• A bear climbing over a porch in North Carolina
    An image from "Cities Gone Wild" by photographer Corey Arnold, BigPicture 2023 Grand Prize Winner
  • A coyote crossing a bridge at night in Chicago
    An image from "Cities Gone Wild" by photographer Corey Arnold, BigPicture 2023 Grand Prize Winner
  • A group of raccoons stand alert as a car light passes over them in Golden Gate Park
    An image from "Cities Gone Wild" by photographer Corey Arnold, BigPicture 2023 Grand Prize Winner

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (June 15, 2023) — The California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco is excited to announce the winners of the 10th annual BigPicture: Natural World Photography Competition. More than 7,300 photographic submissions were entered by world-class photographers representing more than 58 countries—each image capturing the remarkable beauty and awe-inspiring splendor of the natural world.

“BigPicture was founded on the belief that photography is one of the most unique and powerful mediums for connecting people with the natural world,” says Rhonda Rubinstein, creative director at the Academy and co-founder of BigPicture. “Over the past decade, we have seen time and time again just how true that sentiment is as people from around the world find inspiration, hope, beauty, and resilience in the images we have had the privilege to share.”

A gallery of this year’s winning images was just published by bioGraphic, the Academy’s independent online magazine about nature and regeneration and the official media sponsor for the BigPicture competition. Gallery photos and captions are available for syndication to interested media outlets upon request.

Competition entries were judged by an esteemed panel, including Jury Chair and renowned wildlife photographer Suzi Eszterhas, international photo editor Sophie Stafford, and award-winning nature and conservation photographers and filmmakers Diana Caballero Alvarado, Gunjan Menon, Susan Middleton, Cristina Mittermeier, and Ami Vitale. Photo categories include Terrestrial Wildlife, Winged Life, Landscapes, Waterscapes & Flora, Aquatic Life, Art of Nature, and Human/Nature. This year’s photo essay category, “A Matter Of Time” focuses on images that show changes through time at the variety of scales that humans perceive on this planet, from the split-second moments before a predator snags its prey to the long process of an animal learning to live in a human-dominated landscape.

This year’s Grand Prize winner, a photo story titled “Cities Gone Wild” by photographer Corey Arnold from White Salmon, Washington, documents the ways in which three species—coyotes, raccoons, and black bears—are learning to not only survive but thrive alongside humans in the face of increasing urbanization. Arnold spent several years working with local residents, scientists, and land managers to track the animals and perfectly place camera traps to capture the unique ways they are adapting to their ever-changing environment. Check out all of this year’s Grand Prize, First Place, and category finalists here.

“When we talk about human-nature interaction we often—and understandably—focus on how humans are bending the natural world to our whims,” says Suzi Eszterhas, BigPicture Jury Chair. “Through his powerful images, Arnold reminds us of the active role that animals and nature play in this relationship, adapting to our incursions in unexpected and often ingenious ways. Seen in that light, the photo story is both tragic and inspiring, a story of humanity’s enduring encroachment and nature’s remarkable resilience.”

Since launching in 2014, BigPicture has established a fast-growing reputation as one of the world’s leading competitions for nature and wildlife photography. In that time, the competition has received roughly 64,100 submissions and awarded $120,000 in cash prizes to more than 80 images. Each year, the winning images are seen by millions of people across the globe and the competition is frequently recognized by top photography and design websites and outlets such as My Modern Met and Pixpa.

Awards from this year’s competition include $11,000 in cash prizes and all 49 winning images will be featured in the annual BigPicture photography exhibit, set to open October 7, 2023 at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Sign up here to stay up-to-date on all things BigPicture and receive an email update when next year’s competition opens.

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