Snow Globe image by Denise Ippolito

"Snow Globe" by Denise Ippolito, "Winged Life" First Place Category Winner


San Francisco (June 21, 2017)—On Friday, July 28, the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco will open BigPicture, the museum’s annual photography exhibit highlighting the best in wildlife and conservation photography from around the planet. Featuring 48 top images from the fourth-annual BigPicture Natural World Photography Competition, the exhibit blends captivating imagery with perspectives from Academy scientists and illustrates the power of photography to engage the public in the diversity of life on Earth and our most pressing environmental challenges. The exhibit will be on display through October 29, 2017.

Nearly 6,000 photographic submissions were entered by photographers representing 63 countries—all of which were reviewed by a judging panel of esteemed professional photographers and photo editors. A gallery of winning images was published this week by bioGraphic, the official media sponsor for the BigPicture competition. Gallery photos and captions in the bioGraphic story are available to any interested media outlets upon request.

This year’s Grand Prize image was taken by wildlife photographer Britta Jaschinski of the UK, whose work focuses on revealing otherwise untold stories about animal suffering. Confiscated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and stored in a wildlife repository in Colorado, the captivating image of two enormous elephant feet-turned-foot-stools represents just one example of the 1.3 million items seized each year—and the incredible toll materialistic desire takes on threatened wildlife populations.

Since launching in 2014, the BigPicture photo competition has established a fast-growing reputation within the photography community, receiving a four-star rating (the highest possible honor) four years running from The Photographer’s Guide to Photo Contests by PhotoShelter, one of the world’s top online photography resources. The competition was also named one of the “Best Photography Contests and Prizes in 2016” by Format, a leading online portfolio service for photographers.

Award-winning wildlife photographer Suzi Eszterhas chaired the competition’s panel of esteemed judges for a fourth year, joined by international photo editors Kathy Moran (National Geographic), Melissa Groo (Audubon and Outdoor Photographer), Sophie Stafford (formerly of BBC Wildlife), and award-winning nature and conservation photographers James Balog, Pete Oxford, plus founder and director of Minden Pictures, Larry Minden.

The Grand Prize and First Place Category winners and their work will be honored at an awards ceremony during the BigPicture NightLife event (21+) on July 27, 2017. Awards include $12,000 in cash prizes and images featured on the museum’s public floor, which welcomes over 1.5 million visitors each year. For more information on BigPicture, visit

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