The results from our 2019 Habitats & Landscapes photo contest.
- Winner: Sarang Naik
A Tale of Two Cities
A colony of Zoanthids glows under an ultraviolet flashlight, against the backdrop of the Mumbai city skyline. Zoanthids are an order of cnidarians, similar to corals and commonly found in coral reefs. They can be seen on Mumbai’s rocky shores during low tide. I was shooting one such Zoanthid colony when I discovered that they glow brilliantly under UV light. This long exposure shot brings together two sides of the city of Mumbai: the bustling, ever-expanding metropolis and the wildlife haven that hides in plain sight. Mumbai’s marine life is under constant threat as these forgotten treasures continue to be ignored in favour of unsustainable urbanisation.
- Runner-Up: Anton Sorokin
An Amazon wood lizard relies on its excellent camouflage to stay hidden in the dense understory of the Amazon rainforest.
- Runner-Up: talal al rabah
An aerial photo of a group of flamingos gathering close to the beach.
- Highly Commended: Irma Szabo
One Cloudy Day
I took the photo on the Lofoten Islands, a marvellous place, on a tour that I organised myself. The islands are so beautiful that I couldn’t stop staring in wonder. The weather was pretty changeable. On an overcast day, when the tide was nearly over, a cloud gathered above a mountain opposite. The mountain almost had the same pattern as the sand after the tide. I sought to recreate the gloomy atmosphere by combining these two patterns in my photo.
- Highly Commended: Anton Sorokin
Water Frog Realm
A marbled water frog (Telmatobius marmoratus) from the Andes mountains. Together with another local species, this is the highest ranging frog in the world, living up to 5400m above sea level. The water frog survives this harsh environment by inhabiting water bodies like this stream.
- Highly Commended: Yallappagouda Patil
The scorpion world
This image was taken while I was experimenting with my new manual Laowa 15mm macro lens. I was searching for a subject that stayed calm and would give me some time to experiment, but I failed many times. At last, on the next day, I found this scorpion near my farm in the grasslands. I wanted to capture both the sky and a subject in a single exposure so I used a manual lens to take this photograph. First I set the focus on the subject and the aperture to F/13. A fraction of a second after I pressed the shutter button I rotated the aperture ring to F/4 moved the focusing ring to infinity. I also used UV light to highlight the scorpion.
- Highly Commended: Lachlan Gardiner
Kingdom of the Kea
Clever, cheeky, curious and amazingly intelligent - the Kea is one of ten parrot species endemic to New Zealand. Found in the alpine regions of the country's South Island, these mischievous birds are often sighted by hikers and climbers in the Southern Alps. They have a strong tendency to manipulate and interact, and they are not at all shy around humans. In times gone by, this has been to their detriment, as the birds were persecuted by farmers and early settlers. Weighing as much as 2 pounds, with a hooked 'crow-bar' beak, the Kea is cable of inflicting rampant damage on unattended property. Today, this wreckage is often focused upon unsuspecting tourists' hire vehicles and camping equipment. The Kea is now protected and it is currently estimated that there are between 3000 and 7000 individuals in the remaining population.
In November of 2019, I was shooting the amazing sunset from the Remarkables Range. At this point, the peaks soar 2000m above sea level. This friendly specimen came in to say hello, hopped around squawking for about a minute, before returning to the mountains from which it came.
- Highly Commended: Javier Lobon-Rovira
Life under the Sand
Walking through the vast dunes of the Sahara desert, it is easy to have the feeling of loneliness. However, even in one of the most hostile habitats on Earth, you will never be alone. The species there have developed strategies to survive in any ecosystem, such as this incredible sand viper (Ceraster vipera). During the daytime, it seeks refuge under the burning sand, before venturing out in search of prey at twilight, protected by darkness and the mild temperatures at this time.
- Highly Commended: Sergei REOUTOV
Coral dunes are one of nature's wonders. Socotra Island in Yemen is the Galapagos of the Indian Ocean. This camel set off in a run down the dunes, its feet sinking into the sand. It vanished behind the dunes, leaving me with this picture and the most awe-inspiring memories of Socotra.
Congratulations to the featured photographers and a big thank you to all who entered! Thank you also to the generous support of our contest sponsors: