- These are the winners and runners-up of the Society of International Nature and Wildlife Photographers’ Animals in Action contest
- English photographer John Hunt won first place with his snap of two eagles fighting in Romania
- Australian Elizabeth Howell came second with her photo of a fruit bat in flight
The winners and runners up of an international photography competition have been revealed – and they don’t fail to impress.
British snapper John Hunt flew away with the top prize in this year’s Society of International Nature and Wildlife Photographers’ Animals in Action context for his image of two white-tailed eagles fighting over a kill on the Danube delta in Romania.
Mr Hunt, from the Weald in Kent, fought off more than 430 other photographers from around the world, with winged creatures dominating the top three winners.
In second place was Elizabeth Howell from New South Wales in Australia with her shot of a fruit bat skimming low over the water.
Third place went to 72-year-old Brit Peter Jones from Nottinghamshire with another picture of two white-tailed sea eagles clashing, this time over a fish on an ice pack off Japan.
Mr Jones said it was taken from the back of a boat in at Rausu.
American Cindy Kassab was highly commended for her stunning shot of a hummingbird and an insect she took in Costa Rica.
‘It was in the cloud forest there,’ she said. ‘I was practising taking hummingbird photos using flash.
‘You don’t always know what you get and I didn’t realise the insect was in the photo at first.’
Software engineer Alex Geifman, 43, from Israel snapped a three-month-old fox he spotted in a tiny forest area in Jerusalem.
The highly commended photographer said: ‘In order to photograph foxes, one should find a den and wait until late spring or early summer time when fox cubs start getting out of dens and start wandering around.’
Balox Berhati Nyaman from Borneo, Indonesia, was highly commended for a fly carrying a piece of a leaf, as was Mario Fiorucci from Santa Rosa, Argentina, for his photo of a Kiskadee bird perched on a log, poised to engulf a tiny fish.
Brit Lizzie Wallis managed to capture a shot of a herring gull ‘walking’ on water as it took off from the sea in Flatanger, Norway.
The retired 53-year-old from Norfolk said: ‘As we were motoring out of the fjord, a group of gulls followed the boat out hoping for scraps of fish.
‘The sea was completely calm and the gulls were landing and taking off alongside us. It was very tricky to focus from a moving boat, and to time the shot as the gulls accelerated fast whilst they gathered enough speed for take-off.’
Lizzie, who was highly commended, added: ‘I had many shots where the wings were covering the gull’s face or where the reflection was not perfect, so I was delighted with this shot.’
Architectural photographer Karl Redshaw, 43, from Nuneaton, was also highly commended after he managed to capture a diving kingfisher.
‘The diving kingfisher was taken in Worcestershire after many hours of waiting for the perfect moment,’ he said. ‘The image is heavily processed to add interest.’
Graham Borthwick, 43, who serves in the Armed Forces, caught a moody shot of a little owl in the Cotswolds.
‘This location was due for demolition in order to make way for more housing but was regularly used by this owl as a stopping point in order for it to take a break from hunting,’ he explained.
‘As the owl kept coming back to the same location every so often, I was determined to catch it on a break, but I had not fully factored the number of failed attempts I would have.
‘Luckily one evening this beautiful animal was just sat in the wall and even though it was aware of my presence, did not appear to be fussed with my camera or myself, so I managed to capture it in this wonderful pose.’
Along with Graham, Kutub Uddin from Bognor Regis in Sussex was highly commended for two pictures, a ‘laughing’ red eye tree frog and a gruesome shot of a jumping spider with the decapitated head of a hoverfly.
And lastly, Herbert Zaifert, from Boynton Beach in Florida got a spectacular shot of an Anhinga snake bird, just after spearing a perch for its dinner.
‘I took the shot at Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Delray Beach Florida,’ he said.
Phil Jones, CEO of the Societies, concluded: ‘We had more than 430 fantastic images entered for this competition and choosing a winner was a very difficult task.