“He Looks to the Heavens: Jacquie Matechuk Wins Nature Photographer of the Year 2023”

Capturing the Majestic Beauty of a Spectacled Bear in the Andean Mountains

In a world where nature’s wonders are often overshadowed by human-made spectacles, one photographer has managed to capture the awe-inspiring beauty of the animal kingdom. Jacquie Matechuk, a talented nature photographer from Canada, has been awarded the prestigious title of Nature Photographer of the Year 2023. Her winning image, titled “He Looks to the Heavens,” transports viewers to the enchanting Andean mountains of Ecuador, where a spectacled bear stands tall amidst a backdrop of an ancient tree and a curtain of Spanish moss. Matechuk’s remarkable composition and her ability to capture the essence of the natural world have earned her this well-deserved recognition.

The Artistry of Spanish Moss and the Andean Bear

Matechuk’s winning photograph showcases the harmonious coexistence of two natural elements: the ethereal Spanish moss and the majestic Andean bear. Spanish moss, known for its delicate appearance and vibrant green color, has long been a favorite subject for nature photographers. Its ability to create visually captivating compositions, with its intricate textures and contrasting hues, makes it a sought-after element in many photographers’ portfolios. In Matechuk’s winning image, the Spanish moss drapes gracefully from an ancient tree, forming a mystical curtain that adds depth and intrigue to the scene.

Spectacled Bears: Guardians of the Andean Forests

The focal point of Matechuk’s photograph is the spectacled bear, a species native to the Andean mountains of South America. These bears, also known as Andean bears or Andean short-faced bears, are the only bear species found in South America. They are known for their distinctive markings around their eyes, resembling a pair of spectacles, which give them their name. Spectacled bears play a crucial role in maintaining the balance of their ecosystems, as they are primarily responsible for seed dispersal and maintaining forest health. Matechuk’s photograph captures the bear’s commanding presence, as it gazes upwards, seemingly lost in its own thoughts.

The Challenges of Nature Photography

Nature photography is a demanding art form that requires patience, skill, and a deep understanding of the natural world. Photographers must often endure extreme weather conditions, long hours of waiting, and unpredictable wildlife behavior to capture that perfect shot. Matechuk’s dedication to her craft is evident in her winning image, as she managed to capture a fleeting moment of beauty in the wild. Her photograph serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving and appreciating the natural world.

Celebrating Nature’s Wonders

The Nature Photographer of the Year competition celebrates the incredible talent and passion of photographers who dedicate their lives to capturing the beauty of the natural world. Through their lens, they offer us glimpses into remote corners of the Earth, reminding us of the breathtaking diversity and fragility of our planet. Matechuk’s award-winning photograph is a testament to the power of nature photography to inspire, educate, and ignite a sense of wonder within us all.


Jacquie Matechuk’s winning image, “He Looks to the Heavens,” transports us to the enchanting Andean mountains of Ecuador, where a spectacled bear stands amidst a curtain of Spanish moss. Her photograph captures the essence of nature’s beauty, showcasing the harmonious coexistence of the ethereal Spanish moss and the majestic Andean bear. Matechuk’s recognition as Nature Photographer of the Year 2023 is a testament to her skill, dedication, and ability to capture fleeting moments of wonder in the wild. Through her lens, she inspires us to appreciate and protect the natural world that surrounds us.






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