The Winners of the 2022 Nature Conservancy Photo Contest

On either side of a highway, gullies formed by rainwater erosion span out like a tree in Tibet, an autonomous region in southwest China.
Li Ping/TNC Photo Contest 2022

The Nature Conservancy has announced the winners of its 2022 Photo Contest featuring images of landscapes, people, climate, and more.

The categories include landscape, people and nature, climate, water, plants or fungi, and wildlife. The winners include first- and second-place holders in each category, a Celebrity Choice winner, Guest Judge Choice winner, and of course, the Grand Prize, which offers an admission ticket to Extreme E’s Uruguay Race. Round trip air fare and three-nights stay is also included in the prize.

The Grand Prize photo, as shown above, was taken by Li Ping, a China-based photographer who shoots nature, cultural landscapes, and architecture.

“I was inspired by the magical presence of nature which can go beyond individual lives,” Ping says.

Other prizes include a $5,000 camera kit or camera kit gift card for the Guest Judge Choice winner, a $2,500 gift card and a one-on-one virtual chat with celebrity judge Coyote Peterson for the Celebrity Judge Choice winner, and $750 and $500 gift cards for Amazon, Mercado Libre or Alibaba, for the first and second place winners, respectively.

“The diversity of images from around the world gave a glimpse into our fragile planet and all the life that inhabits it,” guest judge Ami Vitale said in the announcement. “The contest itself was a mesmerizing odyssey and we are left with a profound message of how interconnected all of us are and what it means to our own survival to intermingle with wildness.”

Below are the winners of the other categories along with the descriptions of the photos. Other entries to the contest can be seen on the organization’s website.

Guest Judge Ami Vitale’s Winner

A leopard known as Olimba carries the carcass of a female vervet monkey with its baby still hanging on for dear life. Picture taken in South Luangwa national park in Zambia.
Shafeeq Mulla/TNC Photo Contest

Celebrity Judge Coyote Peterson’s Winner

A female polar bear breastfeeding her two cubs of the year in the harbour of the abandoned Russian settlement, Pyramiden.
Florian Ledoux/TNC Photo Contest

“The composition of this photo and its color balance is absolutely beautiful. The eye is drawn to these elements first and then you realize the center point is the mother polar bear and her cubs. The abandonment of the Russian settlement is a powerful statement that nature can and hopefully will reclaim its rightful place and despite the mess we leave behind life finds a way,” Peterson says with regard to the photo.

“For an animal like the polar bear, which is physically running out of space for existence due to constantly melting sea ice, the bravery it shows for a mother to find a place of refuge for her cubs is a heartwarming scene amongst the frigid feel this entire vision portrays.”

First Place, Landscape

Slope of Mount Adi, in Navarra.
Francisco Javier Munuera González/TNC Photo Contest

First Place, People and Nature

The photo was taken in Greece. A huge factory broke into the sea, taking the beach away from restful people.
Janusz Jurek/TNC Photo Contest

First Place, Climate

 A Fan-throated Lizard stands guard over his territory.
Sandesh Kadur/TNC Photo Contest

First Place, Water

Brightly colored sediment paints the Icelandic landscape as at flows towards the ocean. The glacial river, Þjórsá, is the longest river in Iceland.
Kristin Wright/TNC Photo Contest

First Place, Plants and Fungi

Nicknamed ghost mushrooms due to its eerie green glow, the scientific names of these bioluminescent mushrooms are Omphalotus Nidiformis.
Callie Chee/TNC Photo Contest

First Place, Wildlife

 Maasai Mara, Kenya. The lion on the right is distinctly older than its youthful companion. The old guy is one of the Four Musketeers that ruled Mara long time ago.
Anup Shah/TNC Photo Contest

Image credits: All photos are individually credited and provided courtesy of the TNC Photo Contest.