NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY

The world's top nature photographers 2017

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Through their cameras, they beckon us to protect and care for our planet and all living things that inhabit it. Discover the power of their work through the experiences of some of the most prominent exponents of this photographic form.

The shocking image of a black rhino killed by poachers led to South African artist Brent Stirton being proclaimed the grand title winner of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017 (WPY), owned by the London Natural History Museum and considered one of the most prestigious wildlife and nature photography competitions in the world.

SELECTION OF AWARD-WINNING PHOTOGRAPHERS FROM THE WPY 2017

Are you still wondering why we find landscape and wildlife photos so fascinating?

MOTHER NATURE SPEAKS THROUGH IMAGES

Snapshots such as those above move us, touch us. Marc Adamus, one of the most renowned photographers in this field and winner of, amongst others, the Art Wolfe Award for Landscape Photography 2014, says that "we all have a deep connection to nature unlike anything else in the world". To capture and transmit this connection, Isabel Díez San Vicente, special mention in the European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2008, always works alone. As she herself admits, "to reveal invisible images, both your soul and your mind must be focused on what you wish to photograph".

Both are the successors, just like thousands of nature photographers, to such great masters as Ansel Adams, the artist whose black and white images captured all the grandeur and majesty of the United States' national parks, or John Saw, chosen by Niko as the Leyend behind the Lens, 2002 and famous for achieving vivid images with the simplest elements. Another trendsetter, James Stanfield, named Photographer of the Year by the White House News Photographers Association four years in a row, prefers to portray the force of nature: "Give me fog, rain, snow or hurricanes! Sunny days are boring".

The important thing is to be ready to seize every opportunity. Such a high level of concentration is precisely what saved Afghan photographer Atif Saeed's, life, whose works are regularly published around the world. One day, while on safari, he got out of his car to photograph a roaring lion a few metres away when it suddenly attacked him. In extremis, Atif managed to jump back in the car. Though his equipment was totally destroyed, but he did capture a very dramatic image.

MORE AWARD-WINNING PHOTOGRAPHERS IN 2017

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017 (WPY) are not the only awards in this field. The IMS Photo Contest 2017, the National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year 2017 or the Nature Photographer of the Year (NPOTY) have also brought us some of the year's most spectacular photographs.

But the goal of every nature photographer goes beyond simply obtaining the best images and competing for international awards. Most of the time it is more to do with raising awareness about the environment and the need to protect and care for it.

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