The Herald Magazine - - CONTENTS - Over­all win­ners will be an­nounced on Oc­to­ber 17, with the ex­hi­bi­tion open­ing on Oc­to­ber 20 at the Nat­u­ral His­tory Mu­seum and run­ning un­til spring 2018. Tick­ets (adults £14; chil­dren £8) can be pur­chased from En­tries for next year’s com­petit

SEV­ERAL fi­nal­ists from this year’s Wildlife Pho­tog­ra­pher of the Year com­pe­ti­tion have been an­nounced – and their im­ages from are no less than stun­ning. Run by the Nat­u­ral His­tory Mu­seum in Lon­don, it’s the con­test every wildlife pho­tog­ra­pher wants to win, at­tract­ing 50,000 en­tries every year. Here we present four of the best from this year’s short­list.

GLIMPSE OF A LYNX BY LAURA ALBIAC VILAS, SPAIN Cat­e­gory: young wildlife pho­tog­ra­pher of the year

The Ibe­rian lynx is an en­dan­gered cat found only in two small pop­u­la­tions in south­ern Spain. Laura’s fam­ily trav­elled to the Sierra de An­du­jar Nat­u­ral Park in search of the lynx, and struck lucky on their sec­ond day, when they spot­ted a pair re­lax­ing not far from the road. “The an­i­mals’ at­ti­tude sur­prised me. They weren’t scared of peo­ple – they sim­ply ig­nored us,” says Laura.

SAGUARO TWIST BY JACK DYKINGA, US Cat­e­gory: plants and fungi

These em­blem­atic saguaro cacti – up to 200 years old – com­mand the land­scape of Ari­zona’s Sono­ran Desert Na­tional Mon­u­ment. “This one al­lowed me to get right in­side its limbs,” says Jack. As the dawn light bathed the saguaro’s con­torted form, Jack’s wide an­gle re­vealed its fur­rowed arms, fram­ing its neigh­bours be­fore the Sand Tank Moun­tains.

WIN­TER PAUSE BY MATS AN­DER­S­SON, SWE­DEN Cat­e­gory: black and white

Mats walks in the for­est near his home in south­ern Swe­den every day, of­ten stop­ping to watch red squir­rels for­ag­ing in the spruce trees. On this cold, Fe­bru­ary morn­ing, the squir­rel’s de­meanour en­cap­su­lated the spirit of win­ter, cap­tured by Mats us­ing the soft-light grain of black and white.

THE IN­SID­ERS BY QING LIN, CHINA Cat­e­gory: un­der­wa­ter

While div­ing in the Lem­beh Strait in North Su­lawesi, In­done­sia, Qing no­ticed some­thing strange about this group of anemone fish. Each one had an ex­tra pair of eyes in­side its mouth – those of a par­a­sitic iso­pod, a crus­tacean re­lated to woodlice.

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