New Scientist Photography awards: Five pictures to inspire your entry

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This year sees the launch of the New Scientist Photography Awards. To offer some inspiration to those planning on entering, we’ve compiled five incredible photos from the last year in science.

Starlings fly together to make an enormous bird

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James Crombie

As dusk approaches, thousands of starlings swarm together to confuse predators in a murmuration. As they move and pulsate through the air, photographer James Crombie captured the moment the mass shifted to resemble a giant bird.

Fissures open up at Iceland’s Fagradalsfjall volcano

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Brian Emfinger

There is a lot to process in this image: the red hot lava spilling out of a fissure in the volcano, the pockmarked snow laying on the surrounding rock, and the crowds of spectators, seemingly standing on the edge of disaster. Photojournalist Brian Emfinger used a drone to capture this startling image of Iceland’s Fagradalsfjall volcano.

Mice tussle over food

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Sam Rowley / Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Proof that you don’t need to travel to the ends of the Earth to take a great wildlife photo. Sam Rowley’s Station Squabble depicts two mice fighting over food on the London underground. Rowley had to spend several nights lying on various station platforms to capture the shot, which won Wildlife Photographer of the Year 55: LUMIX People’s Choice Award 2020.

Body-slamming squirrels

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Tony Wu/naturepl.com

Two Siberian flying squirrels, Pteromys volans orii, fight for the chance to mate with a female. Whether or not the squirrels in your part of the world fly, they always make fascinating subjects.

Surfers return to Fukushima

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Laura Liverani

Sometimes a seemingly innocuous image can tell a much larger story, like this portrait of a surfer returning to the waters of Kitaizumi beach in Japan’s Fukushima prefecture, taken by Laura Liverani. The beach is just 25 kilometres from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant which, in 2011, was the site of the worst nuclear accident since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

Do you have what it takes to capture an award winning image? Entries for the New Scientist Photography Awards 2021 will be accepted until 31 July 2021. The shortlist, runners-up and category winners will be announced by 2 September 2021. The category winners will then be put to a public vote in September 2021, with the overall winner announced in October 2021. The competition is open to UK residents only.

Visit the New Scientist Photography Awards 2021 to enter and for the full terms and conditions.

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