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.


MIT science photographer isn’t an artist, but her work could fill galleries

Felice Frankel is an award-winning photographer, but she doesn't consider herself an artist. As a science photographer, she has been helping researchers better communicate their ideas for nearly three decades with eye-catching imagery.

Which new iPhone is the best? iPhone XS vs. iPhone XS Max vs. iPhone XR

Apple has three new iPhone models to choose from this year, making the choice a little harder than usual. What's the difference between the iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Max, and the iPhone XR, and which is best?

These are the best Xbox One games available right now

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.

Photography News: Tiffen launches portable LED, COOPH designs heated photo vest

In this week's photography news, Tiffen launches its first LED in the portable, robust Lowel light line. And this odd photo vest by COOPH has a built-in heater controlled via smartphone.
Emerging Tech

Buying on a budget? Here’s all the best tech you can snag for $25 or less

We live in a world where you can get a cheeseburger for $1, a functioning computer for $5, and thousands of HD movies for $10 -- so it stands to reason that you should be able to pick up some pretty sweet gear for $25.
Emerging Tech

Keep your holiday gift list high-tech and low-budget with these gadgets

Modern technology doesn't always come cheap, but there plenty of premium devices that don't carry a premium price. Whether you're looking for a streaming device or a means of capturing photos from above, our list of the best tech under $50…
Social Media

Hotel chain offers an Instagram ‘sitter’ who will post photos for you

If the pressure to post stunning Instagram photos is ruining your vacations, then how about hiring a local Instagram influencer to do the job for you while you go off and enjoy yourself? Well, such a service now exists.
Social Media

Ride the rails and share your stories with Amtrak’s new social media residency

Amtrak is looking for travel fans with a knack for telling stories on social media. The new Amtrak social media residency program wants amateur travelers to share photos, video, and written content from aboard long-distance trips.

Full-frame mirrorless cameras just made their Hollywood debut with this thriller

The Possession of Hannah Grace isn't just a thriller -- it's also the first Hollywood feature film to be shot completely with a full-frame mirrorless camera. The film was shot with several Sony a7S II bodies and anamorphic lenses.

Lens Rentals zooms in on the most popular cameras of the year

As 2018 comes to a close, Lens Rentals is taking a look at most popular cameras of the year, based on rental data. While Sony and Panasonic saw more rentals than the previous year, Canon is still the most-rented brand on the platform.

Luminar’s new libraries don’t even need you to manually import images

Luminar 3's new libraries feature doesn't require importing -- images are automatically added after clicking on a folder. The long-promised libraries feature gives editors a Lightroom alternative with organization tools as well as syncing…
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.

The best mirrorless cameras pack all the power of a DSLR, minus the bulk

Mirrorless cameras offer a lot of photography firepower, inside a compact body. Explore the best mirrorless cameras, from the pro-level to the beginner-friendly shooters, in this guide.

Photography News: Startup redesigns tripod heads ‘inside out’ for more flexibility

Well, this doesn't look like the ball heads that we've seen before. Instead of designing a tripod ball head with a small cutout, the Colorado Tripod Company created one with most of the ball exposed, allowing for more possible angles.