Nature Photographs Provide a Different Perspective

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Royal Society Publishing Photography Competition

See amazing award winners from this inaugural nature photo competition and apply for 2016:

Going with the flow: schooling to avoid a predator by Claudia Pogoreutz Royal Society Publishing photography competition 2015

The Royal Society is a venerable institution with its origins dating back to the 1600s. Today, more than 1600 scientists are part of this fellowship.

The leading scientific lights of the past four centuries can all be found among the 8,000 Fellows elected to the Society to date. From Newton to Darwin to Einstein and beyond, pioneers and paragons in their fields are elected by their peers. Current Fellows include Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking and Tim Berners-Lee.

While the Society has celebrated photography in many forms, in 2015 the created a new competition called the Royal Society Publishing Photography Competition. The purpose is to show the ability of photography to reach a broad audience and deliver messages about science to people who might otherwise not make the connection.

The inaugural year was such a success that they are once again opening their hallowed halls to more photographs. There are 2 criteria, of course the photographs must be “aesthetically pleasing”, but what sets this competition apart is that in order to win the shot must document an “interesting biological phenomenon.”

There are 4 different categories: Behavior, Ecology and Environmental Science, Evolutionary Biology, and Micro-Imaging. A winner and runner up will be chosen from each category, as well as an overall winner.

The deadline for the 2016 competition is June 1, 2016 (BST). More details on how to apply are available here.

Shown are some of the award winning photographs from the 2015 competition:

The winner in the Behavior category was the black-tip reef shark surrounded by a school of tropical clupeid fish (above). By synchronizing their swimming they minimize the impact should the shark decide he is ready for a little sushi for lunch.

Tadpoles Overhead

“Tadpoles Overhead” (above) was the overall winner and is a great example of how by literally changing the angle on how we look at something it gives us a entirely new perspective on a very common subject. In this case the subject were tadpoles in a clear pond. The photographer decided to shoot from beneath them, to give us a different look at life. Life from the tadpole’s perspective.

“To conserve the natural world I think drawing attention to the beauty of these ordinary moments in our own neighborhoods, including our own backyards, is particularly important. I believe people will only conserve things when they know it exists – and how often will people have had snorkeled in their own garden pond?”

The photo of Caribbean Brain Coral (below) shows how a single coral colony can take on different colors and shapes. This photo won a special commendation: Proceedings B publishers choice.

Caribbean Brain Coral, by Evan D'Alessandro Royal Society Publishing photography competition 2015

All of these photos make us ponder the majesty and wonder that exists in nature. Perhaps that is best exemplified by the photo below which won a special commendation as well. Pondering the universe? Imagining the next glorious shot? Or is this a Zen Baboon, to go with the Zen Foxes we reported on earlier?

A baboon gets lost in his thoughts by Davide Gaglio Royal Society Publishing photography competition 2015

Additional award winning photographs may be seen on the Royal Society’s Flickr page.


Thanks to IFL Science for the original article by Tom Hale.

Photo credits, in order of appearance:

Going with the Flow: Schooling to Avoid a Predator, by Claudia Pogoreutz, Royal Society Publishing photography

Tadpoles Overhead, by Bert Willaert, Royal Society Publishing photography

Caribbean Brain Coral, by Evan D’Alessandro, Royal Society Publishing photography

A Baboon Gets Lost in His Thoughts, by Davide Gaglio, Royal Society Publishing photography

 

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