"Lake of Ice," a reflective landscape photo capturing a grove of icy willow trees

"Lake of Ice," a reflective landscape photo capturing a grove of icy willow trees By Vivek Hansdah - February 10, 2022


The top photos in this year's Wildlife Photographer of the Year People's Choice Award contest include a pair of majestic lions, colorful pheasants, a photogenic kangaroo with a newborn, and a napping bear cub.

But the winning photo, out of more than 50,000 images from 95 countries submitted to the Natural History Museum, London, has no wildlife at all.

"Lake of Ice," a reflective landscape photo capturing a grove of icy willow trees partially submerged in a frozen lake, taken by Italian photographer Cristiano Vendramin, won the Wildlife Photographer of the Year People’s Choice Award 2021. More than 31,800 wildlife and nature enthusiasts voted online and chose the photo from a shortlist of 25 images.

While visiting Santa Croce Lake in northern Italy in 2019, Vendramin noticed how light played through the maze of tendril-like bare tree limbs and onto the water and ice. Vendramin said on the museum's website the setting reminded him of a dear friend and fellow photographer Bruno De Lorenzo, who loved the spot, but had passed away in 2018.

"Lake of Ice is dedicated to Bruno,' he said. "Not just because he is no longer with us but because this location was one of his favorite places to practice photography. He had always pointed out the photographic potential of this area."

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Vendramin began practicing photography about seven years ago and met De Lorenzo at a photography workshop. "I hope that my photography will encourage people to understand that the beauty of nature can be found everywhere around us, and we can be pleasantly surprised by the many landscapes so close to home," he said.

Natural History Museum director Douglas Gurr said, in a press release announcing the winners, that the photo "symbolises the positive impact nature can have on our well-being and lives. It can provide solace and a space to reflect on the past and even spark hope for the future. These past two years have redefined what truly matters in life, the people and the environments that play a crucial role in our own personal ecosystems. I hope those who look at this landscape frozen in time, are reminded of the importance of connecting to the natural world and the steps we must all take to protect it."

Source: USA Today

By Vivek Hansdah - February 10, 2022

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