London celebrations

Natural History Museum Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition features 25 magnificent photographs that capture the beauty and fragility of the natural world. Here is your chance to vote for your favorite …

Photo: Black and White Life by Lucas Bustamante, Ecuador

The Natural History Museum invites you to vote for your favorite image as part of its People’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award.

Now in its 58th year, the exhibition features just 25 images scaled down from over 50,000 photographs submitted by professional and amateur photographers.

Each image highlights the precarious nature of our natural world and our relationship to it.

This includes an Alaskan black bear cub sleeping in a tree, awaiting its mother’s return, under the watchful eye of a young bald eagle, and a family of snuggling Sichuan snub-nosed monkeys.

Other photographs capture a kangaroo with its joey in its pocket surrounded by a bush devastated by the catastrophic 2020 bushfires in Australia, and the breath of a small arctic fox in the cold -35C Svalbard air.

As the exhibit closes in June, voting for the People’s Choice Award ends on February 2, 2022.

To vote, visit

In the meantime, here are some of the photographs presented in the exhibition.

The eagle and the bear. Photo: Jeroen Hoekendijk, Netherlands

1 The Eagle and the Bear by Jeroen Hoekendijk, The Netherlands
Black cubs often climb trees, where they safely wait for their mothers to return with food. Here in the depths of the Anan Temperate Rainforest in Alaska, this little cub decided to take an afternoon nap on a moss-covered branch under the watchful eye of a young bald eagle. The eagle had been sitting in that pine for hours and Jeroen found the situation extraordinary. He quickly set out to capture the scene at eye level and, with some difficulty and a lot of luck, was able to position himself a little higher up the hill and take this image as the bear slept, unconscious.

Ice lake by Cristiano Vendramin, Italy

Ice lake. Photo: Cristiano Vendramin, Italy

2 Ice lake by Cristiano Vendramin, Italy
Lake Santa Croce is a natural lake located in the province of Belluno, Italy. In winter 2019, Cristiano noticed that the water was unusually high and the willow plants were partially submerged, creating a play of light and reflections. While waiting for colder conditions, he captured the scene in freezing calm. After taking the photo, he recalled a dear friend, who had loved this place and is not here anymore, “I want to think he made me have this feeling that I will never forget.” As such, this photograph is dedicated to him ”.

Breath of an arctic fo

Breath of an arctic fox. Photo: Marco Gaiotti, Italy

3 Breath of an arctic fox by Marco Gaiotti, Italy
Marco watched this little arctic fox that kept calling for another nearby. Gradually, he noticed that the fox’s wet breath quickly froze in the air after each call. It was the end of winter in Spitsbergen, Svalbard, and the cold arctic air was -35 ° C (-31 ° F). Photographing arctic foxes is often frustrating, as they normally run quickly in search of food, but this one was very relaxed and let Marco get close enough to focus, the light shining perfectly in the background.

An Eastern Gray Kangaroo and its joey that survived the Mallacoota wildfires.

Hope in a burnt plantation. Photo: Jo-Anne McArthur, Canada

4 Hope in a Burnt Plantation by Jo-Anne McArthur, Canada
Jo-Anne flew to Australia in early 2020 to document the stories of animals affected by the devastating bushfires sweeping through the states of New South Wales and Victoria. Working extensively alongside Animals Australia (an animal welfare organization), she has had access to burn sites, rescues and veterinary missions. This Eastern Gray Kangaroo and its joey pictured near Mallacoota, Victoria, were among the lucky ones. The kangaroo barely took his eyes off Jo-Anne as she calmly walked over to where she could take a great photo. She had just enough time to crouch down and hit the shutter button before the kangaroo leaped into the burnt eucalyptus plantation.

Monkey Hug by Zhang Qiang, China

Monkey hug. Photo: Zhang Qiang, China

5 Monkey Hug by Zhang Qiang, China

Zhang was visiting the Qinling Mountains in China to observe the behavior of the Sichuan snub-nosed monkey. Temperate mountain forests are the only habitat of endangered monkeys, which in themselves are threatened by forest disturbances. Zhang enjoys observing the dynamics of the family group – how close and friendly they are to each other. And when it’s time to rest, females and young huddle together for warmth and protection. This image perfectly captures this moment of intimacy. The incomparable blue face of the young monkey nestled between two females, their striking orange fur speckled with light.

Meerkats strike a pose

The meerkats strike a pose. Photo: Thomas Peschak, Germany / South Africa

6 Meercats put on a pose by Thomas Peschak, Germany / South Africa
This group of meerkats from South Africa’s Tswalu Kalahari reserve have been accustomed to humans for over a decade and are very relaxed around people. In fact, most of them were completely unaware of Thomas’ presence, being far too preoccupied with lounging, hunting, grooming, and fighting. So he was able to get up close and use a wide-angle lens to include the barren savannah and the mountains they call home. To capture the characteristics of meerkats, he applied techniques used for people in a portrait shoot and used studio lights to photograph them.

The Ice Bear is coming ...

The Ice Bear is coming… Photo: Andy Skillen, United Kingdom

seven The Ice Bear is coming… by Andy Skillen, United Kingdom
It’s a two-hour helicopter ride from the nearest town to this spot on the Fishing Branch River in the Yukon, Canada – a place where the river never freezes, however cold it is. The salmon run takes place in late fall here and for the grizzly bears in the area, this open water offers a last chance to feast before hibernating. It was averaging about -30 ° C (-22 ° F) and Andy had waited and hoped that a particular bear would use this log to cross the stream. Eventually, that’s exactly what she did and he got the picture he’d imagined – her peach-wet fur had turned to ice cubes and “you could hear them clinking as she walked past ”.

Exposure Date: on view until June 2022
Time: 10 am-5.50pm
Address: Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, SW7 5BD
Tickets: from £ 17.50, concession available