© Karine Aigner, Wildlife Photographer of the Year

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The big buzz: Karine Aigner wins Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2022

The winners of the Natural History Museum’s prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition were announced at an awards ceremony in London today.The Natural History Museum will reveal the redesigned Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition featuring the awarded images on 14 October 2022 in London.

American photographer Karine Aignerwas announced as this year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year for her remarkable image of a buzzing ball of cactus bees spinning over the hot sand on a Texas ranch. In her bee-level close-up, all except one are males and they are intent on mating with the single female at the centre. Like most bees, they are threatened by habitat loss, pesticides,and climate change, as well as farming practices that disrupt their nesting grounds.

Karine is the fifth woman in the competition’s fifty-eight-year history to be awarded the Grand Title award. Chair of the jury, writer and editor, Rosamund ‘Roz’ Kidman Cox OBE says, ‘Wings-whirring, incoming males home in on the ball of buzzing bees that isrolling straight into the picture. The sense of movement and intensity is shown at bee-level magnification and transforms what are little cactus bees into big competitors for a single female.’


Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2022

Sixteen-year-old Katanyou Wuttichaitanakornfrom Thailand was awarded the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2022 for his creativeimage, The beauty of baleen. When a Bryde’s whale surfaced close to the boat, Katanyou was intrigued by the contrasting colours and textures of its dark skin, pink gum and the brush-like mass of baleen hanging down from its top jaw. Like other baleen whales, Bryde’s use a technique known as lunge-feeding to capture large numbers of small schooling fishand use the plates of baleen to filter the small prey from the ocean.

© Katanyou Wuttichaitanakorn, Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2022

A keen naturalist and a photographer since he was 12, this dynamic composition is Katanyou’s first award in the annual competition.

‘Out of the jaws of a Bryde’s whale comes this dazzling creation. The pin-sharp detail of the tiny anchovies is set against an abstraction of colour with the weave of brown baleen hair rimmed by a cascade of water drops,’ says Rosamund ‘Roz’ Kidman Cox OBE.

Powerful platform

The two Grand Title winners were selected from 19 category winners that highlight the natural world in all its wonder and diversity. In an intensive process, 38,575 entries from 93 countries werejudged anonymously by an international panel of experts on their originality, narrative, technical excellence,and ethical practice.

Dr Doug Gurr, Director of the Natural History Museum comments, ‘Wildlife photographers offer us unforgettable glimpses into the lives of wild species, sharing unseen details, fascinating behaviours and front-line reporting on the climate and biodiversity crises. These images demonstrate their awe of and appreciation for the natural world and the urgent need to take action to protect it.’

The redesigned flagship exhibition at the Natural History Museum positions the photographs among short videos, quotes from jury members and photographers as well as insights from Museum scientists to invite visitors to explore how human actions continue to shape the natural world. The exhibition will tour across the UK and internationally to venues in Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, New Zealand, Switzerland, USA and more.

The fifty-ninth Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition will open for entries from photographers of all ages, nationalities, and levels on Monday 17 October 2022. The international jury of industry experts has been announced, andtheentry fee for photographers entering from 50 countries will be waived. Global green energy company Ørsted is the associate sponsor for the upcoming exhibition at the Natural History Museum.

Notes to editors

Exhibition at Natural History Museum, London

Opens Friday 14 October 2022 and closes Sunday 2 July 2023.

  • The exhibition is open Monday –Sunday, 10.00-17.50 (last admission at 16.30), and weekends sell out quickly. 
  • Adult tickets from £17.00*, concession tickets £13.50*, and child £10.25* (*Prices excluding optional Gift Aid donation to the Museum.) Book your tickets: www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/exhibitions/wildlife-photographer-of-the-year 
  • The exhibition was designed by a team led by RIBA Stirling Prize winning Witherford Watson Mann architects. We worked with graphic design studio Wolfe Hall, and Lightheory Studio, TM Lighting and Fine Art Lighting.
  • #WPY58Fifty-ninth Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition•Opensfor entries on Monday 17 October 2022.
  • Closing for entries at 11.30am GMT on Thursday 8 December 2022.
  • Entrants to the adult competition may enter up to 25 images for a £30 fee, which increases to £35 in the final week of the entry period from 11.30am GMT 1 December to 11.30am GMT 8 December. 
  • An entry fee waiver has been introduced for photographers entering the adult competition who live in these 50 countries.
  • Entrants aged 17 and under may enter up to 10 images for free.
  • Find out how to enter: www.nhm.ac.uk/wpy/competition South Kensington exhibition sponsors

About Ørsted


Ørsted have been Associate Sponsor of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum since 2014. The Ørsted vision is a world that runs entirely on green energy. Ørsted develops, constructs, and operates offshore and onshore wind farms, solar farms, energy storage facilities, renewable hydrogen and green fuels facilities, and bioenergy plants. Moreover, Ørsted provides energy products to its customers. Ørsted is the only energy company in the world with a science-based net-zero emissions target as validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). Ørsted ranks as the world’s most sustainable energy company in Corporate Knights' 2022 index of the Global 100 most sustainable corporations in the world and is recognised on the CDP Climate Change a List as a global leader on climate action. Headquartered in Denmark, Ørsted employs 6,836 people. Ørsted's shares are listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen (Orsted). In 2021, the group's revenue was DKK 77.7 billion (EUR 10.4 billion) www.orsted.co.uk/en/About-us

Media contact

For access to high-resolution images or to arrange interviews with photographers, jury members, or Museum spokespeople, please contact Josephine Higgins at the Natural History Museum Press Office.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 5106

Mobile: +44 (0) 7799 690151

Email: wildpress@nhm.ac.uk