2022 Competition Winners

With over 100 winning and highly commended images in over 15 competitions across the globe, we are delighted to report that 2022 was a very successful year for NPL photographers.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition

NPL photographers featured strongly in the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition (WPY) in 2022. Karine Aigner was awarded the main prize with her image ‘The big buzz’ and Tony Wu won the Underwater category with his image ‘Shooting Star’.

‘Shooting Star’ (below) captures the electrifying reproductive dance of a giant sea star. As the surrounding water filled with sperm and eggs from spawning sea stars, Tony faced several challenges. Stuck in a small, enclosed bay with only a macro lens for photographing small subjects, he backed up to squeeze the undulating sea star into his field of view in this galaxy-like scene. The ‘dancing’ posture of spawning sea stars rising and swaying may help to release the eggs and sperm and sweep them into the currents where they fertilise together in the water.



Mateusz Piesiak was also successful, winning the Rising Star Portfolio Award with his captivating portfolio of bird images. With the COVID -19 lockdown in place, Mateusz began exploring his local area in Poland, discovering that even a small pond, or a park in the city centre could turn out to be very good places for photographing wildlife. He spent many hours researching and preparing, before he finally managed to realise the images, which in some cases had been in his mind for days, months (or even in some cases years!).

For all our WPY 2022 winners take a look at our blog from October.

GDT/European Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition

NPL photographers were also successful at GDT / European Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition, featuring in 7 of their categories. Winners included Theo Bosboom’s long-exposure image of people walking with head torches after visiting the Fagradalsfjall volcano in Iceland in the Man and Nature category (below left), and Pal Hermansen’s aerial image of a winter lake with thin, cracking ice after the first snow, in the Landscape category (below right).


Bird Photographer of the Year Competition

Bird photographer of the Year Competition saw a wide range of NPL photographer wins in 2022. Erlend Haarberg was awarded overall winner and won the Birds in the Environment category, and Henley Spiers won the Black and White category. Lukas Schaefer won the Video Award and our very own video editor, Ewan Heath-Flynn, won the Conservation Award.




NPL video editor and photographer Ewan Heath-Flynn’s conservation story  ‘Avian Assassination’ captures the story of illegal bird hunting in Malta. Malta is a vital stop-over for birds using the African-Eurasian Flyway, and hunting here has had a huge impact on flight paths of migrating birds. Ewan’s portfolio captures the work of the conservation charity Birdlife Malta in discovering evidence of illegal hunting and rehabilitating birds injured from the illegal activity.

Awards for Bird Photography

Bird Photographer of the year was not the only success for NPL bird photographers in 2022. Mateusz Piesiak was awarded overall winner of the Vogelwarte Photo Competition for his great white egret image, and David Pattyn won the Birds category for the Asferico International Nature Photography competition with his great crested grebe image.

Awards for Landscape Photography

Graham Eaton was successful in one of the most prestigious landscape photography competitions, Landscape Photographer of the Year, winning the Coasts category. A particularly successful landscape image in 2022, winning multiple awards, was Eduardo Blanco’s image of the Cumbre Vieja Volcano. He was awarded the Overall Winner and Landscape category winner for the Asferico International Nature Photography competiton, winner of the Landscape category in the MontPhoto’s International Nature Photography Contest and runner up in the Landscape category for GTD / European Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition!

Awards for Underwater Photography

Henley Spiers is another NPL photographer with a multi-award winning image in 2022, known as ‘Gannet Storm.’ Henley’s image was awarded Grand Prize Winner for the HIPA Nature Edition contest, won the British Waters Wide Angle category for the Underwater Photographer of the Year competition and was awarded remarkable artwork in the Underwater Life category of the Siena International Photo Awards. Another underwater photography winner was Franco Banfi who was awarded winner of the Adventure category in the Ocean Photographer of the Year Competition.



Successful Portfolios

Milan Radisics’s photo story ‘The Fox’s Tale’ won the Nature category of the Sony World Photography Awards.

Radisics says “Over eight months, I spent almost every night sitting at the window of my cottage in the middle of the forest where wild animals live as neighbours of the villagers.” Over time a young vixen caught Radisics eye, and he named her Roxy. “I set the lights in advance, like in a studio, and waited for the protagonist to walk into the scenes. She always surprises me, showing a new side, and I have had to solve many technical, theoretical, and physical challenges in the process of photographing her. During lockdown, both sides were forced to adjust: man to the wilds of the forest, animals to the human environment.”

Ingo Arndt’s portfolio ‘Wild Pumas of Patagonia’ was awarded remarkable artwork in the Storyboard category of the Siena International Photo Awards.

Arndt observed his first wild puma almost twenty years ago, while photographing guanacos in Torres del Paine National Park. He fell in love with this wild landscape and with the majestic and elusive pumas. After some years, he came back and spent a total of seven months with the pumas of Patagonia, facing plenty of difficulties and extreme conditions. Only a lot of stamina, an experienced team and the strong belief in being able to realize this unique photo story led to success. He could follow two females raising their cubs and was able to photograph many never-documented behavior, like guanaco hunts and mating pumas.

Fancy exploring the full gallery of winners? Head this way.