Created in 2015 by pro photographers, Paul Joynson-Hicks MBE and Tom Sullam, The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards mixes the lighter side of wildlife photography with worthy causes in conservation. This year, the competition is supporting Save Wild Orangutans, an initiative which safeguards wild orangutans in and around the Gunung Palung National Park, Borneo.
Over 7,000 entries graced the 2021 competition and those have been whittled down to a shortlist of 42, which you can find along with the grand winner at comedywildlifephoto.com.
Get to the website before 12 October and you’ll also have the chance of swaying the vote for this year’s People’s Choice Award, sponsored by Affinity Photo – as well as being in with the chance of winning a brand-new iPad. The Category and Overall Winners will be announced on 22 October with the top image winning an incredible one-week safari with Alex Walker’s Serian in the Masai Mara, Kenya.
According to the organisers, this year’s entries showcased the biggest mix of animals seen in the competition to date. There are some superb images to choose from on the shortlist, including ninja prairie dogs, laughing dragonflies, and a kangaroo performing a picture-perfect Pavarotti impersonation in Australia. Here’s a taste of them, below…
This laughing vine snake was photographed by Aditya Kshirsagar, using a Canon EOS 7D Mark II and EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens. Of course, it’s an anthropomorphic reading of the snake’s behaviour as Aditya explains, “vine snakes are very commonly seen in western ghats of India, and they show aggression by opening their mouths wide open.” He shot at 1/200sec, f/5 and ISO 100.
Shooting with a Sony A9 and FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS, Arthur Trevino captured “this bald eagle missing its attempt to grab a prairie dog. The prairie dog then jumped towards the bird, startling it long enough to escape into a nearby burrow.” He shot at 1/1000sec, f/11 and ISO 500.
Carol Taylor captured these “two Gentoo penguins having a discussion after coming out of the surf” on the Falkland Islands. She shot with her Nikon D500 and AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4E PF ED VR lens, using an exposure of 1/1600sec at f/4, ISO 100.
Deep in a Singapore river, “this smooth-coated otter ‘bit’ its baby otter to bring it back from its swimming lesson,” explains Chee Kee Teo with their shot, taken on a Nikon D850 and AF-S 300mm f/2.8 G ED VR II at 1/1000sec, f/2.8 and ISO 1000.
Dirk-Jan Steehouwer captured this optical illusion “during a game drive in Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda, where we found a group of monkeys playing around with each other, jumping up and down from a bare branch. After a while I saw a giraffe coming from the right. At the moment the giraffe passed the branch, one of the monkeys was in the perfect position!” Dirk used a Nikon D800 and shot at 1/1000sec, and ISO 200.
Kevin Biskaborn shot this quirky quarantine-style image of eastern raccoon kits squashed into a tree in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. “Just when you think there’s no more room in the tree hollow, mother raccoon appears and displays just how compact the space is!” he says. Kevin used an Olympus E-M1 with 40-150mm f/2.8 lens and shot at 1/200sec, f/2.8 and ISO 500.
Photographing in Perth, Western Australia, Lea Scaddan says “this kangaroo looked like he was singing ‘the hills are alive, with the sound of music’ in the field.” Lea used a Canon EOS-1D X Mark II with EF500mm f/4L IS II USM lens, shooting at 1/500sec, f/4 and ISO 640.
Heading to “my usual ‘gopher place’, yet again, these funny little animals haven’t belied their true nature,” says Hungarian, Roland Kranitz of his comical ‘flautist.’ Roland used a Canon EOS 7D and Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 lens, shooting at 1/2000sec, f/7.1 and ISO 640.
Finally, Siddhant Agrawal says, “I had been following the family of a tigress called Paaro in India’s Jim Corbett National Park for many years. This is her daughter who was standing on her hind limbs to be able to scratch her face with a log. But, it appears as if she is carrying the log on her shoulders!” Siddhant used a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EF400mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens and shot at 1/2000sec, f/2.8 and ISO 1250.
Header image © Axel Bocker.