The most captivating animal pictures of 2014
Because few things in life remind us how majestic the world is like awe-inspiring photos of animals dressed up in Wild West costumes (or, in this case, captured in their natural environs), here are the winners from the 2014 Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards.
Entries from contestants as young as 10 years old were judged in multiple categories (including one that weirdly didn't include animals) by an international panel, and the winners were chosen based on both the image's aesthetic and the photographer's ability to demonstrate a "truthful interpretation of the natural world". Starting Friday, all finalists will have their work showcased in an exhibition at London's Natural History Museum.
From snoozing lions to apocalyptic lighting, here are our picks for best of the best.
Category: Finalist -- Underwater Species
Photographer: Fabien Michenet
Category: Finalist -- 11-14 years
Photographer: Will Jenkins
Location: Costa Rica
Category: Winner -- Earth's Environments
Photographer: Francisco Negroni
Location: Puyehue National Park, Chile
"The Long Embrace"
Category: Winner -- 15-17 years
Photographer: Anton Lilja
Category: Finalist -- Birds
Photographer: Jan van der Greef
Location: The Netherlands
"The Longline Lottery"
Category: Finalist -- The World in Our Hands
Photographer: Rodrigo Friscone Wyssman
Location: Baja California, Mexico
"The Last Great Picture"
Category: Winner - Black and White
Photographer: Michael "Nick" Nichols
Location: Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
"Stinger in the Sun"
Category: Winner - 10 Years and Under
Photographer: Carlos Perez Naval
Location: Sisones, Spain
Category: Finalist -- 15-17 years
Photographer: Edwin Sahlin