Best images from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest revealed

The perfect catch by Hannah Vijayan Credit: PA Media

A perching primate picture taken by a teenager and the Amazon on fire are of the highest scoring images of this year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest.

Highly commended images chosen from almost 50,000 entries to the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2020 competition have been revealed.

Treetop douc by Arshdeep Singh Credit: Arshdeep Singh/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The overall winners of the competition will be announced on October 13, with the awards ceremony conducted virtually, for the first time, from the museum’s Hintze Hall.

The highly commended images include 13-year-old Arshdeep Singh’s image of a douc, a critically-endangered primate, and Charlie Hamilton James’s image of a lone tree surrounded by forest fire in the Amazon.

Amazon burning by Charlie Hamilton James Credit: Charlie Hamilton James/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Possums peeking out in the urban environment, the tar sands landscape of Alberta, Canada, a close-up of a spider and an underwater night scene are also among the highly commended shots.

The spider’s supper by Jaime Culebras Credit: Jaime Culebras/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Chairwoman of the judging panel, Roz Kidman Cox, said: “Several of my favourite images from the competition – the ones that I can look at again and again – are among the commended pictures.

“But then all the commended images are effectively winners, being among the top 100 awarded by the jury out of more than 49,000.

“The diversity of subjects and styles this year is memorable, with more than 25 different nationalities represented.

World of tar by Garth Lenz Credit: Garth Lenz/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

“But what especially stands out are the images from the young photographers – the next generation of image-makers passionate about the natural world.”

Dr Tim Littlewood, executive director of science at the Natural History Museum and member of the judging panel, said: “This competition has an outstanding reputation in attracting the world’s very best photographers, naturalists and young photographers.

The night shift by Laurent Ballesta Credit: Laurent Ballesta/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

“But there has never been a more vital time for audiences all over the world to re-engage with the natural world, and what better way than this inspiring and provocative exhibition.

“Photography’s unique ability to spark conversation and curiosity is certainly special.

Peeking possums by Gary Meredith Credit: Gary Meredith/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

“We hope that this year’s exhibition will provide an opportunity for audiences to pause, reflect and ignite a passion of advocating for the natural world.”

After being unveiled at the Natural History Museum, the images will go on a UK and international tour.