PHLEARN MagazineThe 8 Spectacular Winners of the 2018 BigPicture Natural World Photo Competition

The 8 Spectacular Winners of the 2018 BigPicture Natural World Photo Competition

The winners of the 2018 BigPicture Natural World Photography Competition are as diverse and unique as nature itself. Now in its fifth year, the annual wildlife and conservation competition invited photographers from all over the globe to submit images that celebrate the rich diversity of this planet and all life forms on it.

This year, there were 6,000 submissions from 71 countries, with eight winners and 36 finalists across six single photo categories – Terrestrial Wildlife; Winged Life; Landscapes, Waterscapes, and Flora; Aquatic Life; Art of Nature; and Human/Nature – and the 2018 Photo Series: Time Capsule category.

Cash prizes totaled $12,000 and all the winners will be featured in the annual exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences from July 27 to October 21. The Grand Prize Winner, Tanya Houppermans, whose image, Harmony, reveals the fascinating relationship between tiny and majestic underwater creatures, won $5,000, while the seven winners in each category will be awarded $1,000 each. And, on top of the prize money and the extensive exhibition, the winners and six finalists in the single image categories will be awarded a Certificate of Recognition by BigPicture.


Location: North Carolina, United States

© Tanya Houppermans – Houppermans is a full-time underwater photographer and marine conservationist who leads expeditions for divers, raises awareness of marine conservation, and is an active member of the Ocean Artists Society.


Location: Moorea, French Polynesia
“Playtime In Mom’s Bubbles”

© Renee Capozzola – Capozzola is an international award-winning photographer who combines her love for oil painting and biology by photographing underwater creatures.


Location: Helsinki, Finland
“Flames of Pain”

© Henri Koskinen – Koskinen’s interest in scientific imaging, along with his love for nature photography, allows him to take vibrant and striking photos of nature.


Location: Mühlviertel, Austria
“Sensitive Forest Beings”

© Rupert Kogler – Kogler is a self-taught photographer who takes unedited photos of nature’s pure beauty.


Location: Alaska’s North Slope, United States
“Arctic Fox”

© Peter Mather – Mather is a conservation photographer who is a part of the International League of Conversation Photographers, National Geographic Creative, and Minden Pictures. He’s one of PDN’s 30 emerging photographers of 2017.


Location: Ria Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
“Peek of the Newborn”

© Claudio Contreras – Contreras, a fellow of the International League of Conversation Photographers, has been taking photos of nature for over 25 years.


Location: Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia
“70 Years Old”

© Trevor Frost – Frost is a photographer and filmmaker whose work can be found in the National Geographic Society and National Geographic magazine.

2018 Photo Series: Time Capsule

Location: Amsterdam Island, French Southern and Antarctic Lands
“World’s Rarest Seabird: Amsterdam Albatross”

© Isabelle Jouvie – Jouvie wants to use her knowledge of geology to highlight nature’s beauty and share important scientific knowledge with the world.

Be sure to check out all of the spectacular photos, including the finalists, on BigPicture’s 2018 Competition Winners page. You can also visit the exhibit in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park from July 27 to October 21, 2018.

Jennifer Berube

Jen is Editor of PHLEARN Magazine, where she helps shape inspiring stories and handy tips for aspiring and seasoned photographers. She has worked as a photography writer for many years, contributing to numerous industry-leading publications. Proudly Canadian, wannabe globetrotter, self-taught photographer, Jen is temporarily settled in Spain.

KoeppiK [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

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