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New Scientist Photography Competition

I am delighted to announce that my image of the lovely Colin the Robin has been awarded the runner-up prize in the New Scientist Photography Competition 2021.

This image was one of the many images I took of Colin during lockdown, when I developed a relationship with this special robin. Over a period of a bout a month, he used to follow me around the garden and would perch very close to me, providing me with amazing opportunities. I tried all sorts of perches, to enoucourage him to be part of an image I had in my mind. Some of my favourites are actually the wide anle ones I took, in context with the garden...

I had the idea for one image after undertaking a lot of zoom meetings as part of my work. Everyone seemed to be spending a lot of times on their phones or their computers. I wanted to get an image that looked like I was having a meeting with Colin! I took a selfie of me looking up. I then loaded the image up on my phone and propped the phone up in the garden. It was then just a matter of seeing if Colin would come and land on the phone. It took a while, but finally he landed and posed, giving me the shot I had envisaged!

This image appeared on the front page of The Times too!

When I saw the 'Modern Life' category of The New Scientist competition, I felt that this image fitted that category and it was a little 'different'. I am delighted that it reached the shortlist and made it to runner-up!

Here are the other image winners and runners up.

New Scientist Photography Awards 2021 shortlist

LIFE 1 September 2021

THESE fascinating images depict how science and technology influence our lives and the world around us, from the stunning wildlife inhabiting even the most unassuming of places to the environmental and biological hazards that are transforming our planet. The selected photos over the next few pages are the shortlisted and winning entries to our new competition, the New Scientist Photography Awards.

Winners and runners-up for the three categories – The Natural World, Modern Life and Our Changing Environment – were chosen by wildlife presenter Chris Packham, award-winning photographer Sue Flood and New Scientist editors Helen Benians, Timothy Revell and Penny Sarchet.

Each judge was impressed by the competition’s overall standard and quality. Some entries had great ideas behind them and were “strikingly beautiful”, says Packham. “I think in each category, there were two or three images that really jumped out,” says Flood.

While the first and second-place entries for each category have already been decided by the panel, the overall winner will be judged by public vote. You can choose your favourite image at, before the winner is declared in October. Voting closes on 26 September.


Photographer Nick Lancaster

These young kestrels were inhabiting an iron pipe on a small industrial estate in North Yorkshire, UK, and were just days from fledging when Nick Lancaster took this photo. “I love the rusty colours and the way that is complemented by the birds’ own rusty colours,” says Chris Packham.


Photographer Nigel Ferris

Taken using a drone, this image shows a corn circle in Wiltshire, UK. It depicts a symbol used to indicate a biohazard, acting as a comment on the effect we have on the planet.


Photographer Jack Pokoj

Even though it is illegal to use certain fishing nets over coral reefs in the Philippines, unfortunately they sometimes still end up there. This image shows a range of corals, sponges and feather stars, as well as fishing equipment.


Photographer Alexander Turner

This photo was taken on a rooftop in central London and is part of a photo essay that explores the impact of beekeeping on native pollinators.


Photographer Kieran Doherty

In this image, Kieran Doherty’s father Hugh is celebrating his 82nd birthday during the covid-19 pandemic. Three of his grandchildren are stood outside and are singing Happy Birthday. “I felt this was a very moving image,” says Sue Flood.


Photographer Kate MacRae

During the UK lockdown in May 2020, Kate MacRae developed a strong relationship with “Colin” the robin.


Photographer Rachel Piper

This gull spotted a tasty treat on a summer’s day in a coastal town in Yorkshire, UK. The man was oblivious, but escaped unscathed.


Photographer Emma Friedlander-Collins

These plants were collected from the edge of a building site in Sussex, UK, and then scanned using a printer to show them in a unique way.


Barry Webb

Photographer Barry Webb

Made of 19 photos combined together, this image shows a common rough woodlouse stretching up to feed on a gelatinous slime mould in the south of Buckinghamshire, UK. “It is absolutely the one I wish I’d taken,” says Sue Flood.


Photographer Rachel Bigsby

Razorbills pair for life, and these two are huddling together on Skomer Island off the coast of Pembrokeshire, UK. The shot was taken during a spell of heavy sea fog that hung around on the island for days.


Photographer Martin Brazill

Munching on a Hemerocallis “Frans Hals” day lily, this hoverfly was photographed in Suffolk, UK, earlier this year. It is using its proboscis to get to the pollen.


Photographer Georgie Bull

This blenny was found in Chesil Cove on the Isle of Portland in Dorset, UK. It seemed interested in Georgie Bull’s torch and peered over a small pebble to see what was going on.

The 3 winning images are now up for pulic vote to decide on the overall winner. You can place your vote here:


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