A photo of a mountain hare tucked into a ball to stay warm in a snowstorm has won this year’s BigPicture: Natural World Photography Competition.
It took just a fraction* of a second to take the winning photograph, yet to be in the right place at the right time, photographer Andy Parkinson spent weeks sitting in below-zero temperatures in Scotland having ice flung into his face by fierce wind.
The BigPicture Photography Competition is a worldwide annual search for incredible photos of life on Earth.
Finalists include a photo of a fight to the death between a cheetah and an impala on the African savanna and a view from above of a herd of more than 200 hippotamuses trapped in mud in Botswana in 2019 during severe drought.
The competition is run by the California Academy of Sciences and aims to highlight Earth’s biodiversity* and show the many threats that our planet faces. Each photo, in its own way, inspires viewers to protect and conserve the remarkable diversity of life on Earth.
Here are the category winners plus a couple of our favourite finalists.
Images originally appeared on bioGraphic, an online magazine about science and sustainability and sponsor for the California Academy of Sciences’ BigPicture: Natural World Photography Competition.
- fraction: tiny part of something
- biodiversity: the range of living things in a habitat or on Earth
- Describe the weather when Andy Parkinson took the winning photo.
- Why were the birds at the wildlife hospital?
- What African country is Maasai Mara National Reserve in?
- Which three ways does sundew attract prey?
- What country is Rio Tinto in?
LISTEN TO THIS STORY
1. Pick Your Winner
Choose the photos that you think should win first, second and third place in the competition. For each photo, write down the reasons why you chose them for each place.
Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Visual Arts
Choose three photos and write a story that includes what is happening or what is shown in each photograph.
Time: allow at least 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English
Paint it With Words
Choose one of these pictures and create a descriptive opening sentence. Think about how you can add detail by using figurative language (metaphor, simile, alliteration, etc).
Share it with a partner to see what they wrote about.
HAVE YOUR SAY: What in nature would you like most to photograph?
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking. No comments will be published until approved by editors.