Ando from Tsurui wins first place in Nature's Best Photography Asia 2021

A red-crowned crane attempts to drive off an Ezo red fox to protect his young and the mother crane (from "Green Season in Eastern Hokkaido")
Ando Makoto won an award for his video that featured footage he captured during his photography shoots

Video footage taken by photographer Ando Makoto (57) from the village of Tsurui in the Kushiro region of Eastern Hokkaido received the first place “Winner” award in the video category for the globally renowned nature photography contest “Nature’s Best Photography Asia 2021”. Ando is also a professional nature guide, and has captured video footage of Eastern Hokkaido animals like brown bears and red-crowned cranes. Amidst the shock to Hokkaido tourism from the COVID-19 pandemic, Ando commented on his joy at winning, “This is a chance to show the world the amazingness of Eastern Hokkaido and contribute to a revival post-COVID tourism.”

This contest is the Asian edition of the contest hosted by American photography magazine “Nature’s Best Photography” and focuses on photography and video subjects captured in Asia. This year, a total of over ten thousand works were submitted to six categories for judging photography and video footage. Ando was the only Japanese contributor to attain “Winner” status in a category.

His award-winning piece is a five-minute video entitled “Green Season in Eastern Hokkaido”. It displays scenes of a brown bear catching salmon in a river, an Ezo red fox taking care of cubs, a red-crowned crane spreading his wings and fending off an Ezo red fox to protect his young, and masu salmon swimming dynamically upstream.

Ando captured this video footage from the spring through the autumn of 2020 in places including Rausu, Hamanaka, Tsurui, and Shibetsu, using the video mode of a digital single-lens reflex camera. Amidst uncertainty about when the COVID-19 pandemic will end, he submitted his work with the desire to, “Show the world the energetic action of Eastern Hokkaido animals in video form and contribute to a revitalization of tourism after the pandemic subsides.”

The award-winning video is publicly viewable in the video category of the “Nature’s Best Photography Asia 2021” website at Ando commented, “I want people staying at home as an infection prevention measure to feel refreshed by video footage of the natural world.”

Photography from Kushiro resident Sato Akira (49, self-employed) also won an award in the wild bird category in this contest.


Tsurui Village