Photos: Stunning Shots of the Natural World and Wildlife


pengiuns, Sony World Photography Awards

(Image credit: Nadia Aly//Sony World Photography Awards)

Judges for the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards, in its 12th year, announced the shortlisted finalists for the open competition. Here's a look at the photos that nabbed a final slot in the Natural World & Wildlife category.

Here, Nadia Aly from the U.S. captured this fluffy-looking bunch of penguins in an image she dubbed "Huddle."

Bedraggled Hare Ballet

rabbits, Sony World Photography Awards

(Image credit: Nick Edwards//Sony World Photography Awards)

U.K. photographer Nick Edwards snapped this shot of hares on the Island of Wight. As for hares as a subject, here's what Edwards told the blog OnTheWight: "Although, over the years, I have enjoyed seeing hares in Island fields on an occasional basis, it wasn't until March last year that I set myself the challenge of finding and photographing them on a regular basis," he said. "Little did I know that it would fill much of my time at dawn and dusk over the rest of the year — and this year is set to see a repeat."

Underwater Gannets

birds fishing, Sony World Photography Awards

(Image credit: Tracey Lund/Sony World Photography Awards)

Tracey Lund, also of the United Kingdom, seems to have gotten lucky in capturing this action shot of gannets snagging fish underwater.

Circle of Power

eagles fighting, Sony World Photography Awards

(Image credit: Sandi Little/Sony World Photography Awards)

Sandi Little of Canada was shortlisted for her shot of eagles squabbling over prey. In this case the prey were dead chickens placed there in Sheffield Mills, Nova Scotia, to attract the birds during the annual Eagle Watch event.

According to Little, "My photo capture was a lucky one. One eagle had landed in a crevice to enjoy his catch, when he sensed another eagle was approaching to steal it from him...he turned around, in full wing span, to protect his lunch, and I captured his look of 'don't you dare ' to his approaching threat... It was worth standing for hours in minus 10 degrees (C) to capture this shot of Wildlife's amazing beauty."

Nocturnal Hunter

snowy flight, Sony World Photography Awards

(Image credit: Guillermo Ossa//Sony World Photography Awards)

Guillermo Ossa, of Colombia, captured this eerie image of a common nighthawk (Chordeiles minor) while the migratory bird was hunting insects on a rainy night, the BBC reported.


owl on lamp, Sony World Photography Awards

(Image credit: Jeroen Beekelaar/Sony World Photography Awards)

Jeroen Beekelaar, of the Netherlands, was shortlisted for his image of an owl sitting on a lantern.

Gray seal face

upside down, Sony World Photography Awards

(Image credit: Greg Lecoeur/Sony World Photography Awards)

Greg Lecoeur of France captured this darling image of a gray seal. This is a true seal, meaning it has short flippers for movement on land and no external ear flaps.

The Assault

dolphins fishing, Sony World Photography Awards

(Image credit: David Salvatori/Sony World Photography Awards)

David Salvatori, Italy, with an image of dolphins capturing a swarm of sardines off the coasts of Mbotyi River, in South Africa, according to the BBC.

Ethiopian Wolf

fox, Sony World Photography Awards

(Image credit: Roberto Marchegiani/Sony World Photography Awards)

Roberto Marchegiani, Italy, took this shot of an Ethiopian wolf (Canis simensis), which lives only in the mountains of Ethiopia. There, just 400 adults of this endangered animal remain, according to the African Wildlife Foundation.

Arabian Red Fox

fox, Sony World Photography Awards

(Image credit: Msaaed Al Gharibah/Sony World Photography Awards)

Msaaed Al Gharibah, Kuwait, with a photo of an Arabian red fox (Vulpes vulpes ssp. arabica), a subspecies of red fox.

Agony & Ecstasy

yawning, Sony World Photography Awards

(Image credit: Pedro Jarque Krebs/Sony World Photography Awards)

This male sea lion seems to be perhaps roaring in an image shot by Pedro Jarque Krebs of Peru.

Jeanna Bryner
Live Science Editor-in-Chief

Jeanna served as editor-in-chief of Live Science. Previously, she was an assistant editor at Scholastic's Science World magazine. Jeanna has an English degree from Salisbury University, a master's degree in biogeochemistry and environmental sciences from the University of Maryland, and a graduate science journalism degree from New York University. She has worked as a biologist in Florida, where she monitored wetlands and did field surveys for endangered species. She also received an ocean sciences journalism fellowship from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.