What would your initial guess be if asked to name the best photograph of the year? It would probably be something impactful, something serious or really moving, something that affects us as people and more.

Well… the photo that got French photographer Laurent Ballesta the top prize at the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition could certainly be said to be all those things.

On Tuesday, the Natural History Museum in London unveiled the winners for their annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. The winning prize went to Laurent Ballesta, a French underwater photographer and biologist for his brilliant capture of a mating session between camouflage groupers, where he was given the title of ‘Adult Grand Title Winner 2021’.

Apparently, to get the shot, Ballesta and his team visited a lagoon in Fakarava, French Polynesia almost every year for five years straight just to see the annual mating ritual that only happens in July around the full moon.

The photo was commented on by Rosamund Kidman Cox, Chair of the judging panel, as “The image works on so many levels. It is surprising, energetic, and intriguing and has an otherworldly beauty. It also captures a magical moment – a truly explosive creation of life – leaving the tail-end of the exodus of eggs hanging for a moment like a symbolic question mark.” Many people are joking around calling it ‘explosive fish sex’ since that’s essentially what’s happening.

There is even an Indian connection with this competition since the winner of the ‘Young Grand Title Winner 2021′ is none other than a 10-year-old boy from our very own Bengaluru, India.

Vidyun R Hebbar has apparently been participating in this competition since he was eight and has now won under the ’10 Years and Under’ category for his photograph ‘Dome home.’

More than that though this competition put forth some breathtaking shots that truly make us admire, respect and love our wildlife even more.

Laurent Ballesta

Vidyun R Hebbar

Read More: These Pics From The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2020 Are The Pandemic Stress Busters We All Need

Zack Clothier

Stefano Unterthiner

Shane Kalyn

Majed Ali

Lasse Kurkela

Justin Gilligan

Javier Lafuente

Adam Oswell

This year as many as 50,000 entries were registered for the competition from over 95 countries. All the winning photographs will now be put on display at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition in the London branch of the museum that is going to open from 15th October 2021.

Image Credits: Google Images

Sources: BBC, National Geographic, The Guardian

Find the blogger: @chirali_08

This post is tagged under: Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2021, Wildlife Photographer of the Year winners, Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2021 winners, Wildlife Photographer of the Year explosive fish sex, French photographer Laurent Ballesta, French photographer Laurent Ballesta Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Natural History Museum London, Natural History Museum London Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition 2021

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