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          Our Favourite Ocean-Themed Finalists of the 2021 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

          comedy wildlife awards sweetlips

          Philipp Stahr's picture of a boxfish with 'sweet lips' is one of the top finalists this year (Photo: Philipp Stahr/Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards)

          The Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards has published the image shortlisted for its 2021 competition and has opened voting for the People’s Choice Award, sponsored by  Affinity Photo – offering the public the chance to vote for their favourite funny wildlife photo.

          This year’s final shortlist of photographs showcases the biggest mix of animals seen in the competition to date, with 42 images selected by the judges, including a laughing vine snake from India, a trio of strutting Gentoo penguins on the beaches of the Falkland Islands and a Kangaroo performing a picture-perfect Pavarotti impersonation in Australia.

          'We were overwhelmed with the number and quality of entries we received this year, with well over 7,000 photos submitted from every corner of the globe. It was an amazing turnout, especially given the impact of the pandemic,' said Paul Joynson-Hicks MBE, Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards Co-Founder. The huge number of images we receive every year illustrates the appetite there is to engage with conservation and reminds us that wildlife truly is incredible and hilarious and, we must do all we can to protect it.'

          Being a little bit biased towards oceanic animals, we've compiled a list of the ocean-themed pictures for your perusal. The full set is available on the CWPA website, if you'd like to vote for - you know, bears in woods or other land-lubbing creatures!

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          Philipp Stahr – Sweet Lips Are For Kissing!

          comedy wildlife awards sweetlips

          (Philipp Stahr/Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards)

          The story: Box fish, Cura?ao, Dutch Caribbean.
          'Usually box fishes are difficult to take pictures of, since they do not have a problem of a diver coming close, but if you show interest, they always turn the back and not the face to you. That's why I tried to swim 0.5m above the fish and showing no interest at all to him. The same time I had my camera not in front of me, but below at my chest pointing to the bottom. When the right moment had come, I turned the camera 90 degrees to the front and just point and shoot, hoping to have the fish in focus. Never expected to have its beautiful lips that close!'


          Chu Han Lin – See Who Jumps High

          comedy wildlife awards see who jumps high

          (Chu Han Lin/Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards) 

          The story: A mudskipper leaping in front of its peers in Taiwan (no further description was supplied by the photographer)


          Joshua Galicki – We're Too Sexy For This Beach

          comedy wildlife awards too sexy for this beach

          (Joshua Galicki/Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards) 

          The story: Gentoo Penguins, East Falkland, Falkland Islands.
          'I was lying on the beach during a stretch of fair weather at Volunteer Point in East Falkland, just waiting to capture a Gentoo Penguin jumping out of the surf to land on the beach. To my delight, a trio emerged from the water and walked straight in my direction. I really enjoyed photographing this moment as it seems to capture some sassy personality displayed by these individuals.'


          Carol Taylor – Directing Penguin

          comedy wildlife awards awards directing penguin

          (Carol Taylor/Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards)

          The story: Gentoo Penguins in the Falkland Islands.
          'Two Gentoo penguins having a discussion after coming out of the surf.'


          Martina Novotna – Mr Giggles

          comedy wildlife awards awards mr giggles

          (Martina Novotna/Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards)

          The story: Grey seal, Ravenscar, UK.
          'I loved the expression captured. It looks so human-like. I was lying on a rocky beach for hours, as motionlessly as possible, patiently waiting for seal life to unfold around me. This seal pup came onto the shore for a bit of rest and ended up sleeping on its chosen rock for hours before the incoming tide forced it to move more inland. Occasionally, it would stretch and yawn and it was one of the yawns that led to this expression, looking as if the seal was giggling.'


          Chee Kee Teo  – Time For School

          comedy wildlife awards awards time for school

          (Chee Kee Teo/Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards)

          The story: a smooth coated-otter in Singapore 'bit' its baby otter to bring it back  for swimming lessons


          Cheryl Strahl – The Photo-Bombing Wave

          comedy wildlife awards awards photo bombing wave

          (Cheryl Strahl/Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards)

          The story:  Polar Bear, North Slope of Alaska, USA.
          'A polar bear mom and cubs frolicked in the icy waters of the Arctic. They kept dipping under the water and once came up together with this amusing pose. A tender moment is shared by mom and one cub while the other photo-bombs with a wave to the onlookers. Or, it sure looked like a wave...'


          Voting in the Affinity Photo People’s Choice Award is open until 10 October 2021. You can cast your votes at www.comedywildlifephoto.com, and all entrants will be in with the chace of winning a brand-new iPad.

          The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards was co-founded in 2015 by professional photographers Paul Joynson-Hicks MBE and Tom Sullam who wanted to create a competition that focused on the lighter side of wildlife photography and help promote wildlife conservation through humour. This year, the competition is supporting the Save Wild Orangutans initiative of Gunung Palung National Park, Borneo, by donating 10 per cent of its total net revenue to the charity. 

          The Category and Overall Winners will be announced on 22 October with the top image winning a one-week safari with Alex Walker's Serian in the Masai Mara, Kenya as well as a unique handmade trophy from the Art Garage in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

          The finalists will be judged by a panel comprised of wildlife photographers, Daisy Gilardini, Tom Laman and Will Burrard-Lucas, travel editor Neil Stevenson, tv presenter Kate Humble, actor and comedian Hugh Dennis, Co-Founder of The Born Free Foundation Will Travers OBE, Managing Director of Serif, developer of award sponsor Affinity Photo Ashley Hewson, ThinkTank’s Simon Pollock, image expert Celina Dunlop, Amazing Internet’s Andrew Skirrow, and the formidable ambassador for conservation, Bella Lack.


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