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Snapshots Of Nature's Silly Side Compete For Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards03:18
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A squirrel saying, "Stop!" (Mary McGowan/Courtesy of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards)
A squirrel saying, "Stop!" (Mary McGowan/Courtesy of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards)
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Judging for this year's Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards is underway. Forty-one photographs — from astonished lemurs to exasperated grizzly bears to a pair of waltzing elk — have made it to the finals.

Here & Now's Robin Young talks about a few of them with Tom Sullam (@SullamPhoto), a judge for this year's contest.

  • You can see last year's finalists here

Interview Highlights

On his approach to judging the contest

"It's a very good question. I choose, personally, the picture that makes me laugh out loud, and I don't have to think about why. That's how I do my judging. Every judge has his own technique."

On finalist Mary McGowan's image "Squirrel saying, Stop!"

"It's laugh-out-loud and it's definitely one of my favorites. I think it's virtually impossible just to see the animal and then not think of what that animal is thinking. Something goes through your mind very quickly. I had this vision of her showing her new nails to her friends. Which is completely different to other people [see]. ... People see different things, which is why I love this part of the competition, because actually the humor is on different levels for everyone."

Komodo dragons doing the tango. (Sergey Savvi/Courtesy of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards)
Komodo dragons doing the tango. (Sergey Savvi/Courtesy of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards)

On finalist Sergey Savvi's image "Komodo dragons doing the tango"

"They do look Martian-like. ... But when you see them in that sort of embrace, dancing — they're obviously not dancing or embracing, they're probably fighting — but it kind of fits their temperaments that they are being friendly and sweet."

On how the competition aims to help with conservation efforts

"It's an amazing thing, these animals, because the basis of the competition is to raise awareness of animals, and the fact that a lot of them just won't be around in 20 or 30 years. I think people are getting a bit tired of seeing sort of gruesome imagery associated with animal conservation. So we just feel that if we can build a positive emotion, then we maybe take the discussion in a slightly different direction."

More Photos

An ashamed kingfisher. (Antonio Medina/Courtesy of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards)
An ashamed kingfisher. (Antonio Medina/Courtesy of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards)
Big mouthed seal. (Amy Kennedy/Courtesy of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards)
Big mouthed seal. (Amy Kennedy/Courtesy of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards)
Owl peeping over the hill. (Shane Keena/Courtesy of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards)
Owl peeping over the hill. (Shane Keena/Courtesy of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards)
Bear on drive safe sign. (Jonathan Irish/Courtesy of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards)
Bear on drive safe sign. (Jonathan Irish/Courtesy of the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards)

This segment aired on October 16, 2018.

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