WPY 2016

Photograph Details

Finalist 2016


Mario Cea, Spain

Crystal precision

Knowing bats would emerge from a nearby derelict house, Mario positioned his camera for a head-on shot of their window exit. The hard part was lighting both a bat and the glass shards in a single exposure. His perseverance paid off, capturing this individual in stunning detail as it set off on its nightly foray.

As tree and cave roosts have become scarce, many bats live in cracks in buildings or derelict spaces. Hunting at night, they rely more on their hearing than sight, which is actually as good as ours. They echolocate – bouncing high-pitched sounds around to map their location and find their prey.

Technical specification

Canon EOS 7D; 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 lens at 160mm; 1/250 sec at f9; ISO 200; Godox V860 flashes; Pixel King Pro remote release; Benro Travel Flat tripod and Benro V3E ballhead.

Salamanca, Spain: latitude 40.969074, longitude -5.663891 Salamanca, Spain: latitude 40.969074, longitude -5.663891

Salamanca, 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.

Mario Cea

Mario Cea, Spain

Mario's passion for nature started at a young age. His images have been published in national and international media as well as books, and he has received several awards in photography competitions. For Mario, nature photography is a way to understand, preserve, respect and love nature in all its aspects.

  • The blue trail