Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2020 – first pictures released

CNN  — 

Possums, primates and disappearing habitats all feature among the first images to be released from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2020 awards.

Organizers on Tuesday published several of the 68 highly commended images selected by judges to form of an exhibition, which opens October 16 at the Natural History Museum in London.

The awards show off the best nature photography and photojournalism, with images from both amateur and professional photographers, according to a press release.

This image of a critically-endangered primate was shot by a 13-year-old.

One photograph of a critically-endangered primate called a douc was shot by Arshdeep Singh, 13.

Another, by Charlie Hamilton James, shows a single tree against the backdrop of a raging forest fire, shining a light on the destruction of the Amazon rainforest.

Award winners, chosen from nearly 50,000 entries, will be announced on October 13, and an awards ceremony will be conducted virtually from the Natural History Museum.

A lone tree stands against a forest fire in Maranhão, Brazil.

The winners will contribute another 32 images to the exhibition, taking the total on display to 100.

“All the commended images are effectively winners, being among the top 100 awarded by the jury out of more than 49,000,” Roz Kidman Cox, chair of the judging panel, said in a statement.

Entrants hail from 25 different countries, and there are stand out images from young photographers, added Cox.

A pair of Atlantic puffins in vibrant breeding plumage pause near their nestburrowon the Farne Islands.

Tim Littlewood, executive director of science at the Natural History Museum and member of the judging panel, said the competition is known for attracting the best photographers and naturalists in the world.

“But there has never been a more vital time for audiences all over the world to re-engage with the natural world, and what better way than this inspiring and provocative exhibition,” said Littlewood.

Alongside the exhibition at the Natural History Museum, the images will go on a UK and world tour, according to the press release.