We’re fortunate to have two of our images chosen for the Final Round of Judging in the 2015 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition sponsored by the BBC and the British Museum of Natural History. The leopard photo is in the Earth’s Designs in Black and White category. This is from a trip we did to Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. The leopard was resting in the canopy of an acacia tree, obscured by branches. We watched for quite a while and were about to leave because it looked as if the big cat was content to stay put. Then suddenly it stirred and quickly descended the tree, stopping for a brief moment on a dead branch while it looked around. We decided on black and white for this image because it seemed to best portray the basic elements of the scene – an iconic big cat of Africa on a lone tree, set against the vast Serengeti plains.
The mountain sunrise image is in the Earth’s Designs on Land category. Mount Fitzroy in Argentina’s Los Glaciares National Park is among Patagonia’s most iconic scenes. To get this view we did an overnight hike to a backcountry campground overlooking the jagged peaks. Just after 4:00 am, the rising sun washed over the granite spires, turning them such a brilliant red that they looked as if they were on fire.