Tracey Lund wins World Nature Photographer of the Year for ‘Underwater gannets’ in Scotland

From icy Iceland shimmering veins to Nubian Ibex on Zin Desert, multiple accolades
/ New Delhi
Underwater gannets
Tracey Lund wins World Nature Photographer of the Year for ‘Underwater gannets’ in Scotland

Lund says she selected this shot from the 1800 images taken (PC: Tracey Lund)

British photographer Tracey Lund has won the top honour at this year’s ‘World Nature Photography Awards’ for her photograph, ‘Underwater gannets’.
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A dramatic shot framing an intense fight engaging two gannets, a species of bird, over a fish in the waters off Scotland’s Shetland Islands has bagged first prize in this year’s World Nature Photography Awards.

The photograph, Underwater gannets by Tracey Lund, a photographer from the United Kingdom who specialises in wildlife, was selected from thousands of submissions and received the USD 1,000 prize.

It was taken from a boat while she was on holiday, using a DSLR camera in waterproof housing that was lowered into the sea. “The hired DSLR camera in the waterproof housing was attached to polecam system and lowered into the water. Thousands of gannets were in the sky above us and then started to dive into the sea after local fish. An unbelievable spectacle to witness, let alone photograph. I took 1800 images on that day but only had 2 that I could use,” Lund is quoted in a press statement issued by the organisers of the awards.

The statement adds that other categories for this year’s awards included nature art, animal portraits, plants, fungi, invertebrate, amphibian and reptile and mammal behaviour, among many others.

Winter in Stokksnes, Iceland

Ivan Pedretti from Italy won the Gold prize for his photograph Winter in Stokksnes, Iceland (PC: Ivan Pedretti)

Ivan Pedretti, from Italy, won the Planet Earth’s landscapes and environments category with a surreal photo Winter in Stokksnes, Iceland

“The beach with its black sand and the majestic mountain called Vestrahorn, I love the contrast in colours between the white mountains and the black dunes with yellow grass,” the statement cites Pedretti as saying.

The World Nature Photography Awards (WNPA) were established in 2020 to promote photography and protect the environment by planting a tree for each submission. 

Nubian Ibex battle

Nubian Ibex battle for mating up in the Zin Desert mountains (PC: Amit Eshel)

Amit Eshel from Israel won the Gold award for his shot on Nubian Ibex battle on the edge of the cliff with the beautiful backdrop of Zin Desert mountains. “The battle usually begins with a display of the horns while tilting the head to the sides. In the second stage, if a fight develops, the males push each other as they both turn their heads and the base of their horns towards each other,” says Eshel. 

“If the opponents are equal, more vigorous fighting ensues as the males stand on their hind legs and strike each other. In this mode, the collisions of the horns make a loud sound that can be heard far and wide,” he adds.

California sea lion pups at play

Kujala’s California sea lion pups at play won the top award in Nature Photojournalism category (PC: Celia Kujala)

Underscoring the dire condition of animals by marine pollution, Celia Kujala from the United States bagged the top award in Nature Journalism for a shot of California sea lion pups at play underwater, but with deadly plastics. 

“It is not uncommon to observe them playing with rocks, seaweed and starfish. Sadly, it is becoming much more common to see them playing with another type of toy: a dangerous toy. Human garbage is entering the ocean and arriving at their remote, uninhabited homes on ocean currents. On this day, in the span of two dives, I was able to collect six pieces of garbage that they were playing with, including the one pictured, and take them out of the ocean,” says Kujala.

Spitzer’s painting-like shot of Iceland’s icy vein’s landscape won Gold accredition (PC: Miki Spitzer)

Miki Spitzer from Israel has won the top prize in Nature Art category for a shot that weaves icy blue watery veins, shimmering glacial braids and glistening golden sediment come together to provide a delightful mirage. “Is it a beautiful elephant with a flowing lion’s mane? Or a lion’s head with luxurious flowing braids? It’s up to you and your imagination. This is the gift of Iceland’s magical topography,” Spitzer is quoted as saying.

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