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World Nature Photography Awards 2024: Spectacular images of wildlife

Editor’s Note: Call to Earth is a CNN editorial series committed to reporting on the environmental challenges facing our planet, together with the solutions. Rolex’s Perpetual Planet initiative has partnered with CNN to drive awareness and education around key sustainability issues and to inspire positive action.

A dramatic photo of two gannets fighting for a fish in the waters off Scotland’s Shetland Islands has won first prize at the World Nature Photography Awards.

The image by Tracey Lund, from the United Kingdom, was selected from thousands of submissions to receive the $1,000 prize. It was taken from a boat while she was on holiday, using a DSLR camera in waterproof housing that was lowered into the sea

“Thousands of gannets were in the sky above us and then started to dive into the sea after locally caught fish. An unbelievable spectacle to witness, let alone photograph,” she said in a statement. “I took 1,800 images on that day but only had two that I could use.”

Other categories for this year’s awards included animal portraits, plants and fungi, and invertebrate, amphibian and reptile, and mammal behavior.

Ivan Pedretti, from Italy, won the Planet Earth’s landscapes and environments category with a magical photo of winter in Stokksnes, Iceland, showing “The beach with its black sand and the majestic mountain called Vestrahorn.”

Ivan Pedretti won the planet Earth's landscapes and environments award for this photo taken in Stokksnes, Iceland. - Ivan Pedretti/World Nature Photography Awards
Ivan Pedretti won the planet Earth's landscapes and environments award for this photo taken in Stokksnes, Iceland. - Ivan Pedretti/World Nature Photography Awards

“I love the contrast in colors between the white mountains and the black dunes with yellow grass,” he said in a statement.

Launched in 2020, the World Nature Photography Awards (WNPA) were set up to promote photography and help the planet, planting a tree for each entry to the competition. The organization notes on its website that, “Photography can go a long way in influencing people to see the world from a different perspective and change their own habits for the good of the planet.”

Adrian Dinsdale, co-founder of the WNPAs, said of the 2024 awards: “Our winners never fail to take our breath away with their stunning images. As always, it’s such a joy to see the amazing caliber of entries into the awards.”

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