Online photography platform Picfair has announced the winners of the 2022 Urban Wildlife Photography Awards, which celebrate photos of those who turned to document their local wildlife when travel restrictions were in full effect.
The wilderness finds its way into urban areas
The free photo contest received more than 6,000 entries from amateur and professional photographers around the world. The photos submitted include captured moments of wildlife in urban environments such as Melbourne, San Francisco, London, Toronto, Miami and others.
During the height of the pandemic, wildlife found its way into the quiet urban centers and took the opportunity to explore areas that were previously potentially unapproachable. At the same time, this gave photographers the opportunity to capture unique scenes of wildlife in urban areas
Picfair also saw the trend on its platform, after the number of submitted urban wildlife photos quadrupled since 2019. The urban nature challenge – one of the largest global databases of urban nature – made a record 1.2 million observations in 2021.
The awards consisted of four categories: Nightlife, Daylight and Fancy Seeing You Here, and an overall winner. The overall winner’s prize pool included a Nikon Z 6II and 24-70mm kit, lifetime Picfair Plus subscriptions and a framed print of their submitted photo. Category winners received a range of photographic accessories, MBP vouchers and other prizes.
Andrew Interisano was crowned the overall winner for his nighttime capture of two coyotes on the streets of Ontario, Canada, as seen above. The photo is titled “Date night”, and Interisano first thought his car had caught the coyotes’ attention, but soon saw that they turned their attention to another group of howling coyotes in the distance.
“I parked, turned off the engine and frantically set to work with the camera… but in the rush of that moment, I was soon forced to put my camera down and enjoy the scene,” says Interisano.
Fueled by the pandemic, American biologist Austin Montero won the Nightlife category with a photo of a rat coming out of a city sewer in Mexico, titled “Life beyond the sewer† Montero had to live in a small town for the past two years, which caused him to encounter different animals in different parts of the city.
“I’m surprised at the number of urban structures used by many species,” he says. “They take shelter under bridges, move through aqueducts or nest along roads. But most of the time we don’t notice it.”
Hungarian zoologist Mano Aliczki took the winning photo “Daylight” while on vacation in Italy. The photo, titled “Window to the salt pan”, shows a flamingo feeding itself and walking against a wooden frame in a dike on a salt pan, creating a unique composition.
Nice to see you here
Canadian photographer Jill Finney won the hearts of the public with his photo of a raccoon in a ravine near a subway station, titled “Trash Panda† His photo was chosen as the winner of the category based on a public vote on social media.
“I’ve dreamed of photographing wildlife since childhood and only got serious about shooting when I was almost 50, during the covid lockdown when I decided it was time to make my own Natgeo dreams come true, too even if it was just squirrels in the backyard,” says Finney.
The judges included Philip Mowbray, Picfair’s chief content and guest judges — professional wildlife photographers Melissa Groo, United States, Andrew Budziak, Canada, and Will Burrard-Lucas, United Kingdom, as well as urban wildlife writer and author Florence Wilkinson of the United Kingdom .
Image Credits: All photos individually credited and supplied courtesy of Picfair.