March 25, 2023

Village Polar Bears Win Nature Photographer of the Yr 2022 Award

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The sight of them is nearly like one thing from an previous Russian fairytale, and fittingly so, because the big, white adorably furry (however generally lethal) animals are wandering round an deserted village in, properly, Russia.

These pictures captured are the winners of the 2022 Nature Photographer of the Yr Awards they usually had been made by nature photographer Dmitry Kokh.

He took them within the deserted ex-soviet climate station and village of Kolyuchin, on Wrangel Island in Russia’s polar Far East. That is the place the USSR as soon as operated a polar climate station till its closure in 1992, shortly after the Soviet collapse.

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Naturally, the animals in query are polar bears. As a result of these additionally occur to be the Earth’s largest terrestrial predators, and famously unpredictable round people, Kokh captured his gorgeous pictures in an uncommon method that wouldn’t have been attainable simply a few many years in the past.

In September of 2021, the photographer traveled over 1200 miles by ship to succeed in the Russian Arctic area. Right here he discovered a collection of mist-shrouded, deserted homes that had been taken over by 20 of the bears from a migrating inhabitants that was staying on the island.

His subsequent step was to patiently report them utilizing a drone with high-quality photographic gear constructed into it. This was definitely far much less dangerous than making an attempt to shut in on the bears personally, and presumably turning into a sufferer of their opportunistic searching instincts.

Utilizing telephoto gear was an choice, however it will have additionally created a wholly completely different stage of photographic high quality, and in addition been dangerous as a result of bear’s extraordinary sense of odor.

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As an alternative, Kokh opted for utilizing a drone with low-noise propellers that wouldn’t startle the bears too simply. Quickly sufficient, these naturally inquisitive animals bought used to the compact flying machine whereas they went about their exploration of the deserted buildings.

As Kokh explains, “Bears are very curious by nature so that they walked round homes, and checked each door, window, nook, and cranny,”

As a result of the bears positively observed the drone, they typically pause to look proper into the digital camera within the captured pictures.

This element helped compose a number of the exceptional pictures of those immense animals placidly leaning out of home home windows and doorways, simply as in the event that they had been the residents of this once-human city.

Whereas this 12 months’s Nature Photographer of the Yr awards acquired many gorgeous entries, it’s laborious to disclaim the magical contact generated by Kokh’s exceptionally uncommon setting for his majestic topics.

For his main effort in capturing these bears, Kokh was awarded the Award’s €3,000 ($3,200) high prize.

You possibly can see many extra of his genuinely surreal pictures and a extra detailed narrative about his Polar expedition right here.

Kokh was removed from the one winner or the one photographer to submit extraordinary pictures of wildlife this 12 months.

Many different submissions earned their very own prizes they usually vary from the merely lovely to the majestic and unusual in what they seize.

The 2023 Nature Photographer of the Yr Awards is opening for submissions as of December twentieth.

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Right here’s a choice of different 2022 winner and finalist pictures:

Extremely recommended within the Animal Portraits class. The image reveals a pair of crabs off the coast of Philippines | Andrey Savin/NPOTY 2022


snow leopard

Winner within the Mammals class | Sascha Fonseca/NPOTY 2022

fox in snow

Extremely recommended within the Youth class | Clemence Until/NPOTY 2022

jumping spider hatching

Extremely recommended within the Different Animals class | David Jerez Drager/NPOTY 2022