Two Australians make Wildlife Photographer of the Year People's Choice
Two Australian photographers have been shortlisted in the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year People's Choice vote, selected from more than 49,000 entries.
From a mudskipper fish defending its territory to a young London fox making the most of a full bin, the 25 images in the shortlist explore the beauty of the natural world and the impact of our actions.
Recognised in the shortlist are Cooma, NSW photographer
Charles Davis, for his image Duckling Huddle, and Sydney photographer Ofer Levy, for his image Neighbourhood dispute.
Duckling Huddle by Charles Davis, Australia. A wood duck and its brood are caught in a late spring snowstorm in Smiggin Holes, New South Wales, Australia. It would normally be warm and sunny when these ducklings hatch from their nest high up in a tree hollow, but thanks to the La Niña effect things were a bit different this year. Warmer waters in the western Pacific meant more precipitation, resulting in more rain than normal in eastern Australia and cooler and wetter springs and summers. Nikon Z9 + 400mm f2.8 lens; 1/1250 at f10; ISO 500.
Neighbourhood Dispute by Ofer Levy, Australia. A mudskipper fiercely defends its territory from a trespassing crab in Roebuck Bay, Australia. Mudskippers can live both in and out of the water as long as they remain wet. They thrive along the intertidal mudflats and mangroves of Western Australia. These amphibious fish are fiercely territorial, often building mud walls around their territories where they feed and breed. Canon EOS R5 + 800mm f11 lens; 1/5000 at f11; ISO 6400.
The photographs were chosen by the Natural History Museum, London, and an international judging panel.
The public can vote for their favourite image either
online or in the flagship Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum, London. Voting closes on 31 January 2024.
The winner and top four images will be announced in February 2024 and displayed online, joining the winners of the fifty-ninth competition
announced earlier this year. You can see these here.
You can see the remaining 23 shortlisted images below.
Bull In A Garbage Dump by Brent Stirton, South Africa A bull elephant kicks over garbage as it scavenges for rotten vegetables and fruit at a dump in Tissamaharama, Sri Lanka. A number of male elephants are attracted to this location not only by the rubbish but also by nearby crops. The scar from a gunshot wound on the upper part of this elephant’s left front leg and another wound high on its back indicate he’s an insistent crop raider. Canon EOS R5 + 24–70mm f2.8 lens; 1/500 at f8; ISO 400.
Tough Negotiation by Ayala Fishaimer, Israel. Standing on a rock in the Judean Foothills of Israel, a red fox cub locks eyes with the shrew it had thrown up in the air moments earlier. Nikon D850 + AF-S Nikkor 200–500mm lens; 1/500 at f5.6; ISO 140.
A Rare Sight by Axel Gomille, Germany The rarest species of wild dog in the world, the Ethiopian wolf, takes a rest among the highland vegetation of Ethiopia’s Bale Mountains National Park. The summer greens and blues provide the perfect backdrop for the chestnut tones of the Ethiopian wolf’s coat in this serene image. The rarest species of wild dog in the world, there are only a few hundred left, surviving in the low growing, Afro-alpine shrubland of the highlands of Ethiopia. Nikon D4s + Sigma 150–600mm lens at 600mm; 1/1250 at f11; beanbag.
Aurora Jellies by Audun Rikardsen, Norway Moon jellyfish swarm in the cool autumnal waters of a fjord outside Tromsø in northern Norway illuminated by the aurora borealis. Canon EOS-1D X + Laowa 12mm f2.8 lens; 34 sec at f2.8–22 (changed during exposure); ISO 1600; two Canon 600 flashes in underwater housing.
Tender Touch by Andy Parkinson, UK Two courting mountain hares come together to touch noses in the Monadhliath Mountains in Scotland, UK. For 15 years Andy’s been photographing the hares of Scotland’s Monadhliath Mountains, but in all that time he’s never witnessed a moment like this. He was expecting the female to repel the male’s advances with the usual explosive boxing behaviour, so included lots of space around them. Nikon D4s + 200–400mm f4 lens; 1/1000 at f7.1; ISO 400.
Autumn Glow by Uge Fuertes Sanz, Spain A painting-like composition of bulrushes and quaking aspens is framed in a small corner of the Cabriel River in the Sierra de Albarracín Mountains, Spain. To Uge, this small corner of the river, among the bulrushes and quaking aspens, seemed as if it had been painted. The light and the composition of the plants between the trunks, together with the shapes and colours of the autumn leaves, created texture and balance. Canon EOS 5D Mark III + Tamron 150–600mm lens at 428mm; 1/640 at f9; ISO 1250.
The Happy Turtle by Tzahi Finkelstein, Israel. A Balkan pond turtle shares a moment of peaceful coexistence with a northern banded groundling dragonfly in Israel’s Jezreel Valley. Nikon D500 + 500mm f4 lens; 1/3200 at f5.6 (-0.3 e/v); ISO 320.
Troublemaker by Stefan Christmann, Germany. An Adélie penguin approaches an emperor penguin and its chick during feeding time in Antarctica’s Atka Bay. Nikon D500 + AF-S Nikkor 400mm f2.8 lens; 1/800 at f5.6; ISO 200.
Hope by Roberto García-Roa, Spain A rescued chimpanzee looks on from its enclosure at the Chimpanzee Conservation Center in the Republic of Guinea. While photographing rescued chimpanzees at the Chimpanzee Conservation Center in the Republic of Guinea, Roberto captured this pensive portrait. Located in the National Park of Upper Niger, the center houses orphaned chimpanzees that have been rescued from being sold as pets after their mothers were killed for bushmeat. Canon EOS R5 + 16–35mm f4 lens; 1/2000 at f5; ISO 1250.
Ice Bed by Nima Sarikhani, UK. A polar bear carves out a bed from a small iceberg before drifting off to sleep in the far north, off Norway’s Svalbard archipelago. Canon EOS-1D X Mark III + 70–200mm f2.8 lens at 200mm; 1/500 at f5; ISO 400.
Shared Parenting by Mark Boyd, Kenya. A pair of lionesses devotedly groom one of the pride’s five cubs in Kenya’s Maasai Mara. Canon EOS 5D Mark III + 100–400mm f4.5–5.6 lens; 1/320 at f5.6; ISO 12800.
Opportunity Fox by Matt Maran, UK. A young red fox takes advantage of a bin stacked high with rubbish before collection day on a street in London, UK. Over a two-month period Matt watched a young male red fox learn the best time to climb into this street bin in London. It figured out it was Monday evenings, shortly before the weekly collection, when the rubbish was piled high and any discarded food that rested on top was easy to get at. Panasonic Lumix DC-S1 + 50mm f1.4 lens; 1/80 at f2.5; ISO 5000.
The Grassland Geladas by Marco Gaiotti, Italy A gelada suckles its baby alongside a companion at the edge of a plateau in the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia. Canon EOS R5 + 16–35mm f2.8 lens at 16mm; 1/100 at f7.1; ISO 400.
Missed Sip of Milk by Karim Iliya, USA/Lebanon. A humpback whale calf misses some of its mother’s milk, which drifts and swirls in the currents off the coast of Rurutu, French Polynesia. In the seven years and hundreds of hours Karim’s been documenting humpback whales, he’s only seen whale milk floating in the water twice. Both times were on a diving trip off the coast of Rurutu, French Polynesia, with the same whale and her calf. Canon EOS R3 + 15–35mm f2.8 lens at 15mm; 1/400 at f5.6; ISO 500; Nauticam housing.
Looking At Me, Looking At You by John E. Marriott, Canada. A grizzly bear rises up on its hind legs and glances towards the photographer before returning to fish for salmon in the Chilko River in British Columbia, Canada. Canon EOS R5 + 500mm f4 lens; 1/1000 at f4.5; ISO 5000.
Swallow Over Meadow by Hermann Hirsch/Jan Lessman, Germany. A barn swallow flies over a meadow of cornflowers, catching insects during springtime in eastern Germany. Canon EOS R5 + 24–105mm f4 lens; 1/3200 at f22; ISO 6400; wireless remote control.
Curiosity by Gerald Hinde, South Africa Under the watchful eye of its mother in South Africa’s Greater Kruger National Park, a curious lion cub walks towards the photographer, who was watching from a vehicle. Canon EOS 5D Mark lll + 200–400mm f4 lens + 1.4x extender; 1/640 at f5.6; ISO 320.
Incoming Cuckoo Wasp by Frank Deschandol, France. Near Montpellier, France, a cuckoo wasp is captured mid-air trying to enter a mason bee’s clay burrow as a smaller cuckoo wasp cleans its wings below. Canon EOS RP + 100mm f2.8 macro USM lens; 1/1250 at f6.3; ISO 1250; reflector.
Homecoming by Dvir Barkay, USA/Israel A pygmy round-eared bat returns to its termite-nest home as two well-camouflaged family members look out from the entrance in the lowland forests of Costa Rica. Dvir spent more than two months attempting to get images of the rarely photographed pygmy round-eared bat in the lowland rainforests of Costa Rica. The bats exhibit a unique roosting behaviour, resting in hollows that they carve out with their teeth inside the nests of termite colonies. Canon EOS R5 + Tokina 10–17mm fisheye lens; 2.7 sec at f16; ISO 2000; Godox wireless flashes; Sabre infrared trigger.
Snowshoes by Deena Sveinsson, USA. A snowshoe hare pulls its feet to its head to make the next big hop across the soft, deep snow in the forests of the Rocky Mountain National Park, USA. It was a late spring morning and Deena was snowshoeing deep in the forests of the Rocky Mountain National Park, USA, when she noticed this snowshoe hare sleeping on a small snow mound. Trying to be as quiet as possible, she positioned herself in front of it. Sony α1 + 70–200mm f2.8 lens at 200mm; 1/2500 at f8; ISO 3200.
Starling Murmuration by Daniel Dencescu, Germany/Romania. A mesmerising mass of starlings swirl into the shape of a giant bird on their way to communal roosts above the city of Rome, Italy. In a bid to locate the best roosting sites at which to capture the spectacle, Daniel spent hours following the starlings around the city and suburbs of Rome. Finally, on this cloudless winter’s day, the flock didn’t disappoint, swirling into the shape of a giant bird. Nikon D850 + 150–600mm f5.6 lens; 1/1250 at f5.6 (+0.3 e/v); ISO 2500.
Rubbish Drinks by Claire Waring, UK. A Celebes crested macaque investigates the contents of a plastic bottle from a pile ready for recycling on a beach at the edge of Tangkoko Batuangus Nature Reserve, Indonesia. Canon EOS R5 + 100–500mm f4.5–7.1 lens; 1/1000 at f5; ISO 1600.
Fashion Victims by Britta Jaschinski, Germany/UK These coats, made from the skins of some of the most endangered big cats, were confiscated by European customs officers and held for forensic tests before being used for educational events. A rack of coats made from the skins of some of the most endangered big cats on Earth, including snow leopard, jaguar and ocelot, is displayed. Confiscated by customs officers across Europe, the coats were held in Hamburg’s Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change for forensic tests before being used at educational events to ensure they never return to the black market. Leica SL2 + Vario-Elmarit-SL 24–90mm f2.8–4 lens at 50mm; 1/10 at f4.5; ISO 400; tripod; pattern metering; honeycomb continuous light.