Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

Judges sifted through more than 20,000 images this year to award Nature Talks' annual Nature Photographer of the Year (NPOTY). Learn more about each of the images here at the NPOTY awards page — and be sure to enter the 2022 contest now. Plus, everyone can vote for their favorite during the NPOTY People's Choice Award, from January 18 to March 18, 2022.

View: ☷ Grid ☰ List ❏ Slideshow
Overall Winner
Overall Winner

Winter Migration, by Terje Kolaas (Norway). Category: Birds (winner).

Winner: Mammals
Winner: Mammals

Silverbach Chimanuka, by Josef Friedhuber (Austria).

Winner: Other Animals
Winner: Other Animals

Walking among fennels, by Ruben Perez Novo (Spain).

Winner: Plants and Fungi
Winner: Plants and Fungi

Heat of Hoar, by Rupert Kogler (Austria).

Winner: Landscape
Winner: Landscape

Dragon’s Lair, by Denis Budkov (Russia).

Winner: Underwater
Winner: Underwater

Red in red, by Georg Nies (Germany).

Winner: Nature Art
Winner: Nature Art

Ice cell, by Gheorghe Popa (Romania).

Winner: Human and Nature
Winner: Human and Nature

The king of the ocean, by Javier Murcia (Spain).

Winner: Black and White
Winner: Black and White

White Wedding, by Roie Galitz (Israel).

Winner: Animals Portraits
Winner: Animals Portraits

Black leopard, by William Burrard-Lucas (UK).

Winner: 'Nature of De Lage landen'
Winner: 'Nature of De Lage landen'

Fox crossing the bridge, by Andius Teijgeler (The Netherlands).

Winner: Youth
Winner: Youth

Beautiful world, by Levi Fitze (Switzerland).

Fred Hazelhoff Portfolio Award
Fred Hazelhoff Portfolio Award

EMOTIONAL RANGE, by Lea Lee Inoue (USA).

Runner-up: Birds
Runner-up: Birds

Fishing trip at sunrise, by Miquel Angel Artús Illana (Spain).

Runner-up: Mammals
Runner-up: Mammals

Young Wolf (Canis Lupus), by Aare Udras (Estonia).

Runner-up: Other Animals
Runner-up: Other Animals

Slow but safe, by Ruben Perez Novo (Spain).

Runner-up: Plants and Fungi
Runner-up: Plants and Fungi

Natures eatable Arctic gould, by Audun Rikardsen (Norway).

Runner-up: Landscape
Runner-up: Landscape

The prow, by Andrea Pozzi (Italy).

Runner-up: Underwater
Runner-up: Underwater

Dolphins home, by Dmitry Kokh (Russia).

Runner-up: Nature Art
Runner-up: Nature Art

Hero, by Juan Ahumada (Spain).

Runner-up: Human and Nature
Runner-up: Human and Nature

Unusual visitor, by David Hup (The Netherlands).

Runner-up: Black and White
Runner-up: Black and White

Yin and Yang, by Gheorghe Popa (Romania).

Runner-up: Animal Portraits
Runner-up: Animal Portraits

Last Embrace, by Roie Galitz (Israel).

Runner-up: Nature of 'De Lage Landen'
Runner-up: Nature of 'De Lage Landen'

Flying Over a Pastel “Rainbow”, by Ronald Zimmerman (The Netherlands).

Runner-up: Youth
Runner-up: Youth

Contemplation, by Gergő Kártyás  (Hungary).

Highly Commended: Birds
Highly Commended: Birds

Top: Ostrich kindergarten, by Tomasz Szpila (Poland); Middle: Drowned Forest, by Jolanda Vlastuin (The Netherlands); Bottom: SUNDANCE, by Christian Spencer (Brazil).

Highly Commended: Mammals
Highly Commended: Mammals

Top: Twilight hunters, by Norbert Kovács (Hungary); Middle: Song dog in the snow, by Pam Dorner (USA); Bottom: Storm Warning, by Paul Goldstein (UK).

Highly Commended: Other Animals
Highly Commended: Other Animals

Top: The night watchman, by Prathamesh Ghadekar (India); Middle: We are hanging on the web, by Csaba Daróczi (Hungary); Bottom: Circle dance, by Csaba Daróczi (Hungary).

Highly Commended: Plants and Fungi
Highly Commended: Plants and Fungi

Top: City of Angels, by Silvano Paiola (Italy); Middle: Inside a sequoia, by Uge Fuertes (Spain); Bottom: Zombified, by Ripan Biswas (India).

 

Highly Commended: Landscape
Highly Commended: Landscape

Top: The frozen land, by Michal Krause (Czech Republic); Middle: Legendary towers in the Dolomites, by Georg Kantioler (Italy); Bottom: Islanda, by Stanislao Basileo (Italy).

Highly Commended: Underwater
Highly Commended: Underwater

Top: Icebreaker, by Tobias Friedrich (Germany); Middle: Seahorse sanctuary, by Peter McGee (Australia); Bottom: Water lilies marvelous world, by Gaël Modrak (Russia).

Highly Commended: Nature Art
Highly Commended: Nature Art

Top: Fractal Patterned Lake, by Kovács Norbert (Hungary); Middle: Dolphin Design, by Jodi Frediani (USA); Egg universe, by Imre Potyó (Hungary).

Highly Commended: Human and Nature
Highly Commended: Human and Nature

Top: Escape, by Földi László (Hungary); Middle: At a price, by Tom Svensson (Sweden); Bottom: The Hand That Feeds, by Andrew Upton (USA).

Highly Commended: Black and White
Highly Commended: Black and White

Top: Shortness of breath, by Csaba Daróczi (Hungary); Middle: Cloud of dust, by Clement Kiragu (Kenya); Bottom: Schooling Jacks, by Wayne Lai (China).

Highly Commended: Animal Portraits
Highly Commended: Animal Portraits

Top: Great Crested Grebe Among Buttercups, by Ignacio Medem (Spain); Middle: Leafy Night, by Scott Portelli (Australia); Bottom: Nightfall, by Flurin Leugger (Switzerland).

Highly Commended: Nature of 'De Lage landen'
Highly Commended: Nature of 'De Lage landen'

Top: Bluebells and beeches, by Richard Verroen (The Netherlands); Middle: River Abstract, by Sam Mannaerts (Belgium); Bottom: Weevil on pink flower, by Amanda Blom (The Netherlands).

Highly Commended: Youth
Highly Commended: Youth

Top: Self Reflection, by D’Artagnan Sprengel (New Zealand); Middle: Is there still space left?, by Anton Trexler (Germany); Bottom: The lagoon lovers, by Emelin Dupieux (France).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Overall Winner

    Winter Migration, by Terje Kolaas (Norway). Category: Birds (winner).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Winner: Mammals

    Silverbach Chimanuka, by Josef Friedhuber (Austria).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Winner: Other Animals

    Walking among fennels, by Ruben Perez Novo (Spain).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Winner: Plants and Fungi

    Heat of Hoar, by Rupert Kogler (Austria).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Winner: Landscape

    Dragon’s Lair, by Denis Budkov (Russia).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Winner: Underwater

    Red in red, by Georg Nies (Germany).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Winner: Nature Art

    Ice cell, by Gheorghe Popa (Romania).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Winner: Human and Nature

    The king of the ocean, by Javier Murcia (Spain).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Winner: Black and White

    White Wedding, by Roie Galitz (Israel).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Winner: Animals Portraits

    Black leopard, by William Burrard-Lucas (UK).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Winner: 'Nature of De Lage landen'

    Fox crossing the bridge, by Andius Teijgeler (The Netherlands).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Winner: Youth

    Beautiful world, by Levi Fitze (Switzerland).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Fred Hazelhoff Portfolio Award

    EMOTIONAL RANGE, by Lea Lee Inoue (USA).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Runner-up: Birds

    Fishing trip at sunrise, by Miquel Angel Artús Illana (Spain).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Runner-up: Mammals

    Young Wolf (Canis Lupus), by Aare Udras (Estonia).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Runner-up: Other Animals

    Slow but safe, by Ruben Perez Novo (Spain).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Runner-up: Plants and Fungi

    Natures eatable Arctic gould, by Audun Rikardsen (Norway).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Runner-up: Landscape

    The prow, by Andrea Pozzi (Italy).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Runner-up: Underwater

    Dolphins home, by Dmitry Kokh (Russia).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Runner-up: Nature Art

    Hero, by Juan Ahumada (Spain).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Runner-up: Human and Nature

    Unusual visitor, by David Hup (The Netherlands).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Runner-up: Black and White

    Yin and Yang, by Gheorghe Popa (Romania).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Runner-up: Animal Portraits

    Last Embrace, by Roie Galitz (Israel).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Runner-up: Nature of 'De Lage Landen'

    Flying Over a Pastel “Rainbow”, by Ronald Zimmerman (The Netherlands).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Runner-up: Youth

    Contemplation, by Gergő Kártyás  (Hungary).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Highly Commended: Birds

    Top: Ostrich kindergarten, by Tomasz Szpila (Poland); Middle: Drowned Forest, by Jolanda Vlastuin (The Netherlands); Bottom: SUNDANCE, by Christian Spencer (Brazil).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Highly Commended: Mammals

    Top: Twilight hunters, by Norbert Kovács (Hungary); Middle: Song dog in the snow, by Pam Dorner (USA); Bottom: Storm Warning, by Paul Goldstein (UK).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Highly Commended: Other Animals

    Top: The night watchman, by Prathamesh Ghadekar (India); Middle: We are hanging on the web, by Csaba Daróczi (Hungary); Bottom: Circle dance, by Csaba Daróczi (Hungary).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Highly Commended: Plants and Fungi

    Top: City of Angels, by Silvano Paiola (Italy); Middle: Inside a sequoia, by Uge Fuertes (Spain); Bottom: Zombified, by Ripan Biswas (India).

     

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Highly Commended: Landscape

    Top: The frozen land, by Michal Krause (Czech Republic); Middle: Legendary towers in the Dolomites, by Georg Kantioler (Italy); Bottom: Islanda, by Stanislao Basileo (Italy).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Highly Commended: Underwater

    Top: Icebreaker, by Tobias Friedrich (Germany); Middle: Seahorse sanctuary, by Peter McGee (Australia); Bottom: Water lilies marvelous world, by Gaël Modrak (Russia).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Highly Commended: Nature Art

    Top: Fractal Patterned Lake, by Kovács Norbert (Hungary); Middle: Dolphin Design, by Jodi Frediani (USA); Egg universe, by Imre Potyó (Hungary).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Highly Commended: Human and Nature

    Top: Escape, by Földi László (Hungary); Middle: At a price, by Tom Svensson (Sweden); Bottom: The Hand That Feeds, by Andrew Upton (USA).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Highly Commended: Black and White

    Top: Shortness of breath, by Csaba Daróczi (Hungary); Middle: Cloud of dust, by Clement Kiragu (Kenya); Bottom: Schooling Jacks, by Wayne Lai (China).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Highly Commended: Animal Portraits

    Top: Great Crested Grebe Among Buttercups, by Ignacio Medem (Spain); Middle: Leafy Night, by Scott Portelli (Australia); Bottom: Nightfall, by Flurin Leugger (Switzerland).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Highly Commended: Nature of 'De Lage landen'

    Top: Bluebells and beeches, by Richard Verroen (The Netherlands); Middle: River Abstract, by Sam Mannaerts (Belgium); Bottom: Weevil on pink flower, by Amanda Blom (The Netherlands).

  • Enjoy the Best Wildlife Images of 2021: Nature Photographer of the Year Winners Announced

    Highly Commended: Youth

    Top: Self Reflection, by D’Artagnan Sprengel (New Zealand); Middle: Is there still space left?, by Anton Trexler (Germany); Bottom: The lagoon lovers, by Emelin Dupieux (France).

Adam Ruggiero
By

Adam Ruggiero is the editor-in-chief of GearJunkie and a fan of virtually all sports and activities. From biking, running, and (not enough) surfing, to ball sports, camping, and cattle farming — if it's outside, it's worth doing. Adam graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism. Likes: unique beer, dogs, stories. Like nots: neckties, escalators, manicured lawns.

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