• 24.10.2014 Contests

    Neal Aldridge (Great Britain) wins "GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014"

    The overall winner of the European competition run by the Society of German Nature Photographers (GDT - Gesellschaft Deutscher Tierfotografen), is the British photo journalist, author and professional wildlife guide Neil Aldridge with his image "Living Rock Art".

    The image shows a pair of galloping blesbok at Bushman's River on South Africa's Kariega game reserve. It is an image that evokes curiosity and gives room for imagination. Aldridge, who grew up in South Africa, explains: "I used a slow shutter speed to capture the motion and synchronicity of the two antelopes in the fading light. I studied the art of the Bushmen while growing up in South Africa and, to me, the image resembles the famous, stylised Bushman rock art that adorns the walls of caves in the hills surrounding Kariega."

    Neil Aldridge has won numerous international awards; in particular he is famous for his documentaries on environmental issues and endangered species. Raising awareness for nature conservation through his work is his major concern, and he aims to raise funds for conservation projects through sales of books and prints wherever possible.

    Patron Prof. Dr. Beate Jessel of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation: "This image makes us recognize our responsibility to ensure that these kinds of observations in nature will still be possible in the future and that our children are not left with just a vague idea what these animals looked like. It underpins the necessity for cooperation to solve the common problems in nature conservation on an international level. Throughout the world, nature conservation has been successfully implemented within the framework of treaties and agreements of the international community and multi- and bilateral cooperation. But previous success should not mean to cease our efforts."

    Winners of the individual categories

    With "Night Hunter" by Yuli Panayotov from Britain a photograph of a barn owl won the category Birds. With the image of a colony of straw-coloured fruit bats Cristobal Serrano from Spain succeeded in the category Mammals. "Blue Waltz" is the name of the winning image by Hungarian photographer Csaba Forrásy in the category Other Animals. Leonardo Battista from Italy won the category Plants & Fungi with the image "Platanthera chlorantha". The category Landscapes was won by German photographer Joachim Wimmer with "Fog and Full Moon"; in the category The Underwater World Rémy Masson from France came first with "Lord Toad". "Inspection" is the title Klaus Echle from Germany gave his winning photograph of a capercaillie and a raised hide that had been blown over in a storm in the category Man and Nature, and the category Nature's Studio saw Jasper Doest's image "I loved you ..." come out on top.

    The competition

    The competition GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year is run annually by the  Society of German Nature Photographers (GDT).  Photographs can be entered in eight different categories as well as the Fritz Pölking Prize and Fritz Pölking Junior Prize. The top-class jury consisting of Josef Hackhofer(IT), Bruno D‘Amicis (IT), Georg Popp (AT), Pål Hermansen (NO) und  Jari Peltomäki (FI) did not take their decisions easily.

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