WPOTY’s LUMIX People’s Choice Award Winner 2018

Lloyd's winning entry. Nikon D800E + 400mm f/2.8 lens; 1/500th sec at f4.8, ISO 500.

Professional wildlife photographer David Lloyd has scooped this year’s LUMIX People’s Choice Award from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2018 competition.

The heart-warming image depicts a moment of calm between a pair of male lions. Around 16,000 people voted in this year’s award, and Lloyd’s image, titled Bond of Brothers, came out on top. A shortlist of 25 images, selected by the Natural History Museum in London from over 45,000 images submitted to the 2018 competition, was put to the public for voting.

The image will join the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, currently residing in the Natural History Museum until 30th June 2019.

It is likely that the two adult males are brothers, displaying a greeting to each other by rubbing their heads together for around 30 seconds.

Lloyd’s winning entry. Nikon D800E + 400mm f/2.8 lens; 1/500th sec at f4.8, ISO 500.

“I’m so pleased that this image did well, because it illustrates the emotion and feeling of animals and emphasises that this is not limited to humans,” says Lloyd. “It is something I think more people need to be aware of for the sake of all animals.”

Lloyd is referring to the idea that many animals display evidence of conscious thought and feelings, as well as the ability to perceive the mental states of other individuals (known as the Theory of Mind).

Director of the Natural History Museum, Sir Michael Dixon, says of the image, “Lions are individuals with complex social bonds, and David’s winning picture provides a glimpse into their inner world.

“A truly stunning photograph, this intimate portrait reminds us that humans aren’t the only sentient beings on this planet. I hope the empathy and wonder garnered by this image will inspire more people to become advocates for nature.”

The LUMIX People’s Choice Award also resulted in four images being awarded Highly Commended in the category.

Highly Commended Images in the LUMIX People’s Choice Award

Three Kings by Wim Van Den Heever, South Africa

Wim came across these king penguins on a beach in the Falkland Islands just as the sun was rising. They were caught up in a fascinating mating behaviour –the two males were constantly moving around the female using their flippers to fend the other off.

Nikon D810 + Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 lens at 40mm; 1/250sec at f11; Nikon SB910 flash.

Fox Meets Fox by Matthew Maran, UK

\Matthew has been photographing foxes close to his home in north London for over a year and ever since spotting this street art had dreamt of capturing this image. After countless hours and many failed attempts his persistence paid off.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III + 70-200mm f2.8 IS II USM lens; 1/500 sec at f4.0; ISO 800.

A Polar Bear’s Struggle by Justin Hofman, USA

Justin’s whole body pained as he watched this starving polar bear at an abandoned hunter’s camp, in the Canadian Arctic, slowly heave itself up to standing. With little, and thinning, ice to move around on, the bear is unable to search for food.

Sony a7R II + Sony FE 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 GM OSS lens; 1/200 sec at f10; ISO 800.

One Toy, Three Dogs by Bence Mate, Hungary

While adult African wild dogs are merciless killers, their pups are extremely cute and play all day long. Bence photographed these brothers in Mkuze, South Africa –they all wanted to play with the leg of an impala and were trying to drag it in three different directions!

Canon EOS-1DX Mark II; 200-400mm lens (35mm equivalent: 197.2-394.3 mm); 1/1800 sec at f4.0; 4000 ISO.

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