National Geographic is running Best Pictures Award annually, of which scattered in many categories, these BPA is open for anyone who has taken some astonishing photos worldwide. The below winners’ photos are this year Best Wildlife Pictures Award : British Nature Winners 2012. Photos & texts from National Geographic.
BWPA 2012 Overall Winner – Matt Dogget
Fish-seeking gannets torpedo beneath the waves in “Gannet Jacuzzi,” the overall winner of the 2012 British Wildlife Photography Awards, announced this week.
Photographer Matt Doggett used dead mackerel to attract the birds in a remote location off northern Scotland.
“I like this image, as almost every stage of the action is captured—gannets entering the water, gannets eyeing up the fish, gannets taking the fish, gannets eating the fish and then finally leaving,” Dogget said in a statement. “It looks like chaos, but the gannets know exactly where the other birds are.”
Now in its fourth year, the British Wildlife Photography Awards recognize amateur and professional photographers while highlighting the “great wealth and diversity” of British nature. Judged by professional photography experts, the competition is open to all nationalities, but the pictures must have been taken in the United Kingdom.
As for this year’s winner, it’s a “striking image that manages to capture in parallel the raw power and grace of the diving gannets,” judge Greg Armfield of the international conservation organization WWF said in a statement.
BWPA 2012 – Hidden Britain Winner – Dale Sutton
A bush cricket appears frozen in mid-leap in British photographer Dale Sutton‘s winning picture, “Leap for Freedom.”
Sutton, who specializes in high-speed photography, described his motivation for the photograph in a statement: “I wanted to show people a bush cricket in mid-leap. We all see grasshoppers and crickets sitting on grass stems but never after they have just taken off. This had to be done in a controlled environment, using a special high-speed flash and an array of equipment. I think I caught the essence of the subject well.”
BWPA 2012 – British Seasons Winner – Jules Cox
A hare tucks back its ears and huddles against the cold, in a picture by Jules Cox. Cox captured the scene in Scotland’s Cairngorms National Park, said to be home to the largest swath of mountainous Arctic acres in the British Isles.
BWPA 2012 – Backyard Wildlife Winner – David Thomas Handley
A wasp prepares to take out the trash—fuzz pressed between mandibles—from a nest in a cavity wall in Tan-y-fron, Wales. Photographer David Thomas Handley had to use a stepladder to get the shot, which was taken above a garbage can in his backyard.
“As it was the weekend and there was nobody available to come and deal with the wasp’s nest, I thought I may as well try and get some photos,” Handley said in a statement.
BWPA 2012 – Animal Behaviour Winner – Amanda Hayes
Photographer Amanda Hayes tried for more than a week to photograph herring gulls trying to steal puffins’ sand eel catches as the puffins landed, but the smaller birds kept outwitting the gulls.
But one day, “a puffin landed and a herring gull grabbed the back of the puffin’s neck, lifting it high off the ground,” Hayes said in a statement.
“Fortunately for the puffin, it wriggled free and escaped. I’m not sure whose heart was beating faster—the puffin’s or mine!”
BWPA 2012 – Habitat Winner – Alexander Mustard
A young gray seal blends into surrounding rocks as it explores a cave in the English Channel. “I saw a seal swim through this colorful cave, and so I waited … and waited,” photographer Alexander Mustard said in a statement.
“About every 20 minutes a seal would come along and have a look, I suspect seeing if there were any fish sheltering here. This small cave was obviously an important hangout for seals.”
BWPA 2012 – Urban Wildlife Winner – Phil Jones
Roosting starlings watch flying starlings in photographer Phil Jones’s winning picture, taken in Aberystwyth, Wales.
“Starlings roost under the pier every autumn and winter and put on a great aerial display most nights,” Jones said in a statement.
“I wanted something a little different, so concentrated on the perched birds looking out to sea with the movement of the flock beyond them. Given the poor weather, it took several visits to get the photograph I had in mind.”
BWPA 2012 – Living Landscapes Winner – Stephen Powles
Whizzing cars in Devon create glowing streamers of light—and a barrier for wildlife—on a road that cuts across one of Britain’s largest expanses of Culm grassland, a type of wetland.
“Sadly, the North Devon link road was put through the middle of this ecosystem,” photographer Stephen William Powles said in a statement. “Taken at night, the image shows even more dramatically how the road has cut through this habitat. The deer sign further emphasizes the conflict.”
BWPA 2012 – Animal Portraits Winner – Neil McIntyre
A red deer stag peers between pine trees in Scotland’s Cairngorms National Park. “Over the winter months some [properties] subsidize the feeding of the red deer to help them over the hard times,” photographer Neil McIntyre explained in a statement.
“The estate where this shot was taken feed them in a pine wood, perfect for the shot I was after. After a few near misses, eventually one stag stood in the perfect position and I got the shot I wanted, with the out-of-focus tree trunks framing the stag.”
BWPA 2012 – Wild Woods Winner – Jeremy Walker
Photographer Jeremy Walker had to move quickly to capture sunlight streaming through Hampshire’s New Forest—the shadowy pattern was constantly changing. But he called the work “an absolute joy.”
It was a “classic autumnal afternoon: clear skies, a distinct nip in the air, and dappled light breaking through the golden canopy to play on the forest floor,” Walker said in a statement.
BWPA 2012 – Young People’s Award Winner – Ashley Butterworth
Arctic terns greet each other in mid-flight in a picture taken by Ashley Butterworth, 14, which won the British Photography Awards’ WildPix Young People’s Award in the 12-to-18 category.
BWPA 2012 – Young People’s Award Winner – William Briggs
A male chaffinch prepares to land in a picture taken by 8-year-old William Briggs, who won the 2012 contest’s WildPix Young People’s Award in the under-12 category.
BWPA 2011 Overall Winner – Richard Shucksmith