Here are the winners and highly commended photographs from WildArt POTY MONOCHROME Competition 2021. WildArt Photographer of the Year is a new wildlife photography competition with a difference. Designed by wildlife photographers, for wildlife photographers and judged solely by wildlife photographers, it features 10 themed category contests run over the first 10 months of 2021.

Monochrome Gold Award Winner: “Whale Shark and Tourists” by Csaba Tökölyi, Hungary

“The image shows fishermen feeding Whale Sharks near Oslob in the Philippines, while a group of snorkelling divers wonder at the spectacle. The spot is remarkably popular, attracting thousands of visitors, however, the situation is by no means ideal. Although the animals are no longer slaughtered as before, the attraction of continuous food supply changes their migratory path and in some cases the animals spend months rather than weeks here before continuing to their breeding grounds. Although touching the animals is strictly prohibited (threat of fine and imprisonment) it happens from time to time.”

More: WildArt POTY, Instagram h/t: 121clicks

Monochrome Silver Award Winner: “The Magic Moose” by Pål Hermansen, Norway

“This image was taken with a sensor triggered camera trap, left in the winter forest for several weeks at a path frequently used by moose. I used four cameras and more than 10,000 images were taken, but this was the one I liked best because of the shooting star. The nights were cold, minus 10-15 C, and therefore the lens was inevitably partly covered by frost crystals. Some of them created small reflexes caused by the moonlight, which are carefully adjusted in the final image. This is an image that is extremely unpredictable and difficult to capture. Just to have the moose standing still for 10 seconds is very unlikely to occur.”

Monochrome Bronze Award Winner: “Shadow Monster” by Lincoln Macgregor, Australia

“The shadow of a Horn-Eyed Ghost Crab stretches out across the sands of Turquoise Bay in Western Australia as the sun draws closer to the horizon. While taking this photograph, I purposefully overexposed the background to draw attention to the form of the crabs’ body. I enjoyed capturing the contrast between the innocent-looking crustacean and the monster-like shadow that expanded out in front of it.”

Monochrome Wild Planet Photo Magazine Editor’s Choice: “Bathtime” by Diana Andersen, Australia

“At local wetlands, pelicans returning from a day on the ocean bathe vigorously. Shooting directly into hard afternoon light resulted in the dramatic silhouetting of the bathing bird and highlighted the spray going into the air. I used negative exposure compensation to avoid blowing out the highlights and losing the water droplets.”

Monochrome Highly Commended: “Chasing Hares” by Paul Richards, United Kingdom

“Chasing hares was taken in February 2021 on the few occasions when we had snow in North Norfolk. I love the hares in Norfolk and often spend hours lying flat in a field or under a hedge waiting for them to get close. On this occasion, the hares were chasing each other in the field and the blizzard conditions added atmosphere to the picture. The hares were at a distance enabling me to capture the environment surrounding the event. I was freezing, but the picture was reward enough!”

Monochrome Highly Commended: “Whale Shark” by Rick Beldegreen, United States of America

I photographed this Whale Shark during their annual migration through Isla Mujeres, Mexico. As only snorkelling is allowed around the fish, I was at the water’s surface as this Whale Shark swam directly beneath me. I was perfectly positioned to shoot directly downward as this 30ft long fish cruised below. Two remora fish can be seen over the whale shark’s left pectoral fin and the sun’s rays frame the animal perfectly.

Monochrome Highly Commended: “Air Fight” by Csaba Daróczi, Hungary

“I took this picture near the village of Bócsa in the Kiskunság National Park, Hungary. Here, the Rabbits live in big colonies. The males often jump to the air and fight with other over females or territory. In this case, they had a fight over territory. I came across this particular colony by accident so, as I had never taken pictures of Rabbits before, I decided to try. I visited them 72 times from March to October as I wanted to capture as many chapters of their lives as possible. It was an amazing experience to watch the life of the colony over this period.”

Monochrome Highly Commended: “Shortness of Breath” by Csaba Daróczi, Hungary

“At the end of summer, I spent some time photographing birds on a lake. I would arrive at the lake and go to the hide in darkness ready for the dawn. By 8am I had usually finished taking pictures. One morning as I made my way home, I heard strange noises near a sluice. When I got closer, I saw these brown bullheads. In the extreme heat, the water had run out of oxygen, so these fish were gulping for air, trying to survive.”

Monochrome Highly Commended: “Translucent” by Kai Kolodziej, Austria

“While visiting the Borneo rainforest, I photographed many of the numerous frogs I saw on the trip. As amphibians are mainly active during the night, I had to work with flash most of the time. But this individual was photographed in the morning. I saw this frog resting on this wonderful big and heavily structured leaf, but every attempt to photograph it from above failed and the pictures didn’t turn out well. So, I decided to use a flash and photographed the silhouette of the resting frog through the leaf from beneath.”

Monochrome Highly Commended: “Moose” by Andrew McLachlan, Canada

“In June of 2021 I had the opportunity to spend the day with a fellow photographer and friend paddling Hailstorm Creek in Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park to photograph Moose. We did not encounter any until we were making our way back out of the creek, when we came upon this massive bull. He was backlit and in full sun, but the heavy contrast was wonderful for creating a black and white conversion.”

Monochrome Highly Commended: “Lioness and Cub” by Nicki Ryan, United Kingdom

“The image was taken in Kenya in the Masai Mara whilst in a safari vehicle. We spotted a lioness with three cubs, and we spent about two hours just watching them play. Another lioness was very close by, and one of the cubs was constantly running away. On one occasion he ran up to the other lioness, she was not happy with the encounter and pushed him into a ditch which is when the mother came over to retrieve him. I took the shot as she emerged from the ditch into the sunlight with the cub in her mouth.”

Monochrome Highly Commended: “Spider’s Web” by Rachel Piper, United Kingdom

“This photograph of a spider’s web was taken on a March morning not long after the rain had disappeared. I spotted it on my garden gate and was captivated by the jewel-like quality of the water droplets that had been captured by it. I am fascinated by webs, and the fact that spiders have an innate knowledge of how to spin them never ceases to amaze me.”

Monochrome Wildart Young Category Winner: “Young Rabbit” by Tamás Koncz-Bisztricz. Hungary

“I regularly visit a soda-lake near my hometown called Bokrosi Kis-Sóstó and the Nagy-Sóstó with my father. The road which leads to this place is called “Határ út”, which means “border road” because it is situated between two counties, Csongrád and Bács-Kiskun. Near this road I spotted a Hare in the sunflower field. I tried to get as close as possible to the Hare, and finally I was happy to have the opportunity to take a photo with an interesting perspective.”

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