Written by By Karen Griffin, CNN
Our culture has been pushing nature hard. There have been sightings of giant squid, blue whales and leopards, and natural wonders like the Grand Canyon and El Capitan. On CNN Travel, we’ve covered the North Pole, nowhere in the world can you get a world-class view of its state of nature and its geology better than in Alaska. It’s a part of the country with a deep respect for the Arctic’s unique landscape and spectacular wildlife.
What sets Alaska apart, of course, is its breadth. The National Park Service describes the state as “an island in the middle of an ocean with a state of the art hospital being run by bird medics, rehabilitation teams and 24/7 television crews from New York.” That, coupled with its population of around a quarter of a million people and its amazing wilderness, makes Alaska an endlessly fascinating place.
The Natural World Awards have celebrated such beauty for 25 years, recognizing the world’s best nature photography
Among the winners of the 2019 competition was Paul Gangemi, who captured some rare images in the Hamptons — a town in New York. The area is home to over 1,500 avian species and “if you stop to take a good photo of a hummingbird it can move a trillion metres (3,280 feet) in three seconds.”
This photographer shows two more natural wonders
“I’m doing what a lot of photographers do,” he says. “It takes me three years to just take a picture and it’s so random. Usually you take pictures of creatures and when you see them you’re like, OK, I see that.”
Here’s another image from the winner’s portfolio
Congratulations to these wildlife photographers for capturing the magic of our world:
Reached by phone, Gangemi admits he’s quick to snap these unexpected moments. “Avian life is so fast to me,” he says. “When I see something, sometimes I don’t really plan to be there to take a picture. I just stop and I do a shoot.”