Capturing Ecology: Photography Competition

We are a community, so we’re always excited to see what you do. By entering our competition, you have the opportunity of promoting your work, yourself and your discipline.

Overall winner of Capturing Ecology 2022, ''A light in the shadows''- Roberto Garcia-Roa

Capturing Ecology 2023 will open in the Summer

You can view the winners of 2022 here.

2022 prizes:

  • Overall winner: £750 and a Lomo’Instant Camera and Lenses, kindly donated by Lomography UK.
  • Overall runner-up: £250
  • Student winner: £100
  • Winning category entry that is not one of above: £40 Oxford University Press voucher
  • Winning student category entry that is not one of above: £40 Cambridge University Press voucher

There are prizes for overall winning student and student category winners. Each student can submit a maximum of two images per category, indicating on submission that you would like to be considered for the student prize.


We are proud to boast a selection of highly respected, award-winning wildlife photographers on our judging panel.


Tips & Techniques

Before you reach for the camera, we’ve found some great tips and techniques online to help you capture the best shot.

BBC Arts provides some introductory instructions to wildlife photography 

Check out Discover Wildlife’s entire section on ‘How to photograph wildlife’.


  1. Up Close and Personal
    An image displaying the intricacy of nature using close up or macro photography. Creative and abstract imagery is welcomed and may include images denoting patterns, symmetry, form, and the study of micro-organisms.
  2. Dynamic Ecosystems
    Demonstrate the relationships within an ecosystem or community. There should be a clear emphasis on interactions between different species.
  3. Individuals and Populations
    A unique look at a species in its environment, either alone or as a population. There can be other species in the picture, but the emphasis should clearly be on one.
  4. People and Nature 
    People play a vital part in the global ecosystem, both positive and negative. Images in this category should provide a unique take on the relationships between people and nature. Submissions from this category may be featured on the cover of our Journal People and Nature.
  5. Ecology in Action
    Demonstrate work relating to the practice of ecology with a single striking image showcasing your research in progress. Get creative, we’re not just looking for a photo of your equipment, we’re looking for the story behind your work.
  6. The Art of Ecology
    This is your chance to show us your artistic flare, with a creative and original take on photography denoting ecology.


  1. The competition is open to our current members.
  2. Entries must be made online via the application form. Please follow the link below.
  3. By submitting an image to the competition you are confirming the image is your own and you have the rights to use this.
  4. Entries must include the names of the species shown and a description of what is happening.
  5. Images that are blurry or pixelated will not be considered
  6. Please select one category per image.
  7. Applicants can only submit 2 images per category and a maximum of 6 images in total. No image can be used in 2 categories.
  8. Each student can submit a maximum of 2 images per category. Please indicate that you are a student within the photograph description.
  9. Images must be saved in TIFF, JPEG or RAW file at the highest possible resolution between a minimum of 1MB and a maximum of 10MB.
  10.  Digital enhancement must be declared. This can be included in the image description. Only limited digital enhancements that do not change the essence of the picture will be accepted (i.e. cleaning, minor colour and saturation work). Both original and edited images need to be submitted, indicating which is which.
  11.  Although copyright remains with the photographer, by entering the competition applicants agree to give the BES the right to freely use their image(s). Photo credits will be used where possible.
  12.  Winners will be chosen by judges appointed by the BES, whose decisions are final. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide feedback to applicants.
  13.  Winning entries will be announced later in the year and may be exhibited at our Annual Meeting in December. A selection of winning images will also be featured in our membership magazine, The Niche.
  14.  The BES does not accept responsibility for loss, damage or delay to entries, however caused.

Ethical Standards

We expect all applicants to adhere to the following ethical standards.

  1. Animal welfare is priority and you should therefore never do anything to injure or distress any animal or destroy their habitat when taking a photograph.
  2. Applicants are responsible for complying with any national or international legislation governing the country in which the image has been taken and securing any relevant permits that are required (e.g. when working with protected species).