The prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition has announced the winning photos of its 2018 contest. The overall winner was Dutch photographer Marsel van Oosten for his photo titled “The Golden Couple,” which shows snub-nosed monkeys in China.
Van Oosten shot the photo in the Qinling Mountains, the only place on Earth where these endangered monkeys can be found. The male and female monkeys are seen watching an altercation between two other lead males in the 50-monkey troop.
“Whenever he did catch up and if the monkeys were on the ground, the light was seldom right,” writes the Natural History Museum, which runs the contest. “Also, the only way to show both a male’s beautiful pelage and his striking blue face was to shoot at an angle from the back. That became Marsel’s goal.
“It took many days to understand the group’s dynamics and predict what might happen next, but finally his perseverance paid off with this gift of a perfect situation, with a perfect forest backdrop and perfect light filtering through the canopy. A low flash brought out the glow of the male’s golden locks to complete the perfect portrait.”
The shot was captured with a Nikon D810, Tamron 24–70mm f/2.8 lens, and Nikon SB-910 flash at 24mm, 1/320s, f8, ISO 1600, Nikon SB-910 flash.
Here are the other top winners of this year’s contest (non-winning finalists were revealed back in September):
15-17 Years Old: “Lounging Leopard” by Skye Meaker, South Africa
10 Years and Under: “Pipe Owls” by Arshdeep Singh, India
11-14 Years Old: “Duck of Dreams” by Carlos Perez Naval, Spain
Animals in their Environment: “Bed of Seals” by Cristobal Serrano, Spain
Behaviour: Amphibians and Reptiles: “Hellbent” by David Herasimtschuk, USA
Behaviour: Birds: “Blood Thirsty” by Thomas P Peschak, Germany/South Africa
Behaviour: Invertebrates: “Mud-rolling Mud-dauber” by Georgina Steytler, Australia
Behaviour: Mammals: “Kuhirwa Mourns Her Baby” by Ricardo Núñez Montero, Spain
Plants and Fungi: “Desert Relic” by Jen Guyton by Germany/USA
Under Water: “Night Flight” by Michael Patrick O’Neill, USA
Urban Wildlife: “Crossing Paths” by Marco Colombo, Italy
Earth’s Environments: “Windsweep” by Orlando Fernandez Miranda, Spain
Black and White: “The Vision” by Jan van der Greef, The Netherlands
Creative Visions: “The Ice Pool” by Cristobal Serrano, Spain
Wildlife Photojournalism: “The Sad Clown” by Joan de la Malla, Spain
Wildlife Photojournalist Award: Story: “Signature Tree” by Alejandro Prieto, Mexico
Rising Star Portfolio Award: “Dream Duel” by Michel d’Oultremont, Belgium
Wildlife Photographer Portfolio Award: “Mother Defender” by Javier Aznar González de Rueda, Spain
These winners were selected from over 45,000 entries submitted from photographers in 95 countries around the world. You can find out more about the contest and the exhibition of winning images on its official website.