Finalists From the 2014 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition

    Skating on Sunlight—Finalist for Invertebrates category. Herfried had set off to photograph grouse in the forest near his home in Styria, Austria. But he ended up being mesmerized by pond skaters. Hand-holding his camera, Herfried finally managed to frame the moment when three individuals paused close together in pools of reflected sky. (Image: Herfried Marek/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014)Snake Eyes—Finalist for 11-14 years old category. ‘I have a great passion for reptiles, especially snakes,’ he says, ‘and it is rare to see this kind where I live.’ But though he had only a moment to compose the picture, he had the skill to take a portrait with the focus on the key part of the snake—its eyes. (Image: Marc Montes/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014)The Elegant Crowd—Finalist for Black and White category. ‘Rows of Vs would come from every direction, the birds descending into the dunes. Once one had entered the enclosure, others would follow. Soon, it was filled with a sea of cranes, turning their heads in synchrony.’ To emphasize the size and dynamics of the flock, Jasper converted the image to black and white—‘to limit the information to just what was necessary’. (Image: Jaspe Doest/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014)Winter Hang Out - Finalist for Mammals category. Hibernating Daubenton’s bats in abandoned bunkers. This picture is dedicated to a lost friend who was with the photographer during the entire process. (Image: Łukasz Bożycki / Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014)Kaleidoscope—Finalist for Natural Design category. A geological event half a billion years ago, at extreme heat deep within the continental crust, gave rise to this crystal formation. ‘My aim is to reveal the beauty of a small world that is normally accessible only to geologists,’ he explains, ‘and through images such as this to tell the fascinating story of our planet.’ (Image: Bernardo Cesare/ Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014)Magic Mountain—Finalist for Earth's Environment category. At 2 a.m., the intensity of the aurora light suddenly changed, and a great burst pulsed across the sky in a totally unexpected formation. ‘I slightly underexposed the image to avoid burning out the highlights and painted light on the foreground with my head torch,’ says David. What provided the extra magic were the otherworldly lenticular clouds hovering over the waterfall, echoed in the patterns of ice, and the green light reflecting off the frozen river. (Image: David Clapp/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014)Sailing by—Finalist for Invertebrates category. These are cnidarians—each a floating colony of four kinds of organisms, dependent on one another for survival. 'What I really love about over/under photographs is that it gives the underwater element a sense of place.' (Image: Matthew Smith/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014)

    Here are some of the finalists from the 2014 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition. The winners will be unveiled on Oct. 21, 2014. See winning images from the 2013 competition.

    If you can’t be in awe of Mother Nature, there’s something wrong with you. ~ Alex Trebek

    The acclaimed Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition premieres at London’s Natural History Museum each year, and tours more than 60 cities in the UK and across the world. It showcases the award-winning images, bringing the talent and vision of each photographer closer to all who visit.

    Exhibition information

    Dates and times: Friday Oct. 24, 2014 to Sunday Aug. 30, 2015, 10.00-17.50
    (last admission 17.15)

    To book tickets: www.nhm.ac.uk/wpy

    * Help the Museum by giving a small donation with your ticket. If you are a UK taxpayer, we can then claim Gift Aid on the full value of your ticket, as well as your donation. This means that an extra 25p in each pound you spend will help fund the Museum’s work.

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year is co-owned by the Natural History Museum and BBC Worldwide

    Can Justin Bieber Song Lyrics Help This Girl Find Love?
    Do You Know How to Plank?