News Animals Wild Horses, Polar Bears, and Volcanoes Win National Photo Awards Winners were chosen from 61 countries. By Mary Jo DiLonardo Mary Jo DiLonardo LinkedIn Twitter Senior Writer University of Cincinnati Mary Jo DiLonardo has worked in print, online, and broadcast journalism for 25 years and covers nature, health, science, and animals. Learn about our editorial process Published March 14, 2022 10:00AM EDT Fact checked by Haley Mast Fact checked by Haley Mast LinkedIn Harvard University Extension School Haley Mast is a freelance writer, fact-checker, and small organic farmer in the Columbia River Gorge. She enjoys gardening, reporting on environmental topics, and spending her time outside snowboarding or foraging. Topics of expertise and interest include agriculture, conservation, ecology, and climate science. Learn about our fact checking process Matjaz Simic / 2022 Sony World Photography Awards Share Twitter Pinterest Email News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices News Archive Wild horses gambol in the surf, stars glitter over the hottest geyser basin in Yellowstone, and a big bull elephant looms large over the environment. These are some of the winning images from each nation in the Sony World Photography Awards 2022 from the World Photography Organisation. The National Awards program was created to support local photographers and photographic communities around the world. This year, 61 countries took part in the competition. “Wild Horses” by Matjaž Šimic, above, is the winner from Slovenia. It earned honors in the Natural World and Wildlife category. Šimic describes the winning image: When we visited France this summer, we saw the famous white Camargue horses. Their elegance and energy fascinated me so much that I was left speechless. More than 340,000 images from 211 territories were entered this year in the contest. The overall winners in the Student, Youth, Open, and Professional competitions of the Sony World Photography Awards 2022 will be announced in mid-April. Here are some of the other national winners with thoughts from the photographers about their images. “Born of Fire” Filip Hrebenda / 2022 Sony World Photography Awards Filip Hrebenda of Slovakia won in the Landscape category for this volcano image. A photo from my ‘Born of Fire’ series. It was the first photo I took on my expedition to the volcanic area of Fagradalsfjall in southwestern Iceland. Volcanoes are a rare opportunity to observe the complete transformation of a landscape. Places that were only recently valleys and meadows became hills, craters and lava fields. Being there was a great experience. “Chimpanzee” Pedro Jarque Krebs / 2022 Sony World Photography Awards Pedro Jarque Krebs of Peru won third place in the Natural World and Wildlife category for his chimpanzee portrait. This year, the competition featured a new Latin America National Awards initiative to focus on the area's photographic community. The awards considered talent from across Central America, South America, and Mexico. “Stars over Yellowstone” Mazin Alhassan / 2022 Sony World Photography Awards Mazin Alhassan won from Saudi Arabia in the Landscape category. An astrophotography shot at the Norris Geyser Basin, the hottest geyser basin in Yellowstone. It is located near the northwest edge of Yellowstone Caldera near Norris Junction and on the intersection of three major faults. “Polar Bear Cub” Jenny Zhao / 2022 Sony World Photography Awards Jenny Zhao was the winner from the United States in the Natural World and Wildlife category. A polar bear cub staring wistfully into the distance, shot in Canada in November 2021. “Untitled” Peter Angvarson / 2022 Sony World Photography Awards Peter Angvarson won from Sweden in the Landscape category. His winning image is of a landscape made by Lake Vanern in Sweden. “Giant Tusker” Mohammad Mirza / 2022 Sony World Photography Awards Mohammad Mirza won representing Kuwait. His elephant photo earned honors in the Natural World and Wildlife category. Photographing a giant tusker like Craig was a big challenge for me. Getting so close, within a few metres from this big bull, and shooting from a very low angle with a wide lens, requires some courage! After five days with several attempts at photographing Craig in an open space, I managed to get this shot face to face, with mount Kilimanjaro as a backdrop. “El Vigia” Gonzalo Javier Santile / 2022 Sony World Photography Awards Gonzalo Javier Santile earned second place honors for Argentina in the Creative category. A strong, hot wind known as Los Colorados was blowing when I took this photograph in Cafayete, Argentina, so I buried my tripod the best I could, using rocks to stabilise it. The image consists of 20 shots—six of the sky and six of the foreground, shot at 15mm with a shutter speed of 20 seconds. I love the combination of the Milky Way and these unique mountain rocks. “Movement and Stop” Salem Alsawafi / 2022 Sony World Photography Awards Salem Alsawafi was the winner from the United Arab Emirates in the Motion category. This picture, taken with a drone, shows a group of flamingos moving and coming to a stop.