Top 250 Nature Images of the Year

Collage of Top 250 winning images by (clockwise from top) Matthew Meier, Alyce Bender, Russ Bishop, and Lea Foster

By now you may have seen the Top 24 and/or the Top 100 images from NANPA’s 2022 Showcase competition. Those images together with the images revealed in this blog post comprise the 2022 Showcase Top 250.

About the Showcase competition

NANPA’s Showcase is an annual photo competition recognizing the Top 250 images created by NANPA members, including some of today’s most accomplished professional nature photographers as well as highly skilled nature photography hobbyists.

“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 Showcase coordinator Wendy 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.

Competition is steep in Showcase. This year judges viewed 3,372 photographs submitted by 377 different photographers. Images are submitted and awarded in six distinct categories: mammals, scapes, birds, macro/micro/all other wildlife, altered reality, and conservation. Winners that placed in the Top 250—excluding those that made the Top 24 or Top 100 prize categories—are presented below.

Mammals

The Mammals category is a perennial favorite for photographers. In fact, the Mammals and Birds categories combined accounted for well over half of the competition’s total entries for 2022. Winners in the Top 250 tier of the Mammals category include land and sea mammals near and far, representative of the places NANPA members live, visit, and work throughout the world, including the United States, Australia, Japan, Canada, Kenya, and Antarctica.

Winning photographers in the Top 250 tier of the Mammals category include Carol Grenier, Celia Kujala, Alyce Bender, Daniel Dietrich, Donald Van Horn, Harry Lerner, Hector D. Astorga, Jennifer Smith, Jane Scott Norris, Jeanne Sparks, Jeffrey Goudy, Jeff Vanuga, Jennifer Hadley, Michael Cohen, Jenny Loren, Jeremy Burnham, Karin Leperi, Matthew Meier, Melissa Rowell, Savannah Burgess, Peter Batty, Scott Wilson, Trent Sizemore, Ted Orwig, Tom Ingram, Vicki Santello, William Sincavage, and Yaron Schmid.

Scapes

The broad Scapes category encompasses landscapes, seascapes, plantscapes, atmosphere, and weather images. Winning photographers in the Top 250 tier of the Scapes category include Bill Gozansky, Bob Coates, Carol Grenier, Robb Hirsch, Charlotte Caldwell, David Ficke, Dave Hattori, David Hammond, Dee Langevin, Jeff Vanuga, David Johnston, Geoffrey Schmid, Russ Bishop, Greg Duncan, Greg Vaughn, Jiayu Su, John Thomas, Judy Kramer, Keith Bauer, Michael Cohen, Mike Walker, Naona Wallin, Peter Batty, Scott Wilson, Tom Haxby and Tom Ingram.

Birds

The Birds category underscores photographers’ fascination with birds of all kinds, featuring images of birds in flight, efforts to attract mates, feeding, diving, nurturing their young, and more.

Winners in the Top 250 tier of the Birds category include Alyce Bender, David Cook, Daniel Dietrich, Carol Grenier, Charles Gangas, Elizabeth Yicheng Shen, William Page Pully, Tom Trogdon, Tom Ingram, Susan Manley, Sharon Wada, Rick Derevan, Richard Pelroy, Rajan Desai, Patrick Pevey, Kelley Luikey, Keith Kennedy, Jennifer Smith, Kathy West, Judith Malloch, Johnathan Peal, Brian Caldwell, Jeffrey Goudy, Garry Everett, Jane Scott Norris, Janeen Sullivan, Jim Ramakka, and Deborah Winchester.

Macro/Micro/All Other Wildlife

The Macro/Micro/All Other Wildlife category includes images of all non-bird, non-mammal wildlife such as fish, insects, reptiles, and amphibians as well as close-ups of any subject. Close-ups are intimate views, tightly framed, or close examinations of subjects in nature.

Winners in the Top 250 tier in Macro/Micro/All Other Wildlife include Alex Rose, Andy Smith, Cami Marculescu, Carol Grenier, Chuck Maas, Corey Raffel, David Hammond, Deborah Roy, Diana Rebman, Donald Van Horn, Heidi Gauthreaux, James Johnston, James Zablotny, Jim Burns, Jim Squires, Joseph Ferraro, Kaitlin Klingbeil, Kathy Lichtendahl, Laura M. Eppig, Lea Foster, Lisa Manifold, Lori A. Cash, Michael Shane, Rick Beldegreen, Robb Hirsch, Russell Satterthwaite, Susanna Euston, Tom Nicholson, Tom Trogdon, and William Pohley.

Altered Reality

This unconventional category recognizes images designated as photo illustrations that are transformed in color, form, or shape—enhanced or changed beyond the way the subject appears in nature.

Winners in the Top 250 tier in Altered Reality include Bob Coates, Dave Hattori, Thomas Yackley, Kathy Raffel, and Julie Picardi.

Conservation

Added to Showcase in 2020, the Conservation category is slightly different than its more traditional counterparts in the competition.

Images placing in the Top 250 in Conservation help bring awareness to conservation issues—positive stories as well as negative ones—and illustrate the value of conserving a species, a place, or an ecosystem for the benefit of wild and/or human communities. Entries in this category cannot be altered, added, or removed to affect the meaning or integrity of the scene. The images in this category are sometimes difficult to look at because of their poignant messages.

Winners in the Top 250 tier of the Conservation category include William Sincavage, Teri Franzen, Mark Hendricks, Lea Lee-Inoue, Jeremy Burnham, Jan Lightfoot, Irene Hinke-Sacilotto, Heather Valey, Dawn Wilson, and Celia Kujala.

Want to see even more?

If you haven’t already viewed the Top 24 and Top 100 winners from NANPA’s 2022 Showcase, you’ll want to check those out too!

Cover of 2022 Expressions, coming in February