The most beautiful shots from the Nature TTL Photographer of the Year Awards

Whale sharks, lightning storms and an extremely unimpressed Mongolian cat appear in the Nature TTL Photographer of the Year Awards roster

It hasn’t been a bumper year for photography.

With restrictions on movement both nationally and internationally, most cameras have been limited to selfies and the living room window, but a few brave souls still managed to get out enough to snap some stunning shots.

The Nature TTL Photographer Of The Year Awards celebrate the very best in nature photography, and this year more than 8,000 images competed for the £1,500 grand prize, in categories ranging from animal portraits to underwater and landscape. These are our favourite shots…

OVERALL WINNER: The World Is Going Upside Down, Thomas Vijayan

orangutan in tree

An orangutan climbs a tree trunk in Borneo, the sky and canopy reflected in the water below

Animal Behaviour, Highly Commended: Dust Bath, Bence Maté

Wild dog puppies playing

Wild dog puppies playing in the dust of the South African desert

Animal Behaviour, Highly Commended: Fun For All The Ages, Thomas Vijayan

A group of grey langurs

A group of grey langurs enjoy some family time

Animal Behaviour, Highly Commended: Floral Bath Tub, Mousam Ray

A crimson sunbird

A crimson sunbird bathes in the dew captured by a banana flower

Underwater, Runner-up: Round, Zhi’yue Shi

A coiled eel

A coiled eel photographed in the Phillippines

Underwater, Highly Commended: My New Toy, Celia Kujala

A Steller sea lion

A Steller sea lion plays with a starfish near Hornby Island, Canada

Underwater, Highly Commended: Bluebottle Sunrise, Grant Thomas

A bluebottle jellyfish

A bluebottle jellyfish bobbling off the shores of Sydney

Underwater, Highly Commended: European Whale Sharks, Nuno Vasco Rodrigues

A whale shark

A whale shark gliding through the north Atlantic off the coast of the Azores

Small World, Runner-up: Nature’s Pitfall, Samantha Stephens

Two salamanders

Two salamanders trapped by a predatory norther pitcher plant

Small World, Highly Commended: 3… 2… 1… Takeoff!, Christian Brockes

An acorn weevil

An acorn weevil readies itself to fly

Small World, Highly Commended: Bee Wolf with Honeybee Prey, Simon Jenkins

The solitary bee wolf

The solitary bee wolf wasp claims another victim

Wild Portraits, Highly Commended: Snow Monster, Amit Eshel

A rare Pallas' Cat

A rare Pallas’ Cat on the snowy steppes of Mongolia

Wild Portraits, Highly Commended: A Predator’s Playground, Charl Stols

A lion cub

A lion cub playing on the carcass of a giraffe

Wild Portraits, Highly Commended: Kangu ,Tomasz Szpila

A lowland gorilla

A lowland gorilla named Kangu in the Lesio Louna reserve in the Republic of the Congo

The Night Sky, Category Winner: The Eye, Ivan Pedretti 

Geological strangeness on Uttakleiv Beach

Geological strangeness on Uttakleiv Beach, Norway, beneath the green tinge of the Northern Lights

The Night Sky, Highly Commended: Purple Skies, Bence Maté

Wading birds illuminated by flashes of forked lightning

Wading birds illuminated by flashes of forked lightning

Under 16, Runner-up: Fight In The Mountains, Raphael Schenker

Two young mountain goats

Two young mountain goats frolicking in the Swiss Alps

Urban Wildlife, Highly Commended: The Door, Jose Luis Ruiz Jiminez

A barn owl

A barn owl peering through the door of an abandoned house

Landscapes, Highly Commended: Bled, Tomasz Rojek

Dawn breaks over Lake Bled

Dawn breaks over Lake Bled in Slovenia

Camera Traps, Highly Commended: Moonwalker, Vladimir Cech Jr

A homemade camera trap captures a roving northern lynx

A homemade camera trap captures a roving northern lynx

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