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©Cristiano Vendramin, Wildlife Photographer Of The Year
CREDIT: Cristiano Vendramin

People’s Choice: Wildlife Photographer of the Year

A tribute to a lost friend by Cristiano Vendramin attracts the competition’s public vote

‘Lake of ice’ by Cristiano Vendramin, Italy 


A serene image of willows reflected in an Italian lake has won the Wildlife Photographer of the Year People’s Choice Award 2021.

Cristiano Vendramin dedicated his submission to the memory of a close friend who had loved the location at Santa Croce Lake in northern Italy.

“I want to think he made me feel this feeling that I’ll never forget,” says Vendramin. “For this reason, this photograph is dedicated to him.”

More than 31,800 people voted online for Vendramin’s captivating image, ‘Lake of ice’, from a shortlist of 25 images. The Natural History Museum, London, selected the shortlist for the 57th annual competition from 50,000 images submitted by photographers in 95 countries.

“I hope my photography will encourage people to understand that the beauty of nature can be found everywhere around us, and that we can be pleasantly surprised by the many landscapes so close to home,” says Vendramin.

“I believe a daily relationship with nature is increasingly necessary to have a serene and healthy life. Nature photography is important to remind us of this bond, which we must preserve.”

Director of the Natural History Museum, Dr Douglas Gurr, says: “Cristiano’s poignant image symbolises the positive impact nature can have on our wellbeing and lives. It can provide solace and a space to reflect on the past and even spark hope for the future.

“These past two years have redefined what truly matters in life – the people and the environments that play a crucial role in our own personal ecosystems. I hope those who look at this landscape frozen in time are reminded of the importance of connecting to the natural world, and the steps we must all take to protect it.”

You can see Vendramin’s image, along with the top four Highly Commended finalists, in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum, London until 5 June 2022.

©Ashleigh Mccord, Wildlife Photographer Of The Year

‘Shelter from the rain’ by Ashleigh McCord, USA 

©Jo Anne Mcarthur, Wildlife Photographer Of The Year

‘Hope in a burned plantation’ by Jo-Anne McArthur, Canada 

©Jeroen Hoekendijk, Wildlife Photographer Of The Year

'The eagle and the bear by Jeroen Hoekendijk, The Netherlands 


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