A British photographer has won first prize in an international photo contest after capturing a grizzly bear about to gulp down a leaping salmon in Alaska.
Nick Dale won the ‘In the Wild’ photo contest after battling off hundreds of entries from all over the world.
The competition was organized by the Society of International Nature and Wildlife Photographers.
‘The salmon migration is practically an all-you-can-eat buffet for bears in Alaska,’ said Londoner Brook Dale, who became a professional photographer in 2013.
‘The fish must swim hundreds of kilometers upstream, and they must leap out of the water to cross waterfalls. When the bear is in the perfect location at the appropriate moment, dinner is served.’
‘This brown bear with shaggy, brown fur is going to capture a salmon in its mouth at the top of Brooks Falls, Alaska. The fish is only a few inches away from its gaping jaws,’ he continued. ‘It did end up as dinner.’
His photo of an elephant giving itself a dust bath in Chobe National Park in Botswana not only bagged him a first-place award, but it also took second place.
A brown bear with shaggy, brown fur is pictured moments before catching a salmon in its mouth at the top of Brooks Falls, Alaska. Brit Nick Dale beat hundreds of wildlife photographers to win the ‘In The Wild’ competition with the candid image
As well as coming first in the competition, Mr Dale bagged himself a runner-up spot with this photo of an elephant throwing dust over itself in Chobe National Park in Botswana. He said: ‘It has mud stains on its trunk, and the dust is exploding in a cloud against its wrinkled grey skin’
This snap of three black kites scrapping for food mid-air in Andover won third place. Clive Greenland, 61, from Wiltshire said: ‘Birds in flight is one of the most challenging genres of photography to capture. The Kites produced incredible aerial agility to catch the food mid-air. They fight for the food, which produces mid-air battles but it is very difficult to capture a well balanced and sharp image’ This eye-raising picture of a Red Ghost Crab was taken on a Tajpur beach in West Bengal by Achintya Adhikari from Kolkata. To get the highly commended shot, Achintya, 30, had to lie in the wet sand for two hours and balance the camera on his hat to keep it dry. He said: ‘I always love to take a ground-level shot of this beauty, but you know getting a ground-level shot is not at all easy for this crab. Any vibration in terms of walking or roaming around can cause this crab to run inside its den. I had to lay down from 4:30 am to 6:30 am to get this shot. For these two hours, I was lying down on the seashore with a full wet dress and had to place the camera just on a hat so that it wouldn’t get wet.
American Sandy Scott was highly commended for his two incredible bird pictures taken in his native Florida. In fact, he didn’t even realize he had this shot of an osprey with a fish in its talons until he got home and checked his camera. He said: ‘When I got home and was uploading my images, I almost fell off my chair when I saw that I had made this amazing capture of the bird with his wings in the so-called angel wing position, making direct eye contact with me and clutching a fish in one talon – it’s a one in a million capture’
His other snap was of a Great Horned Owl (above). He said: ‘I had been watching the owl’s nest hoping that either the mother in the nest or the father standing guard in an adjacent tree would take flight. I was lucky enough to capture this shot of the father as he flew in my direction’
This colorful shot of a diving hummingbird got Argentinian Mario Fiorucci highly commended. He said: ‘It is a bird that has incredible dynamics and a speed such that even in 1/8000 most of the time you can not freeze the wings As helicopters do, they can remain suspended in the air at a fixed point, and even fly backwards. Hummingbirds are the smallest birds in the world, and there are almost 340 species’ Edward Payne, from Surrey, was also highly commended for his picture of an owl perched on a country sign
Fellow Brit Ketan Shah was commended for his picture of a pair of hyenas getting stuck into a rack of ribs in the Masai Mara in Kenya. The retired shopkeeper from Northampton said: ‘The hyenas are scavengers and it was obvious by the stench of the rotting flesh that the kill had been done several days before we stumbled upon it’
And not satisfied with his top two places, Nick Dale was also highly commended for his picture of a tigress in India. He said: ‘The Bengal tigress was taken in Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve in India. I liked the way she was up to her neck in the dark shadows of a water hole’