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Highly Commended: Wildlife Photographer of the Year – Animal Portraits

I’m excited to announce that for the second year in a row one of my photos has been honored in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition! My photo, titled “Top Shelf” was Highly Commended in the WPY56 Animal Portraits category. This follows last year’s win in the Black and White category.


The image depicts a tayra—a member of the weasel family—foraging at the top of a Panama rubber tree in Costa Rica’s Corcovado National Park. The unusual subject, combined with the bold graphic elements surrounding it, made for unique and successful image in my mind. I named it one of my favorites in 2019, and I’m excited that the WPY judges felt just as strongly about it.

If you missed the stream from this year’s ceremony, you can view it here.

View the full collection of WPY56 winning images.

Framed tayra photoOrder Prints:

Order prints of the winning image directly from my website!


To order pre-matted, pre-framed or other specialty prints or gift items featuring this image, visit my FineArtAmerica/Pixels store.


24″ x 22″ Fuji Flex paper prints, signed and numbered, set of 50: $1650 + S/H.

36″ x 32″Fuji Flex paper prints, signed and numbered, set of 50: $3000 + S/H.

Contact me directly if you are interested in a limited edition print.

If you are interested in ordering last year’s Black and White winning bison photo, learn more about ordering options here.

Though I’m thankful and thrilled with this award, it comes with mixed feelings, since this year’s ceremony and related events were all being held remotely due to the COVID-19 virus. Last year’s gala was one of the highlights of not only my year, but my career as a nature photographer. It was deflating knowing we had to cancel our London plans, an experience we were looking forward to sharing with my friends and peers. Perhaps it’s a mixed blessing, as I’m not sure I would’ve fit in my tux this year, having sat around the house so much during self-quarantine the past several months.

As mentioned, this is the second consecutive year I’ve been honored in the world’s most prestigious nature photography contest, which received over 49,000 entries this year. As special as it was to receive my first-ever WPY honor (including a category win and being short-listed for the grand prize), this year’s commendation is also special to me… it proves last year’s result may not have been a fluke! Learning during the ceremony that the Animal Portraits category is the most popular in the competition, with over 8000 entries, is also validating. Big thanks to the judging panel for the selection, and congratulations to all of the category winners and my fellow honorees (especially friends Zack Clothier and John Blumenkamp). I’m sorry we did not have a chance to meet in person this year!

Click here to view all of the winning and commended images from this year’s competition.

Photos will be exhibited in the Natural History Museum in London for the next several months, and the show will soon tour worldwide!

More from Wildlife Photographer of the Year

American bison in snowstormThoughts on a Tayra in a Tree

Here’s the current WPY56 and WPY55 traveling exhibit schedule.


Read More About My WPY55 Experience:

I wrote about my experience winning the award and my week in London: Go behind the scenes with a Wildlife Photographer of the Year category winner.

I also wrote about my feelings about the image itself, and told the story of how it was created: Thoughts on a Bison in a Snowstorm.

Order prints of “Snow Exposure.”


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