The World Nature Photography Awards (WNPA) has announced its winners and German photographer Jens Cullmann has won the grand prize with a portrait of a crocodile lurking in dry mud in Zimbabwe. The incredible photo earned Cullmann a $1,000 award and the title of “World Nature Photographer of the Year.”
Cullmann’s image bested thousands of entries from around the globe as the organization says photographers from nearly 50 countries entered the competition. Cullmann learned of his victory via satellite messenger while in the field in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Botswana.
Cullmann had to be highly cautious when capturing his winning photograph.
“I had to be very careful not to disturb the crocodile, even though it was buried in dry mud,” says Cullmann. “They will launch themselves with tremendous speed and power at any animal foolish enough to come too close.”
“We congratulate all our winners and offer our deepest thanks for capturing such spectacular images of our precious planet,” Adrian Dinsdale, a co-founder of the WNPAs, says. “Once again, we hope it provides great motivation to us all to do everything we can to protect the Earth for future generations.”
The WNPA is now in its fourth year and is one of the world’s leading nature and wildlife photography competitions. Its goal goes beyond showcasing talented photographers and stunning photos. The competition also aims to contribute positively to the health of the planet. The organization partners with Ecologi to plant a tree whenever someone enters the contest.
The 2022 winners span various categories, including those focused on animal portraiture, behavior, fine art nature, photojournalism, underwater, urban, black and white photography, and more. The winning images from each category are showcased below. Cullmann took the top prize in the Animal Portraits category.
Animals in Their Habitat
Behavior: Amphibian and Reptiles
Black and White
People and Nature
Planet Earth’s Landscapes and Environments
Plants and Fungi
The silver and bronze award winners for each category are showcased on the World Nature Photography Awards website, where rules for entering next year’s competition are also available.
Image credits: All photos individually credited and provided courtesy of WNPAs.