Top 24 Nature Photographs of the Year Revealed

Best in Category Winners, 2022 NANPA Showcase

Tonight NANPA revealed the Top 24 prize-winning images in its 2022 Showcase competition. The annual competition, now in its 19th year, highlights the best nature photographs created by NANPA members—including experienced hobbyists as well as some of North America’s most accomplished professionals in wildlife, landscape, macro, underwater, fine art, and conservation photography.

Showcase prizes are awarded in six distinct categories: birds, mammals,
macro/micro/all other wildlife, scapes, altered reality, and conservation.

Best in Category Winners

Best in Show images in the six categories for 2022 include a royal tern preening its tail feathers on the beach by Jeremy Burnham of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; a long-tailed weasel playing peekaboo in a field of flowers by Tom Ingram of Campbell, California; a fireworm seen under blue light by Barry B. Brown of Sante Fe, New Mexico; balsamroot at sunrise in the Columbia River Gorge by Greg Vaughn of Eugene, Oregon; an altered reality view of the Badlands of Death Valley National Park by Wendy Kaveney of Buckeye, Arizona; and a tule elk pacing the fence line at Point Reyes National Seashore by Edgar Molina of Oakley, California.

Runners-Up

Judges’ Choice Awards

Panels of industry professionals selected the winning images from more than 3,370 submissions. All six judges are experienced prize-winning nature photographers themselves with expertise as fine artists, authors, equipment representatives, naturalists, conservation specialists, and documentary filmmakers.

“The judges raved about these Top 24 images, using words like impact, mystical, tack sharp, unexpected and mesmerizing,” said Wendy Shattil, coordinator of the Showcase competition since its inception in 2004. “You’ll be able to listen to the judges’ comments when NANPA publishes its digital journal Expressions in early 2022.”

The reconceptualized journal, Shattil explained, will also feature videos about the best in category and runner-up winners, revealing the behind-the-scenes planning, resilience, and creativity that led to the prize-winning images.

Images designated as Top 100 in the competition will be announced on December 2, and the Top 250 revealed on December 16. All photographs placing in the Top 250 will be included in Expressions.

About the NANPA Showcase competition

NANPA’s annual Showcase competition began in 2004. In 19 years, the competition has recognized nearly 1,000 of North America’s most accomplished nature photographers. More than 2,500 photographers have entered the competition during that time. Winners receive a combination of cash prizes and publicity opportunities

“NANPA members include some of the finest photographers in the world. They don’t all have recognizable names, but their images deserve recognition, and Showcase provides an opportunity for that,” said Shattil. Shattil fully understands how winning a prestigious photo competition can impact a photographer’s career. She was the first woman to win a grand prize in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition in 1990.

About NANPA

The North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) is a nonprofit membership association that helps nature photographers at all levels of experience grow as artists, citizen scientists, and entrepreneurs through education, networking, and advocacy. NANPA and its members are especially committed to protecting the environment and promoting responsible photography in the wild. The organization was founded in 1994 by more than 100 of the most accomplished nature photographers of the time.