You are here

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.

You can vote for as many photos as you wish, once per day. The top 10 photos will then be given to a judging panel to determine the three winners.

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 Ends In:

A typical rainy day in the heart of the Indonesia jungle, provides a mysterious landscape. And at the same time gives life to the forest.

The first picture is 18m under during our diving expedition in the Galapagos Islands. The turtle glided right underneath me and even knocked my camera as it passed. 100% the best experience of my life.

A dazzle of zebras, just curious at the sight of a strange vehicle, full of urbanised humans.

Dawn in the Mahamavo dry forest of Madagascar

One of my favourite photos out of the 2 5000 that I took during the expedition… 🙂

Whilst on a tour of a mangrove forrest on the coast of Dominica on my last day of the expedition I managed to capture this rare photograph of a Humming bird taking a quick break from humming on a nearby

Sleeping under the stars inspired me to take a picture of my friends and counselors. This was one of my first couple tries of long exposure.

This is a Madagascar Ground Boa (Acrantophis madagascariensis). He was actually found in our kitchen to our Malagasy staffs dismay! Some of them were very brave though and did get closer once we explained that he wouldn’t hurt

Photo of a bromeliad in Cusuco as the sun was going down. Entered it again as i did not have the correct filename format in the original entry

Spotted while snorkeling in a Mexican cenote

bird release

This is a giraffe we encountered one day who was sucking on a bone (which is filled with calcium)

6th form student releasing bird after mist net survey in Croatia

Picture taken during a breathtaking tropical storm while carrying out a river dolphin survey.

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

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

A rainbow ameiva tentatively approaches my camera lens.

Mutualism at it’s finest

Madagascar Bridge Crossing

i sat and watched the monkeys at the beach wander close to us and steal food from both people and the trash, i photographed her as she ate an apple and happen to get her with her tongue out.

A “macro” photo taken during the Vegetation Day in Santa Cruz, Galapagos.

Sunset from beach on Hoga Island

We found this beautiful snake on a survey, where we were actually looking for the Madagascan Hognose rather than boas!

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

Olive Whip Snake (Chironius fuscus) coiled up asleep on a leaf

beautiful elephant

In Madagascar we visited a lemur park where I managed to capture this picture of a Sifaka lemur

The Copan Brook Frog (Duellmanohyla soralia) is co-endemic to NW Honduras and NW Guatemala. It inhabits vegetation overhanging fast flowing streams where you usually find relatively large congregations of these animals. This fact made the life of the herpetologists a

A spider monkey is keeping watch as it’s group feeds at a Ramon tree. Surrounding the Calakmul ruins there is a high density of fruiting trees which supports the many groups of spider monkeys in the reserve. Tracking these monkeys

A cloudy winter sunset in Gondwana Reserve, Western Cape.

Growth on a tree trunk in honduras.

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

This picture was taken during our canoe ride to our camp in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest. The plant life was absolutely unforgettable.

Me holding a chameleon in Matsedroy.

Although common throughout South-east Asia, the Asian Vine Snake (Ahaetulla prasina) is always a remarkable find because of its ability to mimic a jungle vine in both appearance and behavior. This beautiful individual was found by staff members near Bala

Angel’s chameleon (Furcifer angeli) climbing down a branch to check out the camera

Taken during a night survey, on one of our walks at Antafiameva.

Whilst on a trek through part of the dominican rainforest looking for Anoles I also managed to capture this amazing image of a rather large grasshopper. In fact this very grasshopper was the cure for my chronic fear of insects!

Chrysina resplendens, the golden scarab beetle of Honduras. Splendid to find, it gets even more beautiful the more you observe it. As if glistening in the dark, the golden wings inspire the mind. But once you turn it round, this

Sharing a seat with a Caterpillar while staying in Hormiguero, Mexico.

Image taken in Miljacka Cave, Krka Croatia.

Snorkelling in Natewa Bay in Fiji was an incredible experience made all the better for the presence of these little guys. No taller than a finger nail, I couldn’t believe how much cuteness had been crammed inside such a small

This photo resumes how I feel about my Mexico trip, how it allowed me to explore new perspectives I would never imagine and how it made me appreciate the work that is happening right now to help the animals among

An adult male of Tlalocohyla loquax in Dos Naciones aguada.

Upon capture, this parrot snake (Leoptophis ahaetulla) gapes at the herpetologist to look more menacing. Being a colubrid, it’s through grove its rear fang (visible in the photo) that it delivers its venom. Fortunately it’s just a very mild haemotoxin

The Amazon River reflects the Flooded Forest

on our last game transect in Dinokang we were fortunate enough to find a group of four elderly buffalo, and this one was staring right at me and held the pose for a good couple of minutes

Spotted this while eating lunch on our first day of the expedition

This is a photo of a village we past during our 15 hour long trip from the forest camp to the marine camp.

Another beautiful morning in Africa.

Charles the elephant breaking tree branches at the Dinokeng Game Reserve in South Africa.

Whilst travelling round the beautiful shores of the island of Dominica in the Caribbean with Operation Wallacea I happened to capture thus amazing landscape photograph that I am very proud of. It serves as a reminder of the beauty of

This frog was found on the banks of a river, during a night-time amphibian survey. It is one of the four species in Cusuco National Park that the herpetology team survey, for the amphibian disease Chytridiomycosis.

Turtle hatchling going out to sea for the first time on the Dominican coast.

A surprise encounter with this unfazed and stunning lioness.

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

While on the expedition, our trip to the elementary school in Mahajanga was canceled, as the children were taking their national exams. So instead, we took a tour of the local village. Our first stop was this strong, young mother.

Simple photo of a bird sitting on a tree.

A closely knit group of Foliose Coral grows on the slope of a reef off the Bao Bao Coastline, South East Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Mighty and majestic giraffe surveying his savannah

A Zebra and Impala drinking peacefully side by side out in the bush in South Africa.

Image photographed by Krka Lake in Krka National Park.

Curious Pink River Dolphin captured breaching in the Amazon River.

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.

This new flying frog species, distinguished by its solid yellow color and larger body size (Rhacophorus cf. edentulus nov.), was found perched next to a stream during a nighttime herpetofauna survey on expedition in Indonesia.

Great Tit release after successfully bird-ringing it, Transylvania, Romania, July 2016

butterfly survey

A leaf-tailed gecko ~ taken during a herp session.

A female leaf-nosed snake (Langaha pseudoalluaudi), which is currently being reclassified as a new species, reaching towards the sky

Two of my favourite pictures from a great expedition

dominican native anole smiling for the camera

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

Three days from the end of the South Africa expedition, we went to search for the lions on the reserve. It was incredible to find them and such a memorable experience. They were so relaxed! This is a photo of

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

Taken the last morning of our expedition at Balule in South Africa when we went on an early morning survey

The African sun setting behind the Lebombo mountain range and a tall Acacia tortilis (Umbrella thorn tree). Forming the most incredible yellow-orange sky.

This photo was taken during my first week on Hoga. The sunsets on the island often forced us to abandon our Reef Survey Techniques lectures for a few minutes to watch the sun go down!

Adult locust sitting on a tree branch

Asiphephe (left) & Camo engaging in affiliative body contact behaviour and trunk interlocking. A beautiful sight to witness as these two massive beasts show nothing but love and respect for one another. Photo taken: 27.07.17.

underwater photo of a sea urchin whilst snorkeling in Natewa Bay, FIJI

A young Brown Capuchin male enjoying the sun’s warmth, curiously observes us as the rest of his troop scatters around him

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

We journeyed across the reserve to watch the sun set across the plains. I took this photo because to me it captures the sight and sense of adventure which ignites our lives.

Spotted perching on a rock during a cenote dive

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

Two inquisitive elephants welcoming us to Swaziland

A Yellow-Billed Hornbill staring up into the clear, blue South African sky.

A nice photo of a yellow billed hornbil posing for the camera

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.

This photo was taken after a day at Snake Island, Indonesia. Though the currents were rough and the sky was overcast, we had such an amazing dive.

Another one of my favourites. 🙂 Giraffes are such magnificent creatures, I still can’t get over it.

A beetle that landed don me on the way to the campfire

Photo taken during one of our mist netting surveys at Matsedroy.

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

Plectrohyla dasypus, the Honduran spike-thumb frog. A picture taken in Cosuco National Park, at the outpost “El Danto”. Being endemic, it is a beauty each time one catches a glimpse…

a smiley giraffe!

This photo was taken on the pier from a long-term exposure from my phone with my other 3 friends and we accidentally found there was a shooting star pass by.

Madagascar landscape between Anntanarivo and Mahajanga

Having caught a variety of different butterflies, one didn’t want to leave. This lead to many great shots of it chilling on a branch.

The endless neck at the end of the day.

Three Sifaka lemurs in the Mahamovo dry forest near Matsedroy camp

Another of my pair of photos

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

This photo was taken on my way back to my bungalow on Hoga. I saw this crab 3 times which carried 3 different kinds of “house” on its back and this one hurt me the most with a dirty plastic

Photo taken in the village of St. Martin on the last day of expedition.

bird weighing in the field


Giraffe Morph Frog

A carpet of moss covering the forest floor in Transylvania, Romania, July 2016

Majestic waterbuck at Gondwana Game Reserve

During an opportunistic bat mist-netting session at the Mancolona camp, a frugivorous bat was caught alongside its evening ‘catch’. Comparing the size if the fruit the bat was carrying with the actual body size of the bat itself, it’s clear

Zebras spotted on a sunset safari in the Dinokeng Game Reserve in South Africa.

Just don’t sit directly under one, falling coconuts hurt.

Lion siblings

This image contains the essency of my favorites moments at Mexico: diving into a different world and swimming with turtles, rays, fish. That was definitely something I will never forget.

fluorescent Hypsiboas Punctatus frog

Sunset from the beach of Hoga Island

The split moment of the stillness of a dragonfly, in the sacred springs of the locals of Tanzania.

Transylvanian Farmers collecting their hay

While the marine life kept our attention during the day, the beautiful sunsets each night gave us a chance to breathe and reflect on why we were there.

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

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

Damselfly resting on the leaf of a coffee plant in a plantation in Cusuco National Park.

Me and my best friend on our first survey of the trip.

underwater photo of a hermit crab whilst snorkeling in Natewa Bay, FIJI

A tiny female Three-Toed sloth sleeping peacefully just a couple of metres above the ground.

View from the interior of a strangler fig tree in Indonesia rainforest. The constrictions made by the roots of other trees over the years result in the death of the tree in the middle. What remains is an structure of

this was one of the better days of my expedition. We were hiking through narrow paths and dense vegetation in Tanzania’s jungle.Suddenly, we saw this incredible grasshopper crossing the path just in fornt of our eyes. I’ve never seen again

One of the most stunning bats I have every encountered on expedition: Rhinolophus philippinensis or Large-Eared Horseshoe Bat. This was second to last day of the expedition, and I had given up hope of finding one. This species of bat

A Paradise Flycatcher ~ taken during a bird survey.

Common Meadow Grasshopper found in Transylvanias beautiful hay meadow

Sunset on the way back from a survey in the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve

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.