunity to witness the non-stop activity of the prairie chicken.​


#22. Wolf Spider Mama

First Place, Insects & Arachnids.

This image is a 129 frame focus bracket of a wolf spider with her babies. I encountered her in the middle of an asphalt path during an early morning macro outing this summer. You can usually expect some movement from the kids, which could ruin a stack attempt, but they were all completely still for this set.


#23. Attack

Honorable Mention, Reptiles & Amphibians.

An African bullfrog (Pyxicephalus adspersus) attacks a rival in an attempt to defend its mating territory. These big frogs congregate in shallow waters during rain season, where they fight in order to be able to mate with the females. During the few hours I spent observing them, the dominant male, as seen in the picture, was defending the middle of the water puddle from all his rivals, attacking them one by one.​


#24. Stranded

First Place, Climate.

Euridice Castro, 33, holds her nephew Otavio, in the window, while her son Aquiles plays in the rising rivers, in Anama, Brazil on May 24, 2021. Anama has been an "amphibian city" for years. Without work, adults stay at home most of the time; children, without classes and without public leisure spaces, are left playing in the flooded areas.


#25. Our Saviors

Third Place, Climate.

In Tenerife on August 16, 2023 the largest fire in Spain was declared. For days we watched the mountains burn behind our houses. This photo taken from behind my house shows the importance of firefighting services, including helicopters, which were essential to control and extinguish the flames. This photograph was taken from the town of Santa Úrsula on August 27, 2023.​

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