Winners of the Nature TTL Photographer of the Year 2021 Competition

The winners of the Nature TTL Photographer of the Year 2021 competition have been unveiled, with a mind-bending orangutan image taking the grand prize.

Over 8,000 images were entered into the competition this year, with nature photographers from all over the world competing to secure the £1,500 cash prize.

Canadian photographer Thomas Vijayan took the grand prize with his image The World is Going Upside Down, giving an intimate look into the world of an orangutan. The image appears to be looking at the sky, but on closer inspection is seen to be a reflection in the water below the tree.

© Thomas Vijayan / Nature TTL

“Thomas’ image is really unique, and immediately stood out to the judging panel,” said Will Nicholls, Founder of Nature TTL. “It’s one of those photos where you can’t skim past it. The unique perspective and composition means you are immediately trying to figure out what exactly you are looking at.”

Vijayan takes the £1,500 grand prize and title of Nature TTL Photographer of the Year 2021.

“This image means a lot to me because presently the orangutan population is reducing at an alarming rate,” says Vijayan of his winning image. “Deforestation and humans are the key cause behind this. Trees over 1,000 years old – which are a major asset to our planet – are being cut down for palm oil plantation. As humans we have a lot of alternative choices to replace the oil, but the orangutans don’t have any options other than losing their home. I am very happy to see this image be successful, as it gives me an opportunity to spread the issue to the wider world.”

13-year-old Thomas Easterbrook, from the United Kingdom, was crowned the Young Nature TTL Photographer of the Year 2021 with his image of a peregrine falcon tackling a starling murmuration.

© Thomas Easterbrook / Nature TTL

In total, photographers competed amongst 8 different competition categories celebrating the natural world: Animal Behaviour, Camera Traps, Landscapes, Small World, The Night Sky, Underwater, Urban Wildlife, and Wild Portraits.

You can see the category winners below, and view the full gallery of commended images over on the competition website.

Animal Behaviour

Thomas Vijayan

Category Winner & Overall Winner

Johan Wandrag


Camera Traps

John Formstone

Category Winner

James Roddie



Jay Roode

Category Winner

Fanny Reed


Small World

James Gifford

Category Winner

Samantha Stephens


The Night Sky

Ivan Pedretti

Category Winner

Amos Ravid



Grant Thomas

Category Winner

Zhi’yue Shi


Urban Wildlife

Kallol Mukherjee

Category Winner

Mohammad Murad


Wild Portraits

Dennis Stogsdill

Category Winner

James Gifford


Under 16

Thomas Easterbrook

Young Overall Winner

Raphael Schenker



To see more images from the competition, including all the Highly Commended images, head over to the competition website.



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