The winners of the 2021 European Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards were announced recently and, as usual, there were some truly stunning photos capturing this competition’s top prizes. We’ve included ten of the winning photos along with five highly commended images on the following pages for you to enjoy.
The Overall Winner, titled Medusa Ballet, by Angel Fitor of Spain is at the top of this story. The image showing radiant jellyfish on the Mar Menor lagoon in Spain has an intriguing back story.
“There were actually only two specimens of the jellyfish species Cotylorhiza tuberculata that were moving just below the water’s surface, driven by their own contractions and the light eddy current that prevailed on this day,” Fitor explained.
“The eleven medusae seen in the image are the result of eleven flash releases below the two individuals as I followed the movement of the cnidarians through the frame. For more than six years I tried to realize this image idea and I had to put up with countless failed attempts, which is not surprising considering the unpredictability of the factors that were prerequisite for success.”
Fitor shot the image with a Nikon D800 DSLR on a tripod at 20mm, f/1.8 and ISO 50. He used a Roscolux filter, Cinegel Roscosun 1/8 CTO on his strobe.
More than 19,000 images were entered in the competition from photographers from 36 countries. The European Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards is sponsored by the German Society for Nature Photographers. Learn more and see galleries of all the finalists here.