This WildArt Photographer of the Year competition showcases the interactions between animals and the water they need to live

A simple concept with breathtakingly beautiful results: The WildArt Photographer of the Year Competition’s most recent winners highlight an interaction that is common to every living thing on the planet — the relationship between animals and water. Designed “by wildlife photographers, for wildlife photographers and judged solely by wildlife photographers,” the competition is awarding winners in 10 themed categories over the next year, and this first category, entitled “WET,” was conceived by wildlife photographer Gail Bisson.

The photos below are the standouts from over 1100 submissions, including the overall winner, Marek Mierzejewsk’s stunning tableau of marbled white butterflies in a…

Squirrels have never looked so good

All photos: Niki Colemont

Niki Colemont is a photographer based in the Belgian village of Diepenbeek who has developed a particular talent for capturing the essence of just what it is that our friends the squirrels are all about. Their inquisitiveness and curiosity, their agility and dexterity, and their joyous, playful natures are all captured in these patiently planned photographs, which Niki has been taking in his girlfriend’s grandmother’s garden since 2016.

Niki’s love of wildlife and his talent for capturing unique and revealing moments in the day-to-day lives of the local animals in his life shines through in every photo, and it’s impossible…

These are the delicate, joyful, and life-affirming winners of the Bird Photographer of the Year competition

All photos: Bird POTY

The finalists of this year’s Bird Photographer of the Year competition have been selected from more than 22,000 entries by photographers in 73 different countries around the world. Now in its sixth year, the competition was created to reward excellence in avian photography and to draw attention to the importance of bird conservation through a partnership with Birds on the Brink.

This year’s finalists are notable for their range, not just in the diversity of species that are captured, but in the differences in tone — from the humorous to the heartwarming to the macabre — and style. …

Daniel Kordan’s photos of firefly mating season in a bamboo forest are utterly enchanting

All photos: Daniel Kordan via Instagram

During mating season, fireflies engage in a call and response of flashing lights to court potential partners. This dance is familiar to anyone with fireflies in their garden, but it’s utterly dazzling if you’re lucky enough to witness it on Kyushu Island in Japan, where millions of fireflies congregate in the summer to light up the night sky.

There’s something totally mesmerizing about Alex Pick’s “Humanimals” transformations

All Photos: Apicollo Draws, via Instagram

German artist Alex Pick has an incredible gift for the art of the mashup. Through his Instagram page, he’s reimagined popular movie posters with Disney characters, Disneyfied Harry Potter, and made pretty much everyone into mermaids. And his latest project has a quality to it that makes it particularly hard to look away. He does such a good job of turning iconic Disney animals into humans (and vice versa) that it often takes a minute to realize that the switch has even happened.

Each of Alex’s “Humanimals” mashups is a joy to contemplate, as the characters seamlessly change species while…

The winners of the Tokyo International Foto Awards are a gorgeous celebration of nature in all its variety

All Photos: TIFA Awards

The prestigious Tokyo International Photo Awards (TIFA) recognizes amateur and professional photographers from all around the world with winners in nine major categories, and the winners in this year’s “Nature” category are truly exceptional. With awards given for the best aerial, floral, landscape, panoramic, and underwater photos, as well as for the standout photos of pets, seasons, sunsets, trees, and wildlife, the top photographs make for a stunning collection of images celebrating nature’s beauty and diversity and highlighting the extraordinary talent of those who seek it out.

From a gorgeous dreamlike dawn scene in Tuscany to a breathtaking vista of…

Simon Needham uses his gorgeous photographs of lions to raise awareness about conservation

All photos: Simon Needham via Instagram

Simon Needham is a photographer based in LA whose passion for travel developed into a commitment to conservation work after he was inspired by the powerful experience of being up close with animals in their natural habitat. Recently, a photo-series of his depicting a 6-year-old white lion named Moya (pictured above) at a lion sanctuary in South Africa gained international attention thanks to the animal’s majestic locks, and Simon hopes that the increased focus on his work will help raise awareness about the issue of lion conservation.

In addition to the fabulous photos of Moya (more of which are below)…

The winners of the Northern Lights photography competition capture the magic and mystery of the Aurora Borealis

All photos via Capture the Atlas

If If you happen to feel a great disturbance in the magnetosphere, it might be because some charged particles from the sun are bopping around in there. And as freaky as that sounds, it’s actually no cause for alarm (as far as I know?). What it is the cause of though, is an Aurora — glowing polar lights named after the Roman goddess of dawn that are just one more reason that our planet is a magical place.

These 25 gorgeous photos of the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights (borealis is Late Latin for “North Wind”) were selected by the…

Even the greatest works of art look even better with a nice Australian Shepherd

All photos: Eliza Reinhardt via Instagram

Finnegan “Finn” Reinhardt is a Texas-based Australian Shepherd dog who has spent the last year brilliantly recreating famous works of art with his best friend and roommate Eliza. Eliza’s keen artistic eye, sense of humor, and skills as a painter are a perfect complement to Finn’s years of practice at being an exceptionally good boy, and the pair have collaborated on dozens of magnificent artistic homages, using just materials they have at home to recreate various masterpieces.

Finn and Eliza’s earliest works are more literal, finding paintings of women and dogs to recreate, but as their journey has progressed they’ve…

And some pigeons. Honestly, if you’re a bird, you can audition to be this nice dog’s best friend.

A black duck and a german shepherd dog touch beak to nose in a photograph of the two friends
A black duck and a german shepherd dog touch beak to nose in a photograph of the two friends
Photos: Vendetta and Lemony via Instagram

Vendetta and Lemony are quite close. They share a lot of the same interests, after all, like rainy days, getting lost in the woods, and long walks in nature. But it would be a dramatic failure of journalism to report these facts without also noting that Vendetta is a German Shepherd. And that Lemony is an Indian runner duck. It is also salient, to this reporter, that these two best friends have a pair of sidekicks called Grisella and Heldig, and that Grisella and Heldig are pigeons, who were rescued as babies.

As any self-respecting duck/dog dynamic duo with pigeon…

Jack Shepherd

Formerly editorial director @BuzzFeed. Currently editor @Tenderly and writer at large. Email: JackAShepherd at gmail

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