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Marco Gaiotti - Photographer

Marco Gaiotti - Photographer

Chairman - Jury

Marco Gaiotti

Marco Gaiotti was born in Genoa in 1983. In 2007 he discovered the wild spaces of Southern Africa, and along with them the passion for nature photography that pursues him to explore year after year the wildest environments of our planet. In 2009 Marco spent a whole month in Alaska, camping and hiking alone in such magnificent wilderness. After this experience he decided to give a more professional target to its photography, which is put into effect on an expedition to Svalbard Islands in early autumn, just before the arctic night: following the expedition, its arctic images were published on international newspapers and journals worldwide. Marco Gaiotti currently self supports its photography projects working as associate professor of shipbuilding at the University of Genova.

International awards include the overall winner of the Memorial Maria Luisa in 2018, GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the year, Nature’s Best Photography Windland Smith Rice Awards, Oasis, Asferico, Montphoto, SONY WPA (shortlisted), Glanzlichter, Nature Photographer of the Year, Bio Photo Contest, Siena International Photo Awards, Global Arctic Awards and others…

Marco: “To me, nature photography represents a strong interaction between wildlife and the surrounding environment. In my picture I like to include the habitat as much as possible, which becomes a fundamental element of the composition. For this reason, when a species can be approached safely for both the photographer and the animal, I like using wide angle lenses instead of long telephotos, in order to depict wildlife and its natural environment…”


Gheorge Popa - Nature & Wildlife Photographer

Gheorge Popa - Nature & Wildlife Photographer


Gheorghe Popa​

Gheorghe Popa is a pharmacist and a nature photographer by trade. He was born in 1982 in Aiud, a small town in Transylvania, Romania. Popa’s unique ability is his consistency in meticulously engaging in his long-term projects, with environments and landscapes, often left unnoticed at first glance. His photographs create a monument to the unique beauty that lies within untouched nature. Popa aims to bring responsibility and attention to his viewers and encourage them to cherish and protect these environments.

His imaginative photos of Cuejdel and Geamăna lakes gained him widespread recognition and won several international awards such as National Geographic – Nature Photographer of the Year (Mention), GDT – European Wildlife Photographer of the Year (Germania), Monochrome
Awards U.S.A., ILPOTY (The International Landscape Photographer of the Year Award – Australia), MontPhoto and Memorial Maria Luisa (Spain), Nature Photographer of the Year (The Netherlands), “Milvus” Nature Photography Contest (Romania). His photographs have been published in National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, Natuurfotografie Magazine (NL & BE), Forum Naturfotografie (GE), Elements Magazine (Canada) and On Landscape (UK). Popa is the first Romanian photographer who has a photograph displayed at the National Geographic Fine Art Galleries in the USA. We are pleased that Gheorghe Popa will judge our Nature Photographer of the Year-contest (NPOTY).


Tin Man Lee - Photographer

Tin Man Lee - Photographer


Tin Man Lee

Tin Man Lee is an internationally well-known nature and wildlife photographer. He was born in Hong Kong and lives in the United States. Tin Man Lee teaches photographers to take sharp images, photos that inspire, and to speak out for wildlife who doesn’t have a voice. He believes animals have feelings. 

Currently, he has over 600 students. And his students have won awards such as WPOTY, NBP, Audubon, NANPA, Share The View, and numerous prestigious publications. 

The photos of Tin Man Lee have made covers in NANPA Expression, NBP, Wild Planet Photography Magazine, Smithsonian Calendar, and Alaska Magazine. His photos have also been featured in Nature’s Best, WPOTY, NANPA, Smithsonian Earth, Outdoor Photographer Magazine, Peta Pixel, and Nik Softwares. 

He’s the grand prize winner of Nature’s Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International and also the winner of the wildlife category of that contest. In 2014, he held an invited solo exhibit of 48 photos at HKUST, Hong Kong for 5 months. His photos have also been displayed at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington DC and G2 Gallery.

Tin Man Lee is an experienced photographer and member of the jury of photo contests. Previously he was also an invited judge of Nature’s Best Photography Asia and Viewbug. We are pleased that Tin Man Lee will judge our Nature Photographer of the Year-contest (NPOTY).

Stefan Gerrits - Nature & Wildlife Photographer

Stefan Gerrits - Nature & Wildlife Photographer


Stefan Gerrits

Stefan Gerrits, born in one of the smallest towns you can find in the Netherlands, now lives and works in one of the largest metropolitan areas of Finland. He loves the days when steel and concrete are replaced by the wilderness of nature. Once back in that remote forest or grassland he channels his passion for nature photography.

His style of photography has been referred to as imaginative and minimalistic, whilst others have likened it to the Scandinavian designs or the Nordic way of living. For Stefan, it is important to respect nature and present the subject and surroundings in a manner of its simplest components; function over form. That is how he experiences nature and at the core of who he is. That should make a difference, in fact it makes all the difference.

International Awards include category winner of Outdoor Photographer of the Year (2014, 2018), Vuoden Luontokuva (2019) and highly commendeds of the Memorial Maria Luisa Photo Contest in 2018, Bird Photographer of the Year (2019), Nordic Nature Photo Contest (2017, 2019, 2020).

We are very pleased that Stefan Gerrits will judge our Nature Photographer of the Year contest (NPOTY).


Ellen Cuylaerts - Underwater and Wildlife photographer

Ellen Cuylaerts - Underwater and Wildlife photographer


Ellen Cuylaerts

Award-winning Belgian photographer Ellen Cuylaerts captures images of ocean wildlife that are serene, peaceful, and strikingly intimate. With a masterful understanding of composition and light, Cuylaerts creates works that are almost otherworldly, ushering her viewers into a realm still so foreign to the human collective. Cuylaerts’s objective with her work is twofold: she seeks to bridge a deeper connection between humanity and nature, and she also works to capture her own experience as the photographer, and how it feels in those moments when she is behind the camera. As she explains, “You can either choose to document an encounter or express how you’ve experienced the encounter. I try to shoot from the heart.” In this way, she essentially draws the viewer into the natural world.

Elle is responsible for overseeing the UN’s World Ocean Day Photo Competition and has created a Charter of Commitments focused on ethics for both UN’s World Ocean Day and UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission. Additionally, as a Fellow Explorer International, she served as a member of the Flag and Honors Committee within the Explorers Club between 2015-2020. In 2019, she was honored with induction into the Women Divers Hall of Fame. We are pleased to have Ellen in our judging panel for NPOTY 2023.


Next to the jury, we have old jury members and other experts in different fields who help us determine if certain images could be made or when there is animal harassment.

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