Swarming Under the Stars
Imre Potyó, Hungary
Imre was captivated by the chaotic swarming of mayflies on Hungary’s River Rába. For a few days each summer, vast numbers of the insects hatch from the Danube tributary. This time, the insects emerged just after sunset. Once they had mated, the females gained altitude and filled the air with millions of silken wings in their race upstream to lay their eggs. Then they died, exhausted, after just a few hours. To capture both the mayflies and the stars, Imre created an in-camera double exposure, adjusting the settings as the exposure happened. A flashlight added the finishing touch, tracing the females’ movement on their frantic mission.
Nikon D90, Sigma 17–70mm f/2.8–4.5, 1/1.3 sec, f/14, ISO800
The Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum, London, and is open to both professional and amateur photographers of any age, from any country. The 16 adult categories include Earth’s Environments, Animal Portraits and Photojournalism, while the young people’s categories are split into three age brackets. The next competition is now open for entries. For details, visit