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Photo Competition 2017

The Operation Wallacea photo competition is an annual event that we hold to showcase some of the amazing photos some of our volunteers take each year. All photos on this page were taking during an Opwall expedition.

The public vote for our photo competition is now over, and we’re very happy to announce that his years judge is going to be the Natural History Museums Dr Erica McAlister. Erica has been the senior entomologist for the Opwall Dominica project since 2015, and has made appearances on BBC radio programmes, as well as numerous other public engagements talking about her favourite topic – flies! She’ll be picking the three winners from the top-10 photos determined by the public vote. You can find them below!

You can find more out about Erica’s work at She’s also just written and released a book – the Secret Life of Flies, that you can find on amazon at

You can find details of who won on Facebook here!

If you’re not sure what Opwall is and want to know more, or you’re interested in getting involved, please head to for more information.

Contest Ended

Another beautiful morning in Africa.

449 Votes

We caught this male royal flycatcher in a mist net one morning. What an incredible head crest!

419 Votes

A rainbow ameiva tentatively approaches my camera lens.

395 Votes

This malachite kingfisher frequented Lac 2 in Matsedroy camp–by far the most photographed bird on the lake, it never failed to stun us. This particular day he seemed so poised, and for a split second everything in the frame aligned.

357 Votes

The gentle crashing of the waves was harmoniously accompanied by the setting of the sun over the island of Marathi in Greece.

335 Votes

Members of the group learning how to dive for the open water PADI dive qualification just off the coast of Samos in Greece.

321 Votes

A cloudy winter sunset in Gondwana Reserve, Western Cape.

216 Votes
201 Votes

In the middle of a hike, we came upon an area of forest where the visibility was really poor due to the clouds – there’s something really beautiful about the way the clouds surround the trees, this shot of the

191 Votes

This photo was taken not far from Mariarano base camp in Madagascar–there was a group of five sifakas foraging in the trees, and this one heard me snap a twig underfoot and looked straight into the camera–I was captivated by

181 Votes

These friendly clownfish lit up our dive at the saddle, on Hoga island, Indonesia. One of our teachers went up to this curious couple and they started to attack their own reflection in his mask, which did not fail to

162 Votes

A colourful Sally Lightfoot crab on a rock in Tortuga Bay, visited on our first day in the Galapagos Islands, on the second week of the expedition. (can be cropped or zoomed in to get a better view of the

162 Votes

By far one of the prettiest frogs from the expedition. On a night herp walk at base camp we stumbled upon this frog on a tree.

155 Votes

Sifaka lemur relaxing in the trees near Matsedroy terrestrial camp in Madagascar. Photo was taken in July 2017 on one of the OpWall surveys.

135 Votes

Adult locust sitting on a tree branch

132 Votes

Sifaka lemur relaxing in the trees near Matsedroy terrestrial camp in Madagascar. Photo was taken in July 2017 on one of the OpWall surveys.

131 Votes

This jetty may have been our first steps onto Hoga Island, Indonesia but due to the storm that made our 2-hour boat cruise into an 8-hour treacherous trip, we did not get to take in the incredible views until the

130 Votes

The matriarch of the Dinokeng game reserve herd, with her GPS collar hanging around her neck

123 Votes

This is a photo of a herd of zebu in late afternoon on our main zebu road from the the base campsite. I would often have to dodge zebu in my six weeks in Madagascar and they are such a

121 Votes

Corals, sponges and sea-fans photographed whilst diving off Roatan Island.

105 Votes
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Terms and Conditions

1. The competition is open to anyone except those directly involved in Operation Wallacea in a permanent staff position.
2. The competition is open to all professional and amateur photographers.
3. All photographs submitted must be the work of the individual submitting them and entrants must own the original photograph file for verification purposes.
4. All photographs submitted must have been taken during an Operation Wallacea expedition at one of our sites.
5. Entrants can submit no more than 2 photographs of their choosing.
6. Entrants can submit their photos by submitting their photos at
7. All photographs submitted must have minimum dimensions of 1600 x 1200px and minimum resolution of 72dpi. We may contact competition entrants for higher resolution versions of their photos if we deem it appropriate.
8. All photographs submitted must have a file size of maximum 10mb
9. The filename of the photograph submitted must have the word opwall2017, followed by the entrants first name, last name, country the photograph was taken in, separated by dashes. For example – opwall2017-firstname-lastname-country.jpg
10. Double exposures or photos significantly edited from their original form are not eligible.
11. Domestic pets are not eligible. Farmyard animals and animals found in rehabilitation sanctuaries, safari parks, or other recognized bodies of animal protection may be used providing these areas are visited as part of the entrants overall expedition time.
12. If a submitted photo contains any identifiable human subjects, then it is up to the photographer to ensure that they have the consent of those people to use that photo.
13. Cultivated forms of wild plants are not permitted. For this purpose a cultivated plant has been planted, or is maintained by human intervention, and may also have been created from another species.
14. An image will be rejected if in the opinion of the judges it appears that the image has been taken in such a way that wildlife law or animal welfare requirements may have been breached; protected species or habitats have been compromised; or the image has been otherwise taken in an irresponsible way. If you are licensed to take pictures or visit areas which might otherwise be unlawful you should say so and we may ask to see the licence if your picture is shortlisted.
15. Photographs featuring model animals or live bait are not permitted.
16. First place prize consists of a photograph of your choosing on canvas size of your choosing up to and including 120 x 80cm. Second place prize of a photograph of your choosing on a canvas size of your choosing up to and including 90 x 60cm. Third place prize of a photograph of your choosing on a canvas size of your choosing up to and including 60 x 40cm.
17. Copyright of all images submitted for this competition remains with the respective entrants. However, in consideration of their providing the competition, each entrant grants a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual licence to Operation Wallacea Ltd to feature any or all of the submitted images in any of their publications, their websites and/or in any promotional material.
18. All photos adhering to the rules specified in these terms and conditions will be made available for public voting at from 00:00 GMT on the 1st of November 2017. Public voting will last until 23.50 GMT 30th November 2017. The 10 photos that received the most votes during that period will be shortlisted.
19. Each member of the public is allowed to vote once per photo per calendar day. Operation Wallacea reserves the right to remove votes or the entry itself from any person who is suspected of circumventing the security measures in place to limit the vote to one per photo per person per day.
20. The judge will select the winning entrants from the shortlist by 23.59 GMT 8th December 2017. Winning entrants will be announced on 6th December 2017 via the Operation Wallacea facebook page, twitter, and by emailing the winning entrants. Prizes will be shipped no later than 15th January 2017.
21. A picture that has already won a prize (winner, runner-up or commended) in a large competition (ie one receiving more than 250 images) national or international, cannot be entered.
22. Operation Wallacea reserves the right to reject any photos that it deems inappropriate for the competition.
23. A bonus prize of a canvas up to 120cm x 80cm will be given to the winner of a vote conducted amongst permanent Operation Wallacea staff members. Those staff members will vote from between the top twenty photos dictated by the public vote, with the winner declared at the same time as the main competition.