Kiwi teen wins 'Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year' award at prestigious photography competition

A Kiwi teenager has beaten some stunning photographs to join the winners of the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

Cruz Erdmann, 14, is receiving critical acclaim for his stunning picture of a big-finned reef squid, captured in Indonesia's Lembeh Strait. The splash of iridescent colour in the black waters has earned the teen Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

"To dive in the pitch dark, find this beautiful squid and be able to photograph it so elegantly, to reveal its wonderful shapes and colours, takes so much skill," nature photograph and judging panelist Theo Bosboom said, according to the British Natural History Museum

"What a resounding achievement for such a young photographer."

However, he's not the youngest to snap an award. Thomas Easterbrook, from England, won the 10 Years and Under category with a photo of a Hummingbird Hawkmoth, captured on a family holiday in France.

"When people look at my photograph, I want people to understand and care about nature," Thomas told Newshub.

A shot of a Tibetan Fox creeping up on a marmot took out the competition's grand title, the dramatic encounter capturing the perfect blend of humour and horror. 

The winning photo.
The winning photo. Photo credit: Yongqing Bao / British Natural History Museum

"It's an absolutely stunningly unique image," Tim Littlewood, from the British Natural History Museum, told Newshub.

"I think what's amazing about it is that it has so many emotions... in fact, they are conflicting emotions. There is the joy, the humour and the horror of the imminent death."

The annual competition aims to draw attention to the ultimate challenge in nature - the battle for survival.

Photoshoppers have quickly taken the winning photo and put their own spin on it... America's Got Talent, a mugging scene... even UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The winning photos will be on display at London's Natural History Museum until May.