A person in a small circular boat casts a massive fishing net into the water.
Dance in the Sea Fisherman in Hon Yen, Phu Yen, Vietnam. First place in the People in Nature category for our 2019 Photo Contest. © Vinh Le van/TNC Photo Contest 2019

Photo Contest 2021

2021 Global Photo Contest Winners

The Nature Conservancy is proud to announce the winners by category of our 2021 contest. Check out the images that amazed our judges the most—and the winner of this year’s People’s Choice Award, selected by you!

Grand Prize Winner

Anup Shah, United Kingdom

Western lowland gorilla female 'Malui' walking through a cloud of butterflies she has disturbed in a bai. Bai Hokou, Dzanga Sangha Special Dense Forest Reserve, Central African Republic. December 2011.
Malui Western lowland gorilla female 'Malui' walking through a cloud of butterflies she has disturbed in a bai. Bai Hokou, Dzanga Sangha Special Dense Forest Reserve, Central African Republic. December 2011. © Anup Shah/TNC Photo Contest 2021

I like photos that keep dragging you in. The face. Tolerance or bliss. It’s really hard to tell and the insects draw you there.

Celebrity Guest Judge

People’s Choice Winner

Prathamesh Ghadekar, India
@prathamesh.ghadekar

A tree completely covered in millions of fireflies at night in India.
Fireflies Just before Monsoon, these fireflies congregate in certain regions of India and on a few special trees like this one, they are in crazy quantity which can range in millions. © Prathamesh Ghadekar/TNC Photo Contest 2021

First Place, Landscape

Daniel De Granville Manço, Brazil
@danieldegranville

Carcass of a Pantanal alligator (Caiman yacare) in the dry soil on the banks of the Transpantaneira highway, municipality of Poconé (Mato Grosso).
Drought Carcass of a Pantanal alligator (Caiman yacare) in the dry soil on the banks of the Transpantaneira highway, municipality of Poconé (Mato Grosso). © Daniel De Granville Manço/TNC Photo Contest 2021

Second Place, Landscape

Denis Ferreira Netto, Brazil
@denisfotos

An aerial view of a mountain range emerging above thick clouds.
Serra do Mar In a helicopter flight through the sea mountain range, I came across this white cloud cover, which resulted in this magnificent image that resembles the head of a dinosaur. © Denis Ferreira Netto/TNC Photo Contest 2021

Third Place, Landscape

Jassen Todorov, United States
@jassensf

Aerial view of colorful salt ponds near San Francisco bay.
Salt Ponds If you have flown into San Francisco International Airport, you may have seen these colorful salt ponds over the bay. This aerial image was taken while flying my plane. © Jassen Todorov/TNC Photo Contest 2021

Honorable Mention, Landscape

Scott Portelli, Australia
@scott.portelli

Lush green mangroves line the mud flats accentuated by the tidal waters and months of rain filling the artesian basin. Gulf of Carpentaria in tropical north Queensland.
Life Colour Lush green mangroves line the mud flats accentuated by the tidal waters and months of rain filling the artesian basin. Gulf of Carpentaria in tropical north Queensland. © Scott Portelli/TNC Photo Contest 2021

Honorable Mention, Landscape

Kim-pan Dennis Wong, Hong Kong

A full moon rises above a bokeh view of highrise buildings in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong At Hung Hom, the rising of full moon could be found every month thanks to its facing the east. © Kim-pan Dennis Wong/TNC Photo Contest 2021

First Place, People and Nature

Alain Schroeder, Belgium
@alainschroeder

A baby orangutan lies on a gurney with her limbs stretched out being prepped for surgery. She is surrounded by several pairs of hands wearing medical gloves and various medical devices.
Saving Orangutans The whole SOCP team works together to prepare Brenda, an estimated 3-month-old female orangutan (she has no teeth yet), for surgery. © Alain Schroeder/TNC Photo Contest 2021

Second Place, People and Nature

Tom Overall, Australia
@tom.overallphotos

A guide in the Sahara Desert during a sand storm. The person's long, unraveled head wrap blows to the side into the sand.
Sand Storm A guide in the Sahara Desert enduring a sand storm. © Tom Overall/TNC Photo Contest 2021

Third Place, People and Nature

Sebnem Coskun, Turkey

An underwater view of a swimmer completely surrounded by trash, some of it medical waste due to Covid-19.
Covid-19 Waste New danger to underwater life as medical waste used during the pandemic reaches the seas. © Sebnem Coskun/TNC Photo Contest 2021

Honorable Mention, People and Nature

Minqiang Lu, China

Two people use a rope and pulley system to cross a raging river with a basket and an animal.
The Way Home In Yunnan, China. May 2021. © Minqiang Lu/TNC Photo Contest 2021

Honorable Mention, People and Nature

Wax Leung, Hong Kong
@waxismine

A black and white view of buildings in Hong Kong. On one side is a person sitting in a stairwell alone, and on the other side is dozens of balconies in a tall building.
Space of HK Hong Kong. © Wax Leung/TNC Photo Contest 2021

First Place, Water

Kazi Arifujjaman, Bangledesh
@kazi_arifujjaman_

A black and white view of water pouring from a spout and the silhouette of a person walking and carrying a large tool.
Water Water and people. © Kazi Arifujjaman/TNC Photo Contest 2021

Second Place, Water

Joram Mennes, Mexico
@jorammennesphotography

An underwater view of swimmers, freedivers, and divers exploring the Cenotes. Sunlight and vegetation can be seen above the water.
Swimming Three levels of leisure: swimmers, freedivers and divers enjoy their respective sport/recreational activities in a Fresh Water mass know locally as the Cenotes. © Joram Mennes/TNC Photo Contest 2021

Third Place, Water

Man Wai Wong, Hong Kong

An aerial view of an icy waterfall in Iceland.
Winter Iceland, 2019. © Man Wai Wong/TNC Photo Contest 2021

Honorable Mention, Water

Jorge Andrés Miraglia, Argentina
@yosoytato

Frozen air bubbles on the top layer of ice on a glacier.
Glacial Bubbles As temperatures rise and glacial ice melts, air is released and caught inside. This air bubbles were caught by a frozen layer on top. © Jorge Andrés Miraglia/TNC Photo Contest 2021

Honorable Mention, Water

Manh Cuong Vu, Vietnam

An aerial view of a person in a small boat floating through a pond with lotus leaves in Vietnam.
Summer on the Lotus Pond The lotus ponds across Vietnam are entering the growing season, flourishing. © Manh Cuong Vu/TNC Photo Contest 2021

First Place, Wildlife

Buddhilini de Soyza, Australia
@captures_by_buddhilini

Four cheetahs grimace while swimming across a raging river.
A turbulent swim Five male cheetahs, were looking to cross this river in powerful currents. It seemed a task doomed to failure and we were delighted when they made it to the other side. © Buddhilini de Soyza/TNC Photo Contest 2021

Second Place, Wildlife

Mateusz Piesiak, Poland
@mpwildlife

Several small, colorful birds pick up sunflower seeds in a field of dead sunflowers covered in snow.
Sunflowers This year due to a high water level a giant field of sunflowers could not been mown. In winter it attracted thousands of different species of birds. © Mateusz Piesiak/TNC Photo Contest 2021

Third Place, Wildlife

Viktor Vrbovsky, Czech Republic

Underwater view of a pike with its jaws around the tail of a perch. They are surrounded by underwater vegetation.
Fishing Pike has caught a large perch. How did it end up? I don’t know. The situation hasn’t changed much in an hour. I had to emerge because I was running out of air. © Viktor Vrbovsky/TNC Photo Contest

Honorable Mention, Wildlife

Kristhian Castro, Colombia
@kristhiancastro

A close up of a Galapagos sea lion calf well camouflaged with sand on its fur.
Waiting Galapagos sea lion calf (Zalophus wollebaeki), waiting for its mother in the sand on the beach, San Cristóbal Island, Galapagos, Ecuador. © Kristhian Castro/TNC Photo Contest 2021

Honorable Mention, Wildlife

Thomas Vijayan, Canada
@thomasvijayan

An adult orangutan grips broken branches of a felled tree among other small trees.
Searching Orangutans are accustomed to live on trees and feed on wild fruits like lychees, mangosteens, and figs, and slurp water from holes in trees. © Thomas Vijayan/TNC Photo Contest 2021

Honorable Mention, Wildlife

Anup Shah, United Kingdom

A black and white ground level view of leaping wildebeests in Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya.
Wildebeest herd on the move Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya. During the frenzy of crossing the Mara River, the wildebeests were leaping, kicking, scampering and bucking. © Anup Shah/TNC Photo Contest 2021