The Nature Conservancy Announces 2023 Photo Contest Winners

Pacific sea nettles swarm in the murky waters off Monterey, California.
Phantoms Adrift Underwater Life Category First Place Winner: Pacific sea nettles (Chrysaora fuscescens) swarm in the murky waters off Monterey, California. August 2021. © Russell Laman/TNC Photo Contest 2023

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Today, The Nature Conservancy unveiled the winners of its 2023 Photo Contest, featuring images that help connect us to the power and the peril of the natural world – with closeups of creatures great and small, painterly landscapes in all seasons and amazing scenes of exploration on land and sea.

This year’s contest doubled the number of categories and saw a huge increase in stunning submissions, from a serene coral reef in Guatemala to a pair of fighting tigers in India. A prestigious panel of judges that included photographers Javier Aznar, Smita Sharma, Morgan Heim, and renowned natural history photographer Frans Lanting selected the winners from more than 80,000 individual photographers and over 189,000 entries – an enormous increase from just over 100,000 entries in 2022 – from 191 countries and territories.

The 2023 grand prize will be awarded to Tibor Litauszki from Hungary, for his underwater photo of a newt eating freshly-laid frog’s eggs.


I photographed this moment underwater. I was able to do it by putting my camera in an underwater case, attaching it to a metal weight and placing it all under the eggs. I waited nearby for it to be dark, and when the newt appeared, I lit it with an LED lamp. I started the camera with a home-made wired remote release. It turned out 1-2 sharp pictures.
Between the Stars Underwater shot of an alpine newt floating and feeding within a mass of freshly-laid frog's eggs © Tibor Litauszki/TNC Photo Contest 2023

“Our annual photo contest is an inspiration. Photographers from all walks of life helped give voice to nature by showing us what mattered to them,” says Alex Snyder, 2023 Global Photo Contest Director and Judging Coordinator. “The judges and I were taken on a visual journey as we reviewed thousands of images from amateurs and professionals alike. These impactful images underscored not only the power of photography but the importance of The Nature Conservancy’s global efforts in conservation.” 

The judges will award over $25,000 in prize money. In addition to the Grand Prize winner, who will receive a camera kit worth $5,000, the judges have also selected a first, second and third place winner for each category, plus honorable mentions.

“Whether you’re a scientist collecting data in the field or a photographer capturing the wonder of the natural world, we are all conservationists,” said Meg Goldthwaite, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer of The Nature Conservancy.  “Our earth is full of both beauty and danger, power and peril, and these images illustrate how protecting and restoring nature must be a top priority for us all. We each have a part to play in combating the crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.”

Additional awards in the following categories were given to:

Judge Awards

Celebrity Judge Cole Sprouse’s Choice - Hermis Haridas, United Arab Emirates (@Hermis.haridas)



1st Place - Estebane Rezkallah, France (@panchovilaaa)

2nd Place - Bambang Wirawan, Indonesia (@bro_matra)

3rd Place - Giovanni Allievi, Italy


People & Nature

1st Place - Michael Hegyi, United States (@michaelhegyiphoto)

2nd Place - Mano Aliczki, Hungary (@manoaliczkiphoto)

3rd Place - Randall Hudson, United States (@kcstorys)

Honorable Mention - Narayan Malu, India

Honorable Mention - Fatih Yilmaz, Turkey (@rotadefterim)

Honorable Mention - Md. Safayet Hossain Shanto, Bangladesh (@safayethossainshanto2017)


Plants & Fungi

1st Place - Jose Pereyra Lucena, Argentina (@josepereyralucena)

2nd Place - Vittorio Ricci, Italy

3rd Place - Ashley Sykes, Australia (@Ausmashmash)

Honorable Mention - Gero Heine, United States (@geroheinephotography)

Honorable Mention - Mohammed Salman, India



1st Place - Jeanny Tang, Hong Kong

2nd Place - Alan Taylor, United States (@alantaylorphotography)

3rd Place - Rubens Rebouças, Brazil (@rubensreboucas)

Honorable Mention - Jorge Castro Urbiola, Mexico (@thesantogrial)

Honorable Mention - Gianluca Gianferrari, Italy (@camouflajj)



1st Place - Alessandro Carboni, Italy (@alessandro_carboni)

2nd Place - Roberto Valdez, Ecuador (@robinski__)

3rd Place - Adam Mowery, United States (@adammoweryphoto)

Honorable Mention - Cosmin Ovidiu Stan, Romania (

Honorable Mention - Bruce Hogle, United States



1st Place - Siddhartha Ghosh, India

2nd Place - HJ Yang, United States

3rd Place - Luisa Pericoli, United States (@vittoria_thecutestfrenchie)

Honorable Mention - Bing Lin, Taiwan (@earth.abloom)



1st Place - Raphael Alves, Brazil (@photoraphaelalves)

2nd Place - Mustafa Binolm Turkey (@mustafabinol)

3rd Place - Luisa Lynch Harris, Spain

Honorable Mention - Zhenhuan Zhou, Canada (@zzh_hiland)

Honorable Mention - Adra Pallón, Spain



1st Place - Agnieszka Wieczorek, Poland (@polatinaphotoandtravel)

2nd Place - Neelutpaul Barua, India (@neel.barua.photograph)

3rd Place - Derek Robertson, United States (@derekrobertsonphotography)

Honorable Mention - Maman Sukirman, Indonesia

Honorable Mention - Mostafijur Rahman Nasim, Bangladesh


Insects & Arachnids

1st Place - Benjamin Salb, United States (@bens_small_world)

2nd Place - Soumya Ranjan Bhattacharyya, India

3rd Place - Lei Bo, China

Honorable Mention - Tibor Litauszki, Hungary (@tiborlitauszki_naturphtgrphy)

Honorable Mention - Jaime Daniel Fajardo Torres, Ecuador (@Jaime.f.torres)


Underwater Life

1st Place - Russell Laman, United States (@russlaman)

2nd Place - Cai Jialing, China (@homoplankton)

3rd Place - Daniel Nicholson, Australia (@barefoot.wandering)

Honorable Mention - Juan Carlos Huitrón Baca, Mexico (@biton72023)



1st Place - Grzegorz Długosz, Poland (@gdlugosz_photography)

2nd Place - Mike Krehbiel, United States (@krebbs28)

3rd Place - Juan Jose Murillo, Colombia (@jjmurillorolon)

Honorable Mention - Mario Labado, United States (@bobby_labado)

Honorable Mention - Petr Bambousek, Czech Republic (@sulasulacom)


Reptiles & Amphibians

1st Place - Irina Petrova Adamatzky, United Kingdom (@microcosmic_world)

2nd Place - Petr Bambousek, Czech Republic (@sulasulacom)

3rd Place - Joseph Mullica, United States (@Scarletkingcowboy)

Honorable Mention - Sergio Emmanuel Comisso, Argentina (@emmanuelcomisso)

Honorable Mention - Christian Passeri, Germany (@chrissparrows)


You can view all the winning images here: 

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in more than 70 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.