Both professional and amateur snappers were asked to submit images that captured life on the planet in its broadest form for the Living Planet
photo competition. The winner of the competition, run by The Society of Nature and Wildlife Photographers, was a beautifully colourful shot of a
ladybird crawling over a yellow flower. It was taken by David Bladon from Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland. David, 40, who's just started his own
photography business, said: "Basically, the weather kept going from sun to showers and I was a bit bored. Every time the sun broke through I'd
search for insects and creatures that would make a decent macro shot. When I saw the ladybird and the colours, I snapped away."Picture:
Runner up was Debashis Mukherjee, 50, a photography graduate from Kolkata in India for his baby turtle picture. He said: "I took this
photograph at Rishikulya Sea Beach in Ganjam district, Odisha, India. "When I was touring in that area I heard that hatching of Olive Ridley sea
turles was happening and I rushed to that spot at 3.30am. After sunrise I got this shot. "The east facing coast of this peninsular of India has the
honour of hosting the yearly ritual of 'arribada' meaning mass arrival in Spanish of the Olive Ridley Sea Turtles for their nesting, usually found in
the Indo-Pacific and Atlantic oceans.Due to trawling and offshore drilling for oil and gas in those oceans these turtles have now been listed
under the Endangered Species Act by the US. The footprints left behind by these new born little species reflect an emotional track for them to
come back for nesting when they again are mothers.
In third place was Violetta Nowak from Lubuskie, Poland with her shot
of a hedgehog nestling in the autumn leave
Tawny Owl by Robin Lowry. Robin says: "I call the first shot Autumn Gold. I wanted to create a warm intimate portrait of this owl, and this was
one of those times when everything fell into place. In Essex where this picture was taken, with the warm autumn tones of the leaves still on the
trees, the milky early morning sun diffused by light patchy cloud, and the owl posing so nicely, I knew this was going to be a good
image."Picture: National News and Pictures
Another entry from Robin Lowry was this barn owl. The CGI Creative Director says: "For this image I used a captive barn owl. I wanted to get
that moment where the owl was getting ready to land but it still took a few goes to get this one where I wanted it to be, with the face and wings in
the right position."Picture: National News and Pictures
Joe Lenton's Common Darter Dragonfly was highly commended. The photograph was taken by the 35 year old while out on a walk at Hickling
Broad, Norfolk.Picture: Joe Lenton/National News and Pictures
A leaf beetle snapped by Paul Dooley, a 53 year old retail manager at
Old Moore Nature Reserve at Retford in NottinghamshirePicture: Paul
Dooley/National News and Pictures
Damsel flies making a heart shape by Varun Jain. Varun says: "I took it around 6.30 am in the morning. I often go out in the morning to capture
the dew drops, flowers and insects when everything is undisturbed. That day, in the middle of some long grass, I observed these damselflies
mating and appearing like formation of a heart which caught my eye."Picture: Varun Jain/National News and Pictures
Northern Lights in Iceland by Rafn Sigurbojrnsson. Rafn, 58, from Vogar in Iceland, is a freelance photographer who also works as a tour guide
and runs his own travel agency. He said of his shot: "On a cold winter night I went to a deserted farmhouse near my home called Sólheimar. It
was a beautiful night and the lights were dancing in the sky.
Sicillian cellist and photographer Domenico Guddo, 47, was highly commended for his picture called Survival, of a cow enduring a hot day on
Domenico's native island. He said: "It was taken in Sicily during a hot day. I was in the arid countryside of Gibellina and I saw this skinny cow in
this strange place, almost with the aim of drinking from her udders."
Scenic view of the Grand Teton by Philip Bird. Philip, 64, a retired bank manager, said: "I was taking some landscape shots at the base of the
Grand Teton mountain range in Wyoming when a snowstorm came over the crest of the mountains and poured down to the plain where I was
standing. A few minutes later I couldn't see a thing."
Grebe eating a fish by Bill Doherty. Bill says: "The image is of a juvenile great crested grebe taken in Northumberland. The parent bird had
caught this fish and given it to the youngster, with no thought of a knife and fork to cut it up into smaller, more manageable pieces. The chick
however did manage to consume the fish, after a bit of a struggle."
A French professional photographer who calls himself Loriental was highly commended for his arty seagull picture. He said: "The picture was
taken at Cancale, Brittany. I had been anticipating the flight of this seagull, prepared my manual settings, and took the shot at the moment the
bird flew above my head."