Incredible Finalist Images From the 'BigPicture Natural World Photography Competition 2021' Displays the Best of Nature

This competition has been held yearly by the California Academy of Sciences for the past eight years. Photographers from all around the world submit their work, demonstrating their photographic abilities. They work hard to be in the right position at the right moment to get that flawless photo. Although the winner will receive a monetary award, the competition's purpose is to create awareness about the need of safeguarding and safeguarding our planet.

Artists are encouraged to submit images that highlight Earth's biodiversity. Finally, all of these photographs may be seen on bioGraphic, an online science and sustainability journal that is also the official media sponsor of the California Academy of Sciences'  BigPicture Natural World Photography Competition.

If you've never heard of this competition we've compiled a gallery of some of the images that were entered below. Scroll down to see them all and don't forget to vote for your favorite.

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1. The Grand Prize: 'Hope in a Burned Plantation' Mallacoota, Australia's Jo-Anne Mcarthur

Jo-Anne McArthur

A hardy kangaroo stops amidst a charred eucalyptus grove capturing the essence of Australia. The apocalyptic Australian bushfires of 2019 and 2020 killed or displaced nearly three billion animals. This eastern grey kangaroo and her joey are the lucky survivors having escaped from an environment that had been changed by people for farming and later destroyed by fire.

2. Aquatic Life, Winner: ‘Barracuda’ By Yung-Sen Wu, Koror, Palau

Yung-Sen Wu

For four days, the photographer swam in the Blue Corner with this battery of barracuda, aiming for the right perspective. On his fifth day, towards the end of a 50-minute dive the fish permitted him to swim among them as part of the school and he obtained this fisheye shot. He joined the fish on the sixth day, but without his camera.

3. Terrestrial Wildlife, Winner: ‘Boss’ By Michelle Valberg, Great Bear Rainforest, Canada

Michelle Valberg

This spirit bear, one of just a few hundred white bears of this subspecies of black bears in British Columbia's coastal rainforests are known as "Boss." After lowering his head into the river in quest of salmon roe he shook his head, droplets spiraling around his head gazed at the camera for a fraction of a second and then dived back into the water for his meal.

4. Winged Life, ‘Beak To Beak' Winner Mount Seymour Provincial Park, Canada, by Shane Kalyn

Shane Kalyn

After preening one other's feathers, the ravens took turns checking every nook and cranny of each other's beaks conversing the entire time. The photographer has never seen anything like this in three winters of studying raven gift-sharing, grooming, and singing courting activities on the mountain.

5. Landscapes, Waterscapes, and Flora: Winner: ‘Another Planet’ By Fran Rubia, Fjallabak Nature Reserve, And Iceland

Fran Rubia

What appeared to be mountains from the ground turned out to be extinct volcanoes, as caught by this drone photo taken during the midnight sun on an overcast day in June, an alien mood is created by the odd viewpoint of an unfriendly environment tainted by traces of iron oxide.

6. Art of Nature, Winner: Sarang Naik, Toplepada, India, for ‘the Goblet of Fire'

Sarang Naik

This fungus, lighted by a basic flashlight was one of several fungus growing in the countryside nearby the photographer's residence. During the monsoon season, the mushrooms emitted thick, yellow-brown spores throughout the day for about a month, which is a frequent but generally overlooked phenomenon.

7. Human/Nature, Winner: Ralph Pace, Monterey, United States, for ‘Sign of the Tides'

Ralph Pace

A discarded face mask in the shape of a sea turtle draws a notoriously inquisitive California sea lion in this nicely placed shot. This was the photographer's first time seeing a mask underwater, shot in November 2020, although he has seen more subsequently. The pandemic's impacts will most certainly persist in our waters for years to come.

8. Aquatic Life, Finalist: ‘Facing Reality’ By Amos Nachoum, Pleneau Island, Antarctic Peninsula

Amos Nachoum

The baby gentoo penguin ran into the lagoon to play during low tide and was attacked by the leopard seal which had been lying in wait.

9. Aquatic Life, Finalist: ‘Treasure on Ice’ By Marek Jackowski, Svalbard, Norway

Marek Jackowski

Polar bears are quickly losing habitat as sea ice melts as a result of climate change. At dusk, this lucky guy found himself on a little iceberg a haven for the night.

10. Terrestrial Wildlife, Finalist: ‘Felis Silvestris’ By Vladimir Cech Jr., Doupov Mountains, Czech Republic

Vladimir Cech Jr.

The European wildcat (Felis silvestris silvestris) is an uncommon, secretive, and difficult-to-photograph species. After months of research, the photographer captured this shot using a custom DSLR camera trap created in his woodland photo studio.

11. Human/Nature, Finalist: ‘Why Did The Sloth Cross The Road?’ By Andrew Whitworth, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Andrew Whitworth

Getting to the other side of a road is difficult, especially for a slow-moving sloth. The initiative to build arboreal bridges for animal crossings in biodiversity hotspots like Osa is accelerating. This gorgeous moss-covered, three-toed sloth survived in the middle of stormy weather.

12. Aquatic Life, Finalist: ‘Orcas under the Arctic Sun’ by ‍Andy Schmid, Skjervøy, Norway

Andy Schmid

This curious but protective orca mother permitted the photographer to swim alongside during the solitary hour in mid-November when the sun shines through the fjord and into the water in quest of herring that provide refuge from the open ocean.

13. Aquatic Life, Finalist: ‘Private Moment of Milk Feeding’ By Mike Korostelev, Indian Ocean

Mike Korostelev

A pod of sperm whales tolerated the photographer's presence long enough for him to picture one of the moms feeding her youngster near the water's surface. It's not simple for a young whale to hold his breath and drink at the same time.

14. Landscapes, Waterscapes, and Flora: Finalist: ‘Beautiful Water’ By Kazuaki Koseki, Inawashiro, Japan

Kazuaki Koseki

The Tohoku earthquake and tsunami slammed the Pacific Coast ten years ago, triggering the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear crisis. This shot was taken in Fukushima Prefecture an inland location that is presently covered with virgin forest.

15. Winged Life, Finalist: ‘Ropewalker’ By Nicolas Reusens, Papallacta, Ecuador

Nicolas Reusens

After six days of shooting, the photographer captured a speckled hummingbird balancing on the beak of a sword-billed hummingbird, a behavior he had never seen before in his 10 years of monitoring hummingbirds. His most spectacular picture moment was this astounding effort.

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