OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA[Photo credit: Alex Angel-Benscher]

Alex Angel-Benscher, who works in the Scientific Solutions Division at Olympus KeyMed Ltd in Southend-on-Sea, Essex entered an image called ‘Lungs of the earth 2.0’ (above).

The contest carried the theme, ‘Blessings of Nature, to be kept for our future’ and pulled in almost 1,000 entries globally.

Alex, who triumphed in the European region, said: ‘My photograph was taken on my Olympus E-PL5.

‘The title of the image comes from the unique shape of the leaf. It forms a similar shape to a human lung, as well as the inside texture.

‘It reminds us that we are the same as every living thing on earth, and we are all connected.

‘For us to survive, we need these lungs of the earth.’

The other winners were: Jason Lee from Olympus Corporation of the Americas; Ke Zhifang of Olympus (China) Co Ltd; and Atsushi Toda of Olympus Japan.