GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015


Runner-up mammals: Humpback whale under the Arctic moon by Audun Rikardsen (Norway). ‘For a number of years, massive shoals of herring have gathered during the dark winter months in the fjords near the town of Tromsø. They are followed by numerous humpback whales that chase the herring in the dark, often only lit by moonlight. Every whale’s tail has its own individual characteristics, which can be used to differentiate one animal from the other. This also enables scientists to follow their migration routes across the oceans’. (Photo by Audun Rikardsen/GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015)



Highly commended mammals: Morning exercise in the meadow by Duy anh Pham (Norway). ‘The rutting season of roe deer had just begun when I managed to take this photo near Fredrichstad. The day before, I had spotted a single doe in a cornfield, although I did not see a buck. The following day I was there again before sunrise. Thick fog covered the landscape. Half an hour later, the veil lifted and I saw the doe approaching from the other end of the field. She must have heard a contact sound and galloped straight at me’. (Photo by Duy Anh Pham/GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015)



Winner mammals: Night star by Bence Mate (Hungary). ‘I have always tried to explore new fields in nature photography. I especially like photographing animals at night, which has its very own unique challenges. This photo was made using a remote control camera that I had put in an old fish box. It was difficult to estimate in advance the necessary balance between the flash light and the natural light from the stars. I also hoped that I would not scare away the animal as the wild boars in our area are extremely shy. Luckily, it stood still during the shot’. (Photo by Bence Mate/GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015)



Winner Birds: Fishing in the Evening in Hula Valley by Juan Carlos Muñoz (Spain). ‘This photograph was taken at a fish farm in Hula Valley, in the Galilee region of Israel. In the soft evening light, circular puddles stood out against dark muddy areas at the bottom of a drained fish pond. They formed the perfect backdrop for a black winged stilt that was searching for food in the shallow water. The Hula Valley is an important resting ground for wading birds and, due to conservation programmes, a balance has been achieved between economic use and wildlife protection’. (Photo by Juan Carlos Muñoz/GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015)



Highly commended birds : Crested guan by Tim Hunt (UK). ‘This photo shows a crested guan in the cloud forests of Costa Rica as it pauses while foraging on a lone branch. Due to the clouds that are so typical for this habitat, I could often only photograph the bird’s silhouette against a grey sky. But then, for a short moment only, the sun broke through the clouds, and I overexposed the image by over two stops in order to blow out the background and allow this beautifully marked bird to stand out’. (Photo by Tim Hunt/GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015)



Runner-up Birds : Capercaillie by Bernt Østhus – (Norway). ‘Over the course of the years I have often witnessed how the sun moves across the ridge where the capercaillies would carry out their mating ritual. So I had a pretty good idea where to pitch my hide to take a photograph in which the backlight filtering through the trees would make the bird appear as a silhouette. All I needed now was fair weather and one of the capercaillies in the right position. I took this photo in the woods not far from the village where I grew up’. (Photo by Bernt Østhus/GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015)





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