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Take a look at the spellbinding winners of the Travel Photographer of the Year Awards

From up-close beasts to painterly snowscapes, these were 2021’s most incredible outdoor snaps

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham

At first glance, the above image looks like a pretty conventional (if exceptionally well-timed) snap of a leopard prowling the savannah at night. But if you take a longer, closer look, you’ll see that something strange emerges. Within the leopard is what looks like reflections of the stars and the night sky. It looks like Photoshop or fancy editing – but it’s a very real, genuine photograph. 

So, how did it end up like that? Honestly, we’re not sure. The shot was taken by British photographer Will Burrard-Lucas, with the help of his home-built ‘BeetleCam’ technology. Using a remote control buggy, Burrard-Lucas managed to capture a shot of the leopard: a largely nocturnal animal that’s usually pretty difficult to catch on camera. The result is totally transfixing. 

Burrard-Lucas won the ‘living world’ category at the 2021 Travel Photographer of the Year Awards. Featuring categories ranging from ‘landscapes & adventures’ and ‘people & their stories’ to ‘green world’, the winners were as mesmerising as ever. Here are a few more of our favourites:

This impressionist-like snowscape

Fortunato Gatto /
Photograph: Fortunato Gatto /

This exceptionally calm rural scene

Tevin Kim /
Tevin Kim /

This pleasing shot of camels reflected on a beach

Desert reflections
Photograph: Trevor Cole /

This close-up of an icy grizzly

Marko Dimitrijevic /
Photograph: Marko Dimitrijevic /

This cute mountain town

Vladimir Karamazov /
Photograph: Vladimir Karamazov /

This eerie flamingo formation

Jie Fischer /
Photograph: Jie Fischer /

And this ridiculously brave skier

Pally Learmond /
Photograph: Pally Learmond /

Looking for more epic photography? Check out these aerial shots from the Drone Photo Awards.

Plus: these award-winning photos have made us really want to explore the world again.

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