The 8th annual Opwall Photo competition has come to end – and with over 160 entries and thousands of votes we have our winners!
Each person could enter two photos, but they had to have been taken on an expedition with us and fit a few other requirements. The 10 photos with the most votes were then given to a judge, who picked the top three winners. Our staff pick was chosen from the top 20 photos and got picked by a vote from Opwall staff members.
Dan O’Neill is a field biologist, wildlife filmmaker, and explorer specialising in remote and challenging environments. He has organised numerous expeditions to find, film, and study rare animals from the pristine jungles of the northern Amazon and Mayan temple ruins of the Yucatan, to the frozen peaks of Central Asia. Regularly involved in field projects, he primarily works as a mammal specialist, expedition leader and camera-trap technician. After 5 years of collaboration, The Snow Leopard Trust named Dan as their first ever Explorer in Residence, working with international field teams and local partners to help communicate the conservation story of the planet’s least understood big cat. His varied work also includes shooting & directing longform TV wildlife and expedition documentaries and digital mini-series, co-producing nature-inspired music with Grammy-winning artist Imogen Heap, and in the creative direction of projects spanning from live events to digital fashion campaigns. Dan’s recent 5-part series ‘Giants’ produced by Off The Fence for Curiosity Stream premiered in May 2023 and circles the globe on 5 epic expeditions to find the biggest beasts to have walked the planet. ’Giants’ marked the first time in history openly LGBT wildlife presenter hosted a series for a major network. Dan continues to be a passionate advocate for increased LGBT representation in STEM, natural history media, and adventure. His work has been featured in Attitude Magazine, Gay Times, The Advocate, The Independent, BBC Radio 4 and more.
Dan has worked with Opwall on 3 expeditions (Mexico, Guyana and Honduras) and, in his earlier career days, filmed our Guyana informational video, as well as editing our Peru and South Africa videos alongside this. You can find Dan on instagram (@danowild).
First prize is the opportunity to go to an Operation Wallacea site to photograph the amazing species that can be found there!
Second prize is a photobook with photos of your choice, a canvas print of 40 x 30 cm, and an Opwall t-shirt or hoodie of your choice.
Third prize is an Opwall t-shirt or hoodie of your choice.
Staff pick is a photograph chosen by the Opwall office staff! The prize is an Opwall t-shirt or hoodie of your choice.
Dan’s comments about Miguel’s image:
I picked this one for first as I think the composition is lovely, and even though it is an ultra close up of the elephant’s eye, Miguel has captured a lot of personality and story in the image. The elephant almost looks sad, I feel this image has a lot of weight. The focus is also sharp and colours are beautiful.
Dan’s comments about Erin’s image:
I picked this image from Erin for second as it is a wonderful illustration of the tiny gems you can find in the cloud forest. Having been to the Honduras site myself, this brings back memories of scouring the leaf litter for critters like this little snake. good composition and sharp image. Perhaps a tiny bit of lost focus on the eye with the very shallow aperture, but understandable in low light!
Dan’s comments about Gil’s image:
This Image from Gil Frias is great! Love the capture of this moment and almost nailed the focus on the adult there. A photograph should tell a story and this really does, you can almost hear the hungry birds calling for their meal, and a really interesting stage of development to capture with these recently fledged young birds. Understandable but the only loss here is that focus just off, and some chromatic aberration on the leaves. Overall a really lovely image.