The Sanctuary Wildlife Photography Awards 2018
Second Prize: Lakshitha Karunarathna
Swan Lake: On an icy morning on the banks of lake Kussharo in Hokkaido, Japan, Lakshitha Karunarathna’s patience gifted her one heavenly sight. A drift of Whooper Swans floating in arrow head formation against a backdrop of snow-frosted mountains, framed by a latticework of tree branches reflected in the water. The low, wide angle frame has the swans dwarfing the mountains, infusing the scene with a sense of the surreal. Whooper Swans are amongst the largest flying birds in the world and undertake long distance migrations to their wintering sites. They’re also the avian world’s consummate romantics, as they pair bond for life. This pastel toned picture, an ode to the serenity of nature and the silence of winter, is a cherished addition to Sanctuary’s archive of award-winning images.