Conservation shows its funny side with this year’s finalists for the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.
Given how reckless homo sapiens are proving to be when it comes to nature and wildlife, conservation photography is usually a somewhat serious affair. Of course, cute works wonders, but a lot of wildlife photography focuses on the poignant and majestic. Lone polar bears on a drift of iceberg, a lion in the wind on the savannah, the puppy dog eyes of a seal.
Finalists for the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards are not like that.
In fact, they kind of spin the whole genre on its head, showing our planet’s cohabitants in the funniest of scenarios.
The awards were started by wildlife photographers Tom Sullam and Paul Joynson-Hicks – who produce the contest along with the wonderful Born Free Foundation – in an effort to shine a light on the importance of conserving our planet’s incredible wildlife. Approaching such a serious issue through humor feels like a fabulously fresh approach. As noted on the contest website, the competition was created to address "a need for a photography competition that was light hearted, upbeat, possibly unpretentious and mainly about wildlife doing funny things." And adding that secondly, "and way more importantly, this competition is about conservation."
The following is just a mere sampling of the 41 finalists. The winner will be announced on November 15 – and in the meantime, the public has a chance to weigh in and vote for the Affinity People’s Choice Award (more on that below).
The mechanics behind much of the humor is that the non-human animals are displaying behavior that looks decidedly human. And in turn, makes these creatures all seem so relatable. In the funniest photos, we all think, “Oh yes, I’ve been there too.” It doesn’t get more endearing than that – and endearment leads to compassion. And that’s where conservation begins.
To see all the photos and vote for your favorite, visit the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards – and visit the Born Free Foundation for more about the important work they are doing on behalf of wildlife.
AND … there is a book! See more here: Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards Vol. 2.