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Impressive Wildlife Photos That Will Brighten Your Day: From BBC’s Wildlife Photographer Of The Year Competition

Impressive Wildlife Photos That Will Brighten Your Day: From BBC’s Wildlife Photographer Of The Year Competition

Capturing that magical wildlife photo takes decent equipment, an extreme amount of patience and a little bit of luck. Beyond composition and color, the best wildlife photographs give you a reason to pause. “The trick is to include one key ingredient — something that is common to almost all the winning shots: originality,” says DiscoverWildlife.com. Lining up all of these elements can be tricky. But it’s well worth it when you get results like those below. These are our favorite shots from the BBC and Natural History Museum’s 2014 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

What’s your favorite from this wildlife photo competition? Let us know in the comments below. You can also go to and vote online for the People’s Choice until September 5, 2014, at this link here.

1. Kings Into the Dark – Stanley Leroux

Kings into the dark

    Emptiness in a picture sometimes speaks louder than abundance. This photograph’s impact comes from the combination of a title that is as striking as the landscape’s negative space.

    2. What’s This? Peter Mather

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    What's this? Peter Mather

      Setting up this shot must have taken a great amount of planning and forethought. Even so, no one can choreograph animals to stage correctly for a photo. The crispness of the scene above and below the water line add it its appeal.

      3. Barracuda swirl – Alexander Mustard

      Barracuda swirl - Alexander Mustard

        Oscar Wilde once said, “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life.” In this photo, where the focus is on the form created by a school of barracudas (rather than highlighting just one) the truth inside this quote is undeniable.

        4. Great peacock moth caterpillar – Leela Channer.

        Great peacock moth caterpillar - Leela Channer.

          “When you’re out photographing wildlife, don’t just pay attention to what are called the charismatic megafauna — the big animals that get most of our attention,” says National Geographic wildlife photographer Robert Caputo. “Of course we all want good photos of the big guys, but there are many other forms of life around. Some of them are really beautiful, and all of them are interesting.” Lucky for us, Leela Channer didn’t overlook this caterpillar, which is as quirky as it is exquisite.

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          5. Startled by stargazer – Jennifer Jo Stock

          Startled by stargazer - Jennifer Jo Stock

            I may have a background in biology, but I’m still not sure what kind of fish I’m looking at here. In this picture, though, inexperience of the animal doesn’t lessen the enjoyment of the surprise. I’m just not sure who’s more taken aback: the stargazer or his audience. (Bonus points to anyone who can tell me the name of this animal in the comments below.)

            6. Australian sea lion pups – Michael Patrick O’Neill

            Australian sea lion pups - Michael Patrick O'Neill

              The movement and contrasting hues are mesmerizing in this remarkable black and white photograph.

              7. Yellow-necked mouse – Carsten Braun

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              Yellow-necked mouse - Carsten Braun

                I love stories where I can root for the little guy. Like this small mouse — bounding from rock to rock, skirting pools of water, all while hanging on to his precious cargo. I can almost hear the applause when he lands safely on terra firma once more.

                8. Pure magic – Raviprakash S S

                Pure magic - Raviprakash S S

                  At first glance, this shot of a series of busy streets doesn’t appear to fit it a group of wildlife photos.  Until you notice the spider perched above, and realize that this is actually a colorful web.

                  9. Baltic groyne – Jens Rosbach

                  Baltic groyne - Jens Rosbach

                    Not all of the photos in this competition feature animals. This shot — a row of groynes standing sentry in a foggy Baltic Sea — is hypnotic in a subtle, calming way.

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                    10. Facebook update – Marsel van Oosten

                    Facebook update - Marsel van Oosten

                      I don’t know what’s funnier — this shot of a Japanese snow monkey, or the descriptions we’ve come across for it. The photographer named the photo “Facebook update,” but just as humorous is the caption from Business Insider:  “He’s playing Candy Crush.”

                      Featured photo credit: Kings into the dark, Stanley Leroux via nhm.ac.uk

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                      Last Updated on January 21, 2020

                      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                      Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

                      your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

                        Why You Need a Vision

                        Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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                        How to Create Your Life Vision

                        Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

                        What Do You Want?

                        The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

                        It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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                        Some tips to guide you:

                        • Remember to ask why you want certain things
                        • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
                        • Give yourself permission to dream.
                        • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
                        • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

                        Some questions to start your exploration:

                        • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
                        • What would you like to have more of in your life?
                        • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
                        • What are your secret passions and dreams?
                        • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
                        • What do you want your relationships to be like?
                        • What qualities would you like to develop?
                        • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
                        • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
                        • What would you most like to accomplish?
                        • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

                        It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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                        What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

                        Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

                        A few prompts to get you started:

                        • What will you have accomplished already?
                        • How will you feel about yourself?
                        • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
                        • What does your ideal day look like?
                        • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
                        • What would you be doing?
                        • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
                        • How are you dressed?
                        • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
                        • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
                        • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

                        It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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                        Plan Backwards

                        It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

                        • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
                        • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
                        • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
                        • What important actions would you have had to take?
                        • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
                        • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
                        • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
                        • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
                        • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

                        Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

                        It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

                        Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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