Check out these amazing nature photos that were the winners of the California Academy's first "Big Picture" photography contest! Selected from 6,300 photos submitted by photographers from 12 countries, the 42 finalists are just stunning. They span a wide variety of species, environments, and formats — from intimate portraits to enormous vistas.
Here are some of my personal favorites:
"Curvy king" Alpine ibex (Capra ibex). Location: Gran Paradiso National Park, Valsavarenche, Italy. Photographer: Emanuele Biggi (Genova, Italy).
Waterscapes, Landscapes and Plant Life – "Snow Mountain". Location: Wollongong, Australia. Photographer: Ray Collins (Thirroul, Australia).
"A Shared Destiny" Serrated turtle (Pelusios sinuatus). Location: Isanga Village, Lake Tanganyika, Zambia. Photographer: Angel Fitor (Alicante, Spain).
"Rhino Bodyguards". Northern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium cottoni). Location: Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya. Photographer: Emmanuel Rondeau (Lyon, France)
"Sunbeam in Hang En". Location: Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Vietnam. Photographer: Ryan Deboodt (Kimball, Nebraska)
"The Boxer and Its Eggs. Boxer crab (Lybia tessellata). Location: Bunaken National Marine Park, Indonesia. Photographer: Alex Varani (Imola, Italy).
While the actual physical exhibit of the photos has closed at our museum, you can continue to enjoy again and again these works of art online in the official Flickr album.
If you want to participate in the 2015 "Big Picture" competition, submissions open on January 1, 2015. See the official website for details and to sign up for updates.