The winners of the WildlifePhoto.com 2017 Photo Competition Series have been announced.
The winner of the Habitats & Landscapes category, the overall winner of the 2017 contest series and the $12,000 Ecuador and Galapagos Adventure, courtesy of Metropolitan Touring, is Ripan Biswas, a photographer from India.
His image of a Theobald's ranid frog looking up towards the Milky Way is a highly technical and beautiful photograph of an amphibian in its natural environment.
Ripan made the most of a rare, crystal-clear night during the monsoon and found the frog perched on a water hyacinth in a knee-deep muddy swamp. He used a manual lens and he combined focus-shifting, aperture-shifting and off-camera flash techniques (all in a single 30 second exposure) to capture this stunning image.
Will Burrard-Lucas, judge and professional wildlife photographer, said: “Even amongst all of the brilliant images in this year's contest, Ripan's photograph of a frog staring up at the Milky Way galaxy stands out.
“The flash lighting in the foreground has been perfectly balanced with the ambient light coming from the stars, and his use of focus-shifting and aperture-shifting has meant that all of the important aspects of the image are in sharp focus and properly exposed.
“This was not an easy shot to take, but Ripan has pulled it off to create a beautiful of image of the frog in its natural environment. Amphibians worldwide are currently facing significant population decline due to disease, pollution and habitat destruction. Ripan's image does a fantastic job of drawing our attention to these beautiful creatures and the importance of conserving them.”
In addition to the overall winner, there were two further category winners who each received an F-stop voucher, a Breakthrough filter, Skylum Luminar software and a Camtraptions PIR camera trap sensor. Wolfgang Schmitzberger won the Wildlife Portraits category with his beautiful silhouette of a gentoo penguin in South Georgia.
Tibor Kércz won the Animal Behaviour category with his spectacular photograph of a hunting kingfisher frozen in mid-air, surrounded by a burst of water droplets.
The full results of the 2017 WildlifePhoto.com competition can be viewed here.
The winning images will also be exhibited on the “Big Screen”, a gigantic 30 ft. outdoor screen located in the Chelsea District of New York City, USA.