Dramatic cloud formations over a Chilean mountainscape, a crocodile devouring a wildebeest and a polar bear cub prancing over an ice shelf.
These are some of the scenes captured by the winners of All About Photo (AAP) magazine’s nature photography contest, a prestigious awards that celebrates photographers who ‘beautifully capture the essence of nature, highlighting the magnificence of landscapes, wildlife, and flora and fauna’.
It’s the first nature-themed contest organised by AAP, a monthly online magazine that endeavours to educate and inspire in all things photography-related by providing a platform to ‘exceptional’ work from around the world.
Twenty-five photographers from 11 countries worldwide have been presented with awards. The grand prize winner is Thomas Vijayan, an Indian wildlife photographer whose subjects include Bornean orangutans and Vietnam’s critically endangered golden-headed langur monkeys.
A statement from AAP Magazine says: ‘Nature photography is a captivating genre that explores and captures the breathtaking beauty of the natural world.’ It adds that this style of photography ‘not only celebrates the earth’s majesty but also serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of conservation and our responsibility to protect our planet for future generations’.
Scroll down to see MailOnline Travel’s pick of the winners – with images from Vijayan’s gold-medal-winning portfolio at the very bottom…
With a tuft of its hair blowing in the wind, this young lion can be seen staring into the distance in Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Conservation Area. It was captured by Italian photographer Paolo Ameli, who bags a ‘Merit’ award
This green-hued shot shows the red-eyed tree frog in a jungle in Costa Rica’s La Fortuna region. Photographer Pablo Trilles Farrington – the recipient of a ‘Merit’ award – describes the creature as ‘hypnotic’, noting that its distinctive features are its red eyes and the blue stripe that colours its sides. He notes that though these frogs are typically nocturnal, ‘this photograph was taken during the day when the frog was looking for a better place to rest’
In this breathtaking shot, a caravan of camels moves through a storm near the town of Merzouga, which lies in the Sahara Desert in Morocco. Photographer Olivier Unia, the recipient of a ‘Merit’ award, describes the scene as a ‘gift from nature’
This magnificent image shows a group of gelada monkeys – also known as the bleeding-heart monkey – in Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains. Photographer Turgay Uzer, a ‘Merit’ award-winner, says: ‘To protect themselves from leopards, they spend the night on tiny ledges on the impossibly steep cliffs of the mountains and climb back on the plateau at daybreak to graze’
This magical shot of silhouetted gelada monkeys in Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains is the work of Turgay Uzer
A young polar bear cub walks with a spring in its step in this captivating photograph by Turgay Uzer, which is titled: ‘I’ve Got Things To Do And People To See.’ It was captured in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago
Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park was the setting for this mesmerising shot, which shows a ‘young leopard checking on its hoisted kill’ – which means the kill was tugged onto a tree to keep it out of reach of other carnivores. It’s the handiwork of Turgay Uzer
A lion in Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools National Park is the subject of this beautifully composed picture by ‘Merit’ award-winner Turgay Uzer
This transfixing shot of a night monkey in Panama’s Parque Nacional Soberania was captured by Turgay Uzer. Describing the creature, he says: ‘It weighs less than one kilogram, has some of the biggest eyes in nature and those long pianists’ fingers!’ Uzer adds: ‘Sadly, the [night monkey] is endangered in Panama because of deforestation, capture for the pet trade and poaching’
Turgay Uzer captured this stunning shot of an elephant feeding on the leaves of acacia trees in Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools National Park
Though it looks like they’re enemies, the jaguars in this powerful shot are actually mating, photographer Turgay Uzer reveals. He explains: ‘Big cat mating starts with courting, continues with purring and ends with snarls and violence. And can go on like that for days.’ The picture was captured in Brazil’s Parque Estadual Encontro das Aguas
A crocodile feasts on an unfortunate wildebeest in the Mara River in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve in this jarring shot by Turgay Uzer, titled ‘Dinner Time’
This picture of a leopard cub feeding on an impala kill in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park is the work of Turgay Uzer. He says: ‘We could have been the first humans this cub had seen. The mother left after dragging a heavy impala kill into the thicket. It was aware of us and yet kept on feeding’
U.S photographer Jo Fields captured this striking shot of a non-venomous rat snake on a branch. ‘Many people walking by shuddered with fear and kept walking by,’ Fields says, adding that the snake had just come out of hibernation. Fields snaps up a ‘Merit’ award
This stunning shot shows lenticular clouds over Torres del Paine National Park in Chile’s Patagonia region. Photographer Carmen Villar, who gets a ‘Merit’ award, remarks: ‘Before the sun came up, the colour of the clouds was simply impressive’
This image was captured by overall winner Thomas Vijayan. It shows an inquisitive-looking golden-headed langur, a critically endangered species of monkey endemic to Vietnam’s Cat Ba Island. There are less than 70 golden-headed langurs remaining, the photographer reveals, adding that the species was almost extinct two decades ago, due to poaching for medicine and hunting for sport. Their average body length is 20 inches (50cm) and then their tails extend another three feet (one metre), he says
Behold another spectacular shot captured by overall winner Vijayan, this time showing an orangutan in Tanjung Puting National Park, Borneo