Nature Picture Library 2021 Desk Calendar

Nature Picture Library 2021 Desk Calendar



Ten copies to give away by the end of January

Every year, we put together a desk calendar featuring 20 of our favourite new images. We send a calendar to our regular clients to say thank you for their business.

The design of the calendar means that the picture can be changed separately from the date page.

By following us on Facebook or Instagram, get a chance to win one of ten copies we are giving away. Full details are at the end of this blog post.




A popular and flexible design

On the reverse of each image page is a quote from the photographer, revealing the story behind the picture. We’ve selected some of the most intriguing images and captions to share with you. And you can see below the rest of the pictures selected for the 2021 calendar. And if you’d like to see more, why not take a look at our gallery of all the selected and shortlisted images? This shows what a tough job it was coming up with the final edit!

Butterflies feature on the cover


Guy Edwardes’ beautiful butterfly image was selected for use on the calendar cover. He told us how he achieved this beautifully composed shot: “These two marbled whites were feeding on nectar from orchids on a roadside verge in Dorset – often a good habitat for wildflowers and insects. Taken early in the morning, I used a 600mm lens and shallow depth of field to focus attention on the butterflies and avoid unwanted distractions in the composition.”






When all the elements came together


Markus Varesvuo is renowned for his ability to capture dramatic bird portraits and action shots. He told us how he captured this magic moment, off the coast of Norway: “I had a vision of what I wanted to capture : a image of darkness with limited light striking the eagle as it hit the water. Turning a vision into reality is exhilarating, challenging and not always successful, but here everything came together. Shooting from an open deck boat, using a super telephoto lens, with no means to control the elements or the subject, it’s all about skills gained through experience, knowledge of the bird, trusting the the boatman and hoping for the best.”






The fairytale forest

Sandra Bartocha has a special gift for creating evocative images of plants and landscapes by using original angles and lighting. She took this photo in a place that is very special to her: “The fairytale forest on the island of Rügen on Germany’s north coast is one of my favourite photography locations in summer, when the sun sets so far northwest, that the light is playing with the trees and casting interesting shadows. And always with the background of the sweet Baltic Sea. Sometimes I wonder how the beeches that now stand so tall made it there in the first place, as the winds are constantly blowing and it’s almost impossible for young growth to withstand the harsh conditions.”





Vocal whales viewed from above

Alex Mustard told us how he had to climb out of the water to achieve this exquisite whale image: “I photographed this pod of false killer whales, far out in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Sri Lanka. For this photo, I wasn’t in the water, but leaning over the side of the boat. I had a permit for in-water cetacean photography, but with these animals on this day, I realised quickly that they were far more curious of our little skiff, than they were of me. So I adapted my approach and climbed back aboard. The bonus was that their squeeky-whistling vocalisations transmitted far more loudly through the thin, fibreglass hull of the boat than I could hear them underwater, adding hugely to the encounter. ”





Cygnets look for parental protection

Oscar Dewhurst reveals how he followed this mute swan family: “Over the years, I have spent a lot of time photographing the wildlife of Richmond Park. Recently, I’ve focused on the mute swans there, trying to capture them throughout the seasons. When I heard the cygnets had hatched I headed straight there, and subsequently spent hundreds of hours photographing them as they grew up. In this shot they were just a couple of weeks old. Unfortunately, within a few weeks the number of cygnets dropped from six to two, but they both made it through the summer unharmed.”







Desert hedgehog profits from the camel herders

French photographers Klein & Hubert found this charismatic creature on the edge of the Gobi Desert: “The long-eared hedgehog is quite common in the Gobi, especially in the belt of “green“ dunes along the edge of the desert, where there are plenty of insects. The extra large ears are probably an adaptation to the heat, but they also help the animal locate its prey. Hedgehogs often visit the yurt camps of herders, where they sometimes sleep under in the daytime and may even be offered a drink of camel milk.”







The rest of the images used inside the calendar

Here we share all the other images selected for use inside the calendar this year. As you can imagine, making the final picture selection, is always a tough but enjoyable team task!




Penguins feature on the back of the cover

Stefan Christmann’s emperor penguin shot allowed us lots of space to add some text to the cover reverse. His unique body of work on this species features in a spectacular new book.

To view our gallery of all the selected and shortlisted images from our 2020 calendar, click here!

Win a copy of the 2021 calendar

We have ten copies of the calendar to give away, one each day from 22 January to 31 January. Just follow us on Facebook or Instagram and comment on our calendar posts in the last 10 days of January, and you’ll be automatically entered in our calendar competition.