We invited a panel of esteemed nature photographers, writers, and photo editors—chaired by award-winning wildlife photographer Suzi Eszterhas—to judge and select from this year's competition entries.

“BigPicture has become one of the most prestigious nature photography contests in the world. Every year, the judging panel has the privilege of seeing thousands of exquisite images from all corners of the globe, so many of which just blow your mind.”

—Suzi Eszterhas, BigPicture Jury Chair

Suzi Eszterhas

Jury Chair
San Francisco, CA

Suzi is an award-winning wildlife photographer who is best known for her images of baby animals in the wild. Her photographs have been published in over 100 magazine
cover and feature stories in publications around the world.
She has ten books in print and another four in progress. Suzi is a very dedicated conservationist and lends her images and expertise to help raise funds and awareness for several environmental organizations around the globe.

Sandesh Kadur

Bangalore, India

Sandesh, known most recently for his camerawork on BBC’s Planet Earth 2 series and Nat Geo Wild’s Earth Live, is an award-winning wildlife photojournalist, author & documentaryFilmmaker. He is a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, who through the use of images, both still & video, exposes the need for conservation and encourages protection of the planet’s biodiversity. His photographs have been published widely in books and magazines while his documentaries have been aired worldwide on the BBC, Discovery and National Geographic networks.

Sophie Stafford

Bristol, UK

Editor of BBC Wildlife Magazine for nearly 10 years, Sophie now works as an independent communications and photography consultant for the UK’s leading conservation charities, improving supporter engagement through the power of visual storytelling. For eight years, Sophie was a judge of the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition and she regularly joins the juries of great photo competitions, from World Press Photo to Mexico’s Por el Planeta. She works closely with photographers to bring their work to wider audiences through exhibitions, books and other media.

Scott Kelly

Houston, Texas

Scott Kelly is a former fighter pilot, test pilot, and retired NASA astronaut and U.S. Navy captain. A veteran of four space flights, he commanded the International Space Station (ISS) on three expeditions and was a member of the year-long mission to the ISS, collecting scientific data important to future human space exploration. He holds the record for the single longest space mission by an American astronaut. During those 340 days Scott became recognized from his spectacular artistic photographs of planet Earth.

Ami Vitale

Missoula, Montana

Ami's journey as a photographer, writer and filmmaker has taken her to over 90 countries where she has witnessed civil unrest and violence, but also surreal beauty and the enduring power of the human spirit. She has lived in mud huts and war zones, contracted malaria, and donned a panda suit—all in keeping with her philosophy of “living the story.” She is an Ambassador for Nikon and a contract photographer with National Geographic magazine and has garnered prestigious awards including multiple prizes from World Press Photos, the International Photographer of the Year prize, the Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding Reporting, among others.

Kathy Moran

Washington, D.C.

Kathy Moran is National Geographic magazine’s first senior editor for natural history projects. A 34-year veteran of the Society, Moran has been producing projects about terrestrial and underwater ecosystems for the magazine since 1990. She was named “Picture Editor of the Year” for her winning portfolio in the 2006 Pictures of the Year competition and the 2011 Best of Photo competition. She is a founding member of the International League of Conservation photographers and served for many years on the Executive Committee.

Tony Wu

Yokohama, Japan

Since 1995, Tony has combined his love of visual art with his interest in the marine world through underwater photography. An award-winning photographer, Tony has recently focused on photographing cetaceans and documenting spawning aggregations of fish, and is currently embarking on a quest to document the rich waters of Japan. Tony uses his photographs and writing to encourage others to appreciate and protect the beauty of the oceans. He is also a frequent public speaker in English and Japanese.