Nature Conservancy announces 2019 Photo Contest winners

Today, The Nature Conservancy unveiled the winner of its 2019 Photo Contest. Selected from more than 120,000 entries, an underwater photo of a California Sea Lion taken by photographer Tyler Schiffman of California, USA won the Grand Prize. “I had framed this shot waiting for a sea lion to swim by. After five minutes, one swam up and paused for a few seconds, I took three photos and as rare as it was, the moment left in a blink of an eye,” Schiffman wrote in the caption.

The People’s Choice award went to Diyanto Sarira of Indonesia for a photo of a waterfall in West Papua.

The best Australian photo, as judged by renowned local photographer Ben Goode, was awarded to Benjamin Maze of Sydney. His shot of a storm taken from within a cave in the Blue Mountains was a standout for Goode. “The lightning storm framed by the walls of the cave makes for an epic scene that gives me a sense of beauty, awe and fear simultaneously,” said Goode. Benjamin wins prizes valued at $2,050 including Bogong Equipment and Camera Electronic vouchers.

Steve Passlow of Lake Macquarie, NSW and Jason Curtius of Murwillumbah, NSW were awarded Australian runner up and highly commended, respectively.

Australian photographers featured strongly in the global contest with a total of 9,111 entries – ranking sixth highest behind the USA at number one. Two Australians won prizes in the global contest. Alex Kydd of Coral Bay, WA took out first and third prizes in the Water category for photos of a Whale Shark and a group of Cownose Rays, both taken at Ningaloo Reef, WA. Leigh Miller won second prize in the Landscape category for a drone photo of the pink Hutt Lagoon in WA.

“The natural world inspires a sense of wonder in all of us,” said Richard Loomis, Chief Marketing Officer for The Nature Conservancy. “Indeed, at the very soul of conservation is a deep awe of nature. These photographs are a powerful reminder of the importance of sharing our vision of nature and working together to save the lands and waters on which all life depends.”

This year’s global photo contest received a record number of entries – 121,774 photos from 152 countries. The grand prize winner will receive a digital camera package and a gift card from Delta Air Lines valued at more than AUD$10,000. Category winners will receive Delta Air Lines gift cards.

Category winners:

  • Cities and Nature – Jay Huang, United States
  • Landscape – Colin Ronald, Austria
  • People and Nature – Le Van Vinh, Vietnam
  • Water – Alex Kydd, Australia
  • Wildlife – Fernando O’Farrill, Mexico

To view all the winners, go to

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