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 is closed.

All winning entries have now been notified.

The winning photos will be released on October 6th.

You can view the winners of 2022 here.

2023 prizes:

  • Overall winner*: £750, a fisheye lens camera, kindly sponsored by Lomography, and 12 months BES membership
  • Overall runner-up: £250 and 12 months BES membership
  • Student runner-up: £250 and 12 months BES student membership
  • Winning category entry: £100
  • Winning student category entry: £100

*The overall winner and runner-ups will be selected from all submitted photos.


We are proud to boast a selection of highly respected, award-winning wildlife photographers and respected ecologists 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. Individuals and Populations (Animals)
    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 species
  2. Individuals and Populations (Plants and Fungi)
    Showcase the power of plants or the fascination of fungi. As with the animal category, we want to see stunning images with the focus on one species
  3. Networks in Nature
    Demonstrate the relationships within an ecosystem or community. There should be a clear emphasis on interactions between different species.
  4. The Bigger Picture
    Zoom out and show us ecology on a larger scale. We are looking for photos that reveal the awe and wonder of our planet, and photos that reveal the human impact on our environment.
  5. People and Nature 
    Images in this category should provide a unique take on the relationships between people and nature, both positive and negative.
  6. Ecologists in Action
    Show us *you* in action! We want to see what being an ecologist actually looks like, whether out in the field or in the lab. Share your story to inspire others and highlight the important work that ecologists do.


  1. The competition is open to our current active members.
  2. Entries must be made online via the application form. Please follow the link at the top of this page.
  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. 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. Your images may be featured on several websites. Previous years have included the BBC, the Guardian and CNN.
  5. Entries must include the names of the species shown and a description of what is happening.
  6. Images that are blurry, pixelated, or do not fit any of the categories will not be considered
  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. We reserve the right to move your picture to a different category if it has not been submitted to the relevant category.
  8. You can win a maximum of two categories.
  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. We do not accept AI generated pictures as an entry
  12. Although copyright remains with the photographer, by entering the competition applicants agree to give the BES the right to use their image(s) freely. Photo credits will be used where possible.
  13. Winners will be chosen by judges appointed by the BES, whose decisions are final. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide feedback to applicants.
  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).

With thanks to our sponsors

Dryad is an open data publishing platform and a community committed to the open availability and routine re-use of all research data’

The Lomographic Society International is a globally-active organization dedicated to analogue, experimental, and creative photography.