Stunning Photos from the Windland Smith Rice Award Winners

Whether you’re a photographer or just a fan of nature, you should take a few minutes and treat yourself to a gallery of some of the world’s best nature photos. Nature’s Best Photography magazine last week announced this year’s winners of the Windland Smith Rice International Awards, and it goes without saying that there are some stunning images in the collection.

Categories include Wildlife, Ocean Views, Birds, and Landscapes, among others. There are spectacular underwater creatures, a close-up of a leopard draped over a tree branch, a gorgeous image of the Aurora Borealis … just one amazing photo after another.

I was pleased to see that Greg Basco, who runs Foto Verde tours in Costa Rica, was honored for a macro shot of a bullet ant. I’ve gone on two photography-workshop trips that Greg led, and I’ve learned a lot from him, not only on the trips but also from his e-books. Piper MacKay, who offers well-regarded photography trips in Africa, won the African Wildlife category with an image of a pair of reticulated giraffes.

You can see all of the images that were honored here. You might also take a minute to read about Windland Smith Rice (here and here), the nature photographer who died at age 35; the awards are named for her.

The winning photos and many of the “highly honored” images will be on exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., from Oct. 24, 2017, through September of. 2018. Looking at them online is such a treat; I can’t imagine how great it would be to see them in person.