WPY 2015

Photograph Details

Finalist 2015


Ugo Mellone, Italy

The tunnel of spring

Ugo had heard of a strange phenomenon in southern Spain’s Sierra Nevada: temporary snow tunnels, cascading towards the wetlands. Upon discovery of this hidden tunnel, Ugo found himself walking into a secret oasis lined with lush grass and lit by natural skylights. The climate in the Sierra Nevada varies greatly, from permanently snow-capped peaks to warm, fertile, low-lying valleys, resulting in an enormous diversity of species and habitats. Snow tunnels form in spring, when faster-flowing snow melt cuts through the top layers of ice to form a hidden cave system beneath the surface.

Technical specification

Canon EOS 7D + 12-24mm f4 lens; 1.3 sec at f13; ISO 100.

Sierra Nevada, Spain: latitude 37.079807, longitude -3.121339 Sierra Nevada, Spain: latitude 37.079807, longitude -3.121339

Sierra Nevada, Spain

Intellectual property rights to all WPY images are retained by the photographers. Reproduction without prior written consent constitutes an actionable infringement. For usage enquiries please contact us.

Sign up to receive emails from the Natural History Museum about events and exhibitions, including Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

Ugo Mellone

Ugo Mellone, Italy

Ugo has always been fascinated by wilderness – from an aesthetic point of view, and as a place for exploration and discovery. This brought him to nature photography, and enabled him to carry out scientific research in the field of bird migration. He is currently working on a long-term photographic project in the Andalucia region of Spain.

  • Butterfly in crystal