Skip to main content

Image that won the Wildlife Photographer of the Year award was shot with a GoPro

This year’s selection of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year may be another spark in the debate over whether it’s pricey cameras or good photographers that make the most impact on an image — the winning image was actually shot with an action camera.

Tuesday, the Natural History Museum announced the Wildlife Photographer of the Year winners, giving American photographer Tim Laman the competition’s top title for the image, Entwined Lives, which displays an endangered Bornean orangutan climbing a tree with the rain forest below.

Laman, a field biologist and photojournalist, used a GoPro to get the shot. The camera’s POV style plays a big role in the image’s strength, with the ape looking straight up into the camera as he climbs. The high perspective also helps the tree stand out from the rest of the rain forest, with the perspective making the branches almost appear to twist together as the tree disappears from view.

Laman spent three days climbing the tree with a rope, setting up several GoPros to be triggered remotely and then waiting for an endangered orangutan to climb up.

The Bornean in the image is part of an endangered species in crisis from habitat loss due to logging and farming. “Protecting their remaining habitat is critical for orangutans to survive,” the photographer said. “If we want to preserve a great ape that retains its vast culturally transmitted knowledge of how to survive in the rain forest and the full richness of wild orangutan behavior, then we need to protect orangutans in the wild, now.”

Laman entered the competition in the Story category, which allowed him to submit six different images of the orangutans. Along with the GoPro shot, he also shot photojournalistic images with a Canon EOS-1D C and a Canon EOS 5D Mark III, as well as getting an aerial shot by drone.

The annual photography contest also selected several winners in subcategories, including the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year, 16-year-old Gideon Knight. The teenage photographer took the honors for the young category for his shot depicting a crow and branches backlit by a full moon.

“If an image could create a poem, it would be like this. It should certainly inspire a few lines,” said Lewis Blackwell, Chair of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year jury. “The image epitomizes what the judges are always looking for — a fresh observation on our natural world, delivered with artistic flair.”

The two winning shots were selected along with 16 category winners. The top images will be part of a traveling exhibition. The Natural History Museum also publishes the photographs in a book.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum in London.

Editors' Recommendations

Hillary K. Grigonis
Hillary never planned on becoming a photographer—and then she was handed a camera at her first writing job and she's been…
The 5 best new GoPro Hero 10 Black features I love to use
GoPro Hero 10 Firmware V1.2.

When I reviewed the GoPro Hero 10 Black in September, I couldn’t help but heap praise on it. Though it’s clearly an evolutionary update to the Hero 9, the Hero 10 goes far enough to offer very real advantages over its predecessor. Between its 5.3K 60 frames per second, upgraded image stabilization, and impressive cloud storage integration, it’s certainly the most powerful action camera available right now.

However, GoPro hasn’t rested on its laurels over the past several months. Over that time, they’ve offered major firmware upgrades and even a post-launch hardware upgrade. With the Hero 10 so dramatically changed since its original launch, it’s worth taking a look at to see what else you can expect from the camera here at the tail end of 2021.
Max Superview
The GoPro Hero 10 features a 4:3 format sensor, but most video these days is displayed in a 16:9 aspect ratio. That typically means either cropping the image or putting up with black bars on the side of the display. GoPro’s Superview mode stretches the edges of the image so that you can take advantage of the entire 4:3 sensor area, but display it on a 16:9 screen at the cost of a fisheye effect.

Read more
GoPro boosts Hero 10 performance with new firmware and Enduro battery
GoPro Hero 10 Front Screen.

One of my few complaints when reviewing the GoPro Hero 10 Black was its somewhat fleeting battery life, and though I haven’t personally encountered the issue, many users have reported problems limiting recording times due to overheating. GoPro seems to have heard that message loud and clear, as they have announced a major firmware update for the camera that aims to solve the problems as well as a brand new Enduro battery.

The firmware (which will be available by the end of October) introduces three new video performance modes designed to maximize the Hero 10’s performance in different scenarios. Maximum video performance mode prioritizes high resolution, frame rate, and image quality. Extended battery mode limits resolution and frame rate to maximize recording times and battery life, while tripod/stationary video mode provides high performance when the camera is stationary, and there isn’t any airflow to cool the camera.

Read more
GoPro drops teaser video for Hero10 camera ahead of Thursday’s reveal
watch gopros teaser video for the new hero10 action camera gopro hero 10

GoPro is set to reveal the latest iteration of its popular action camera on Thursday, September 16.

The California-based company has just dropped a slick teaser video (below) for the Hero10 Black. The 57-second production, titled A New Era of GoPro, shows a slew of beautifully cinematic and highly dramatic action shots (you wouldn’t really expect anything less) as GoPro attempts to create a buzz around its latest product release.

Read more