Lightning illuminates Kaieteur Falls at night in British photographer James Broscombe's winning image in the "Natural World" category. Located in Guyana's Kaieteur National Park, the natural wonder is five times the height of Niagara Falls.
(Pictures: Chile Volcano Plume Explodes With Lightning.)
Children comfort each other in a scrapyard in Kathmandu, Nepal, in a 2011 image by photographer Chan Kwok Hung of Hong Kong. The picture, an entry in the "Quality of Life" category, won top honors in the 2011 Environmental Photographer of the Year awards, whose winners were announced last week.
The children live with their grandmother and search the scrapyard for things to sell, using the money to buy food, according to the photographer. "They had found nothing for a few days," he said in a statement.
More than a third of Nepal's 12.6 million children live below the poverty line, according to a 2010 report by UNICEF. An even higher number suffer from malnutrition and lack of access to education.
Organized by the London-based Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, the Environmental Photographer of the Year contest honors amateur and professional photographers who "raise awareness of environmental and social issues."
Compared to 2010, submissions this year doubled to over 10,000 pictures, which came from photographers in 105 countries.
(See the best environmental photos of 2010.)
—Korena Di Roma
Fish flee the gaping maw of a Bryde's whale, which surprised U.S. photographer Doug Perrine, who was in the middle of photographing striped marlin lured by a bait ball of sardines. In an account released with the image, Perrine said he snapped the picture while also fleeing the whale.
Sleek and lean, Bryde's whales use their meshlike mouth plates, called baleen, to filter food as they power through the sea.
A pack of African wild dogs attacks a warthog in this image by U.S. photographer Suzie Eszterhas, who captured the picture in northern Botswana.
Also called painted or Cape hunting dogs, the endangered canines roam open plains and sparse woodlands in sub-Saharan Africa.
A seaside road succumbs to erosion on the Holderness coast in Yorkshire, England. The area suffers the highest rate of coastal erosion in Europe, according to a statement by London-based photographer Neil A. White.
Several villages are under constant threat, as the coast crumbles at a rate of about six feet (two meters) a year, he says. Many villages that have been lost to the sea date back to Roman times.
In typical fashion, a kingfisher splashes in headfirst for a meal in this fish's-eye view from photographer Joe Petersburger of Hungary.