BigPicture: Natural World Photography
Hope in a Burned Plantation by Jo-Anne McArthur // Grand Prize winner
Barracuda by Yung-Sen Wu // Aquatic Life winner
Boss by Michelle Valberg // Terrestrial Wildlife winner
Beak to Beak by Shane Kalyn // Winged Life winner
Another Planet by Fran Rubia // Landscapes, Waterscapes, and Flora winner
The Goblet of Fire by Sarang Naik // Art of Nature winner
Sign of the Tides by Ralph Pace // Human/Nature winner
Klukshu Ice Bears by Peter Mather // Photo Story winner
A kangaroo pauses in a burned eucalyptus plantation to gaze at the camera, her joey just visible in her pouch. A flashlight-lit mushroom puts on an otherworldly show as it releases a golden swirl of spores. A sea lion’s underwater acrobatics are interrupted by the sign of our times: a discarded face mask.
In the eighth annual BigPicture: Natural World Photography exhibit, the 49 winning images from the Academy’s nature, wildlife, and conservation photography competition tell a captivating, complex story of Earth’s animals, plants, and ecosystems. Accompanied by thought-provoking context and illuminating insights from the artists, judges, and Academy scientists, the photographs compel viewers to revel in our planet’s beauty—and feel moved to protect it.
The winners' gallery
This year’s 49 winning photographs were selected from a pool of nearly 8,400 submissions from 68 countries. Head to the BigPicture website to view the winning images from all seven competition categories, learn about our Emerging Photographer Grant and Women in Wildlife Photography initiatives, and subscribe to BigPicture news.
Above: Tough Negotiation by Ayala Fishaimer // Terrestrial Wildlife finalist
Eyes on the prize
Chaired by award-winning wildlife photographer Suzi Eszterhas, BigPicture's esteemed panel of eight judges includes international photo editor Sophie Stafford, filmmakers Inka Crewswell and Morgan Heim, and award-winning nature and conservation photographers Michael Aw, Shem Compion, Claudio Contreras Koob, Jasper Doest, and Rathika Ramasamy.
A picture is worth a thousand words—but a picture plus words is even better. Visit bioGraphic, the Academy’s online magazine about nature, conservation, and regeneration, for a curated gallery of 12 winning images paired with their fascinating backstories.
Above: Orcas Under the Arctic Sun by Andy Schmid // Aquatic Life finalist
The 2021 BigPicture: Natural World Photography exhibit opens October 16—catch the 2020 exhibit, open daily, through October 10. Find it in the Piazza on the Main Floor.