Image source, Laurent Ballesta / WPY
C It's like an underwater explosion. Several camouflaged groupers rush to release their sperm as a female fish drops a burst of eggs.
This image taken from Fakarava Atoll in the Pacific has earned Laurent Ballesta the prestigious title of Wildlife Photographer of the Year (WPY).
Jury Chairman Roz Kidman Cox said it was a technical feat.
"C part of the scenery, taken during a full moon, but also the timing of it, knowing when to take the picture. "
The annual spawning of camouflaged groupers takes place in July . It is known to attract up to 20,000 fish, as well as many reef sharks looking for a meal. Overfishing threatens groupers, but this photo was taken in a reserve that offers them some protection.
"We spent five years in this place, 3000 hours of diving, to get this particular moment ", Laurent said.
"I am committed to this image because of the shape of the cloud of eggs: it looks like a question mark upside down. This is about the future of these eggs as only one in a million will become (survive to) become adults, b but it is perhaps more symbolic of the future of nature. This is a very important question about the future of nature. "
As well as celebrating the WPY Grand Prix, the French photographer winsalso the submarine category of the competition.
Image source, Vidyun R Hebbar / WPY
Vidyun R Hebbar, 10, from India, is the junior wildlife photographer of the year for this photo of a tent spider in its web. The image is called Dome Home.
The blurry green and yellow colors in the background belong to one of those three-wheeled tuk -tuk taxis.
"Its focus is precise " Roz Kidman Cox told Hfrance.fr News. "You can actually see the little fangs if you zoom in on the image. I love the way it was framed and the way you can see the whole picture.texture of the web, its lattice structure. "
Vidyun recalls: " It was difficult to focus the tent spider, as the web shook with every passing vehicle. "
Launched in 1964, WPY is hosted by the Natural History Museum in London.
The competition attracts tens of thousands of entries each year. Scroll down to view some of the winners of the individual categories.
Elephant in the room by Adam Oswell, Australia
Image source, Adam Oswell / WPY
Adam Oswell wins the Photojournalism award for this photo which shows visitors to a zoo in Thailand watching a young elephant perform under Elephant tourism has increased across Asia. In Thailand there are now more elephants in captivity than in the wild.
Th The Healing Touch, from Community care by Brent Stirton, South Africa
Image source, Brent Stirton / WPY
Brent Stirton received the Photojournalist Story Award . His sequence of images shows a rehabilitation center dealing with chimpanzees orphaned by the bushmeat trade in Africa. The director of the center presents a newly rescued chimpanzee to other people she has chariotge.
One-on-one by Stefano Unterthiner, Italy
Image source, Stefano Unterthiner / WPY
WPY always has some great photos of snow and this one is remporte the category Behavior: Mammals . Stefano Unterthiner watches two Svalbard reindeer fight for control of a harem. Watching the fight, Stefano said he felt immersed in "the smell, noise, fatigue and pain ".
Reflection by Majed Ali, Kuwait
Image source, Majed Ali / WPY
Majed Ali walked for four hours to meet Kibande , an almost 40-year-old mountain gorilla in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in southwestern Uganda. "The higher we went, the hotter and wetter it was," Majed recalls. This photo, which shows Kibande as the refreshing rains begin to fall, wins the category Animal portraits .
Road to ruin by Javier Lasource, Spain
Image source, Javier Lasource / WPY
Javier Lasource 's The photo shows the straight and austere line of a road cutting the curves of a wetland landscape that is home to more than a hundred species of birds, with ospreys and bee-eaters among many migrating visitors. The road, built in the 1980s to provide access to a beach, Wetlands: The Bigger Picture .
Spinningthe cradle by Gil Wizen, Israel / Canada
Image source, Gil Wizen / WPY
Gil Wizen is an entomologist and expert photographer. This fishing spider spreads the silk of its longlines forr weave it in your egg sack. These spiders are common in the humid areas and temperate forests of eastern North America. The image wins the Behavior: Invertebrates category.
The annual NHM Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition opens on Friday the 15th October, before touring across the UK and abroad to theaters in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, US and more.