The Amazing Wildlife Photo Contest Winners

Congratulations to The Amazing Wildlife Photo Contest Winners for 2019! Our World In Focus' premier wildlife contest had entries from over 45 countries. Submissions depicted scenes from across the globe ranging from the arctic to the jungle to even urban environments. Many images featured animals in their natural habitat, while others showed how wildlife is being impacted on a daily basis through habitat loss, climate change, poaching and other human threats.

This year's contest was judged by National Geographic photographer Ami Vitale and the award winning Mogens Trolle.

We want to thank all of the entrants to this year's contest! The contest was made possible by the generous support of our sponsors, including Tamron USA,, Lens Pro To Go & Think Tank Photo.

- Be sure to check out our current premium photo contest with $5,500 in prizes -

The 2019 Landscape Photo of the Year Contest

Grand Prize Winner

Phantoms of the Morning by Mateusz Piesiak

Grand Prize Winner: Mateusz Piesiak
Photo Title: Phantoms of the Morning
Photo Description: When fish ponds are being drained, thousands of birds gather for easy prey. While I was photographing these great egrets and gulls, a white-tailed eagle appeared all of a sudden. The gulls panicked while the egrets just froze and did not move. Using a long shutter speed, I managed to capture this fleeting moment.
Judge's Note: There is no shortage of incredibly talented wildlife photographers and finding ONE winning image was difficult. This is a thoughtful image with an almost painterly feel about it; it tells a poetic story. The use of a slow shutter speed helped to capture the flowing movement and scale of the migration. ~Ami Vitale
Prize: Total Value = $3,800
• $2,000 Cash
Tamron 2.8 G2 Lens
• 20x30" Metal Print by
• $200 Lens Pro To Go Credit

2nd Place

Wide Open by Florent Gooden

2nd Place Winner: Florent Gooden
Photo Title: Wide Open
Photo Description: A massive Great White Shark splashes back into the water after breaching, with her jaws wide opened. It's a usual sight to see a Great White Shark with the jaws wide opened while attacking their prey above the surface, but when the shark gets back into the water, it usually doesn't have it opened that wide. This happened while this shark was trying to catch a bait. Taken along the coast off Isla Guadalupe, Mexico, on the 7th November 2018.
Judge's Note: Wild, vibrant and colorful; this shot is dramatic. A shocking and unique image that evokes the danger of a massive predator and celebrates him too. Underwater photography is an added challenge but the photographer executed this moment perfectly. The explosion of bubbles juxtaposed with the one lone fish created a wonderful contrast and commentary on the fragility of life. ~Ami Vitale
Prize: Total Value = $750
• $500 Cash
Think Tank StreetWalker V2.0 Bag
• 16x24" Metal Print by
• $100 Lens Pro To Go Credit

3rd Place

Reaching Out, Blended In by Willem Kuijpers

3rd Place Winner: Willem Kuijpers
Photo Title: Reaching Out, Blended In
Photo Description: An elephant collecting his daily meal. 
Judge's Note:This is a classic, beautiful, quiet moment. Animals environment is important and habitat says a lot. This photographer gave viewers a sense of where the animals live and their relationship to the environment. It’s a wonderfully delicate, touching and evocative image. ~Ami Vitale
Prize: Total Value = $350
• $250 Cash
• 12x18" Metal Print by
• $50 Lens Pro To Go Credit

4th Place

Tonga Whale by Rodney Bursiel

4th Place Winner: Rodney Bursiel
Photo Title: Tonga Whale
Photo Description: I had always wanted to go to Tonga to photograph the whales. While on a surf trip to Fiji I was made aware of how close I was to Tonga so I made a detour on my way home for a few days. No days disappointed, even the bad weather days, but this was by far one of the best.
Judge's Note: This image is ethereal, fantastical and inspires wonder. This photographer knows the rules and wasn't afraid to then break them. Photography is aesthetic and by exploring the fringes of what looks good and what doesn't, can bring often magic. ~Ami Vitale
Prize: $150 Cash & Think Tank Spectral 10 Bag

5th Place

Saving Orangutans by Alain Schroeder

5th Place Winner: Alain Schroeder
Photo Title: Saving Orangutans 
Photo Description: Near Bangun Sari village in the Aceh province of North Sumatra Indonesia [this was] a rescue of an orangutan. Once on level ground, veterinarian Jeni, assisted by the team, proceeds with a thorough medical check measuring the animal’s vital statistics and noting all visible markings. Here, they discover that she is blinded in one eye and has an old bullet wound on one leg. Indonesia's Sumatran orangutan is under threat from the ongoing depletion of the rain forest due to palm oil plantations, logging, mining, hunting, etc. This series documents the incongruous behavior between man and the environment in Indonesia. On the one hand humans destroy virgin forests, wounding and killing orangutans, while on the other hand they do everything possible to save them. One day, an orangutan is found peppered and blinded by 74 air bullet wounds, and the very next day a surgeon travels halfway across the planet to save it.
Judge's Note: This image is important and stood out because it inspired concern for the life we coexist with. WE can't ignore that humanity is an integral part of the story of nature. And I think showing this reality actually will help us understand the complexities and realities of what we need to think about going forward. I think a lot of people might see this work as "rescuing animals" but its actually more than that. Its about seeing how connected we all are to the natural world. This is a story not just about wildlife. Its really about us, our HOME, our future. ~Ami Vitale
Prize: $100 Cash & Think Tank StoryTeller 10 Bag


Flamingo Heart Flock by Thomas Vijayan

The Thief by Patrizia Ricci

The Urban Big Cat by Nayan Khanolkar

Polar Bear Perfection by Neil Jackson

White Ladies by Mateusz Piesiak

Eyes to Eyes by Shteynbrekher Roman

Mother and Son by Jose Fontenla

An Astonishing Chase by Thomas Vijayan

My Family by Thomas Vijayan

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