Lonely Planet Writer

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2016: online vote for People's Choice Award

This year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition was filled with incredible images from around the world, and now the public can have their say in the contest by voting in the people’s choice award.

Alain was on a wintertime visit to Japan’s Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park when he took this poignant photograph of a sleeping baby Japanese macaque, its mother’s hand covering its head protectively. Canon EOS 5D Mark III; 70–200mm f2.8 lens; 1/1250 sec at f2.8; ISO 1600.
Alain was on a wintertime visit to Japan’s Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park when he took this poignant photograph of a sleeping baby Japanese macaque, its mother’s hand covering its head protectively.
Image by Alain Mafart Renodier, France
This female polar bear was resting with its two young cubs in Wapusk National Park, Manitoba, Canada, when it suddenly got up and rushed downhill through the deep snow. One of the cubs jumped on to her, holding onto her furry backside with a firm bite – totally unexpected and humorous behaviour. Nikon D4s; Nikkor 800mm f5.6 lens and 1.25x extender; 1/1000 sec at f13 (+2/3 e/v); ISO 1250; Gitzo tripod and RRS ballhead.
This female polar bear was resting with its two young cubs in Wapusk National Park, Manitoba, Canada, when it suddenly got up and rushed downhill through the deep snow. One of the cubs jumped onto her, holding onto her furry backside with a firm bite – totally unexpected and humorous behaviour. Image by Daisy Gilardini, Switzerland

The UK’s Natural History Museum, which runs the competition, has selected 25 images from almost 50,000 submissions from 95 countries. Now, the public can vote online for one they like best.

The bird’s wing acts as a diffraction grating – a surface structure with a repeating pattern of ridges or slits. The structure causes the incoming light rays to spread out, bend and split into spectral colours, producing this shimmering rainbow effect, captured here by Victor. Nikon D300s; Nikkor 80–400mm f4–5.6 lens at 400mm; 1/8000 sec at f11; ISO 200.
The bird’s wing acts as a diffraction grating – a surface structure with a repeating pattern of ridges or slits. The structure causes the incoming light rays to spread out, bend and split into spectral colours, producing this shimmering rainbow effect, captured here by Victor. Image by Victor Tyakht, Russia
It was a crisp, clear day in January when Annie saw this Colorado red fox hunting in her neighbour’s field in Aspen, Colorado, USA. The light was perfect and she took the photo as the fox approached her, looking right into the lens of her camera. Nikon D4; Nikkor 800mm lens; 1/50 sec at f7.1; ISO 500; Gitzo tripod and Wimberley head.
It was a crisp, clear day in January when Annie saw this Colorado red fox hunting in her neighbour’s field in Aspen, Colorado, USA. The light was perfect and she took the photo as the fox approached her, looking right into the lens of her camera. Image by Annie Katz, USA

Animal-lovers in London can actually see the shortlisted images on display at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London, until the vote closes on 10 January 2017. The winner of the vote will then be showcased until the exhibition closes on 10 September 2017.

Shortly after purchasing the Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, Kenya, the owners learned that the only remaining Rothschild’s giraffes in the country were at risk, as their sole habitat was being subdivided into smallholdings. So they began a breeding programme to reintroduce the Rothschild’s giraffe into the wild. Today, guests can enjoy visits from resident giraffes in search of a treat. Canon EOS 5D Mark II; 24–105mm f4 lens; 1/125 sec at f6.3; ISO 1250.
Shortly after purchasing the Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, Kenya, the owners learned that the only remaining Rothschild’s giraffes in the country were at risk, as their sole habitat was being subdivided into smallholdings. So they began a breeding programme to reintroduce the Rothschild’s giraffe into the wild. Today, guests can enjoy visits from resident giraffes in search of a treat.
Image by Cari Hill, New Zealand
Gunther arrived at the frozen sea ice in Antarctica in sunshine, but by the evening a storm picked up. Initially just strong winds, by the early morning snow had arrived. He concentrated on taking images of the emperor penguin chicks huddled together to shield themselves from the force of the snowstorm. Nikon D4; Nikon 80–400mm f4.5–5.6 lens at 400mm and B+W polarising filter; 1/640 sec at f18 (+0.3 e/v); ISO 640.
Gunther arrived at the frozen sea ice in Antarctica in sunshine, but by the evening a storm picked up. Initially there were just strong winds, but by the early morning, snow had arrived. He concentrated on taking images of the emperor penguin chicks huddled together to shield themselves from the force of the snowstorm. Image by Gunther Riehle, Germany

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year was named in October, with American photographer Tim Laman taking the title for his image titled, “Entwined Lives”, which featured an endangered Bornean orangutan scaling a gigantic tree in the Indonesian rainforest.

It was breeding season and all the male turkeys were putting on a show for the females, but a number of birds seemed a little confused. This one was more concerned with the potential suitor in front of it, not realising it was its own reflection. Canon EOS 5D; 24–70mm f2.8 lens; 1/320 sec at f7.1; ISO 200; Canon Speedlite 580 EX flash.
It was breeding season and all the male turkeys were putting on a show for the females, but a number of birds seemed a little confused. This one was more concerned with the potential suitor in front of it, not realising it was its own reflection. Image by Michael Lambie, Canada

The award is the longest-running contest of its kind, and is designed to celebrate the diversity of the natural world through photography. The winners of the full competition are on display in London, but will later embark on a UK and international tour.

Andrea was snorkelling off the coast of Mozambique when she came across hundreds of large jelly fish. Many were covered with brittle stars – opportunistic riders, taking advantage of this transport system to disperse along the coast. Delicate lighting makes the jelly glow, so the viewer can focus on the subtle colours and textures. Nikon D800; Sigma 15mm lens; 1/125 sec at f13 (-1 e/v); ISO 100; Nauticam housing; Two Sea & Sea YS-125 strobes.
Andrea was snorkelling off the coast of Mozambique when she came across hundreds of large jellyfish. Many were covered with brittle stars – opportunistic riders, taking advantage of this transport system to disperse along the coast. Delicate lighting makes the jelly glow, so the viewer can focus on the subtle colours and textures. Image by Andrea Marshall, USA
Johan saw this little wildebeest shortly after it was born in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa. Little did he know that he would witness its death later that same day – the small herd of wildebeest walked right past a pride of lions and the calf was caught by a lioness and then taken by this male lion. Canon 7D Mark II; Canon 500mm f4 lens at f4.5; 1/1000 sec; ISO 1250.
Johan saw this little wildebeest shortly after it was born in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa. Little did he know that he would witness its death later that same day – the small herd of wildebeest walked right past a pride of lions and the calf was caught by a lioness and then taken by this male lion. Image by Johan Kloppers, South Africa

The 2017 competition is now open for entries until 15 December, with more information available on the official website.

Stephen spent a week photographing golden snub-nosed monkeys in a valley in the Zhouzhi Nature Reserve in the Qinling Mountains, China. The monkeys have very thick fur, which they need to withstand the freezing nights in winter. This image shows two males about to fight, one already up on a rock, the other bounding in with a young male.
Stephen spent a week photographing golden snub-nosed monkeys in a valley in the Zhouzhi Nature Reserve in the Qinling Mountains, China. The monkeys have very thick fur, which they need to withstand the freezing nights in winter. This image shows two males about to fight, one already up on a rock, the other bounding in with a young male. Image by Stephen Belcher, New Zealand