The theme of this year’s Royal Society of Biology photography competition was Biology: from Big to Small. The Society received hundreds of entries representing the most minute details of the natural world (including pigment scales from the skin of a Porbeagle shark) to large mammals dwarfed by the vast landscapes they inhabit (such as elk bulls in Banff National Park).

Winning the prestigious title of Young Photographer of the Year was 16-year-old Pradyuman Samant from India for his image ‘The Beginning’, which shows bush frog tadpoles prior to hatching.

“We have a huge planet with some tiny creatures that we often ignore,” says Samant. “Some people find it gross to even look at them and some aren’t even bothered. But no matter how big our world is, the beginning is always small. These bush frog tadpoles will be part of our big world someday, while others will be washed away in the rain.”

The overall winner of the Photographer of the Year competition will be chosen from a shortlist of nine images, and will be announced on 13 October at the Royal Society of Biology Awards Ceremony, as part of Biology Week.

Competition judge Linda Pitkin said: “We were delighted that the theme of this year’s competition proved so popular. It drew a wide range of high-quality, exciting and original images, from microscopic cell structures to large mammals, as well as compelling contrasts of size and scale in animal interactions and in the environment, not to mention some remarkable biological insights.”