Kicking off their hunt for an overall photo competition winner in 2022, WildArt Photographer of the Year have announced the winners of its first competition category for 2022. The theme of this category was 'wet'.


Each month for the next ten months, WildArt will announce ten category winners. These winners will then go forward to the final at the end of the year.

WildArt Photographer of the Year is a wildlife photography competition created by wildlife photographers, for wildlife photographers and judged by wildlife photographers.

The winner of this first category was a beautiful but cold-looking Lynx, who despite the freezing temperatures, managed to return home with plenty of food. We bring you the full gallery of winners and highly commended images, and they are an impressive bunch.

Gold winner - The successful hunt

A Bobcat (Lynx rufus) trudges away with a mallard duck in his mouth following a successful hunt in Yellowstone National Park, USA. Photo by Vicki Santello/WildArt Photographer of the Year

Silver winner - Splash down

A group of Blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) are seen crossing the Mara river in Kenya. Photo by Vicki Jauron/WildArt Photographer of the Year

Bronze winner - Golden rain

Banded Demoiselle damselfly (Calopteryx splendens) photographed during a shower in Duna-Ipoly National Park, Hungary. Photo by Norbert Kaszas/WildArt Photographer of the Year

Founder's choice winner - Rainforest echo

The Long-nosed Horned Frog (Megophrys nasuta) is an iconic species from the South East Asian tropics. This male positioned itself on an elevated rock right in front of a waterfall, and started calling to females. Photographed near Kuching, Borneo. Photo by Bernhard Schubert/WildArt Photographer of the Year

Highly commended - I'm stuck!

This Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) is pictured taking a drink from a frozen river near Warsaw, Poland. Photo by Lukasz Sokol/WildArt Photographer of the Year

Highly commended - Making waves

A young African elephant (Loxodonta africana) seems to be having massive amounts of fun at this waterhole. This is one of a group of young elephants being reintegrated into the wild at David Sheldricks Ithumba camp in Tsavo, east Kenya. Photo by Vicki Jauron/WildArt Photographer of the Year

Highly commended - Dippers in frosty river

White-throated dipper (Cinclus cinclus) is encircled by freezing waters in Viken, Norway, while the air temperature plummets to minus 20 degrees Celsius. Photo by Pal Hermansen/WildArt Photographer of the Year

Highly commended - Quick breath

Every year, during the first rains of springs, Spotted Salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) make a mass breeding migration to vernal pools, like this one in New Jersey, USA. Photo by Matthew Sullivan/WildArt Photographer of the Year

Highly commended - Shake it off

This Arctic Fox (Vulpes lagopus) was raised by people. It is able to roam freely and wanders off for days until it leaves for good one day. When this image was taken, this individual swam through a stream and came out on the other side soaking wet. After a couple of steps on the other side it shook off the water. Photo by Florian Warnecke/WildArt Photographer of the Year

Highly commended - Dancing on the water

Common whirligig beetle (Gyrinus natator) photographed in the quiet backwater of a stream in Hungary, orbiting the surface of the water. Photo by Norbert Kaszas/WildArt Photographer of the Year

More galleries from Science Focus:


Young photographer winner - Kingfisher reflection

A young female common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) sits among reeds on a riverbank in Germany, gearing up to hunt for fish. Photo by Luca Lorenz/WildArt Photographer of the Year

Highly commended - Silky sunset

A silky shark (Carcharhinus falciformis) swims underneath the setting sun in Jardines de la Reina, Cuba. This species is a pelagic shark (one that lives in open water), and is common around the Jardines de la Reina area. They get excited and curious as the night draws in, frequently coming in for closer inspection of the strange humans that have entered their world. Photo by Sean Chinn/WildArt Photographer of the Year

Highly commended - Port

Mallard ducks (Anas platyrhynchos) gather on the edge of a frozen lake in Soltvadkert, Hungary, in this drone shot taken in the winter of 2021. Photo by Csaba Daroczi/WildArt Photographer of the Year


James CutmorePicture Editor, BBC Science Focus

James Cutmore is the picture editor of BBC Science Focus Magazine, researching striking images for the magazine and on the website. He is also has a passion for taking his own photographs