GDT Nature Photographer of the Year 2018

GDT Nature Photographer of the Year 2018

1.Platz: Maximilian Hornisch | Steinadler

Maximilian Hornisch (Germany) - "Golden Eagle"

"Temperatures are rising, the snow melts and water slowly cuts its way down into the valley. What was hidden all winter, is now revealed by the soft rain. The clouds open up revealing already thawed rock faces. The golden eagle floats in through the retreating veil looking for winter's leftovers.
Numerous avalanches in the mountains have taken their toll, offering the golden eagles a generous supply of food after the snow has gone. They are often around once the weather starts to clear. But weather conditions in the alps are unpredictable.
Two days later there was going to be 2 metres of new snow in this region within 48 hours, heavily restricting the golden eagles' food supply for the following days and weeks once more.

In Maximilian Hornisch's life (born in 1996) nature always has taken centre stage. As a young child his parents took him to explore the local fauna and flora while roaming nearby forests and meadows. He soon developed a scientific interest on all biological processes that form the base of any life. Later the scientific approach was joined by an artistic interest. Maximilian

Hornisch: “I came to value nature as a place of tranquillity, longing and inspiration. At about the same time, photography stepped into my life linking in with these newly discovered aspects of nature. These two pillars determine my life and my motivation – natural sciences and nature photography.”
Maximilian Hornisch

Category 1: Birds

Category 2: Mammals

Category 3: Other Animals

Category 4: Plants and Fungi

Category 5: Landscapes

Category 6: Nature's Studio

Special Category: Ährensache

Approximately half the area of our country is used for agriculture. Thus, farming has a large influence on species diversity. Intensive farming methods have triggered a dramatic population decline in the past years. Once abundant dwellers of the agricultural landscape, such as partridges, lapwings and skylarks are now hardly ever heard. The German environmental organisation NABU works towards nature-friendly farming and awards the 2018 special prize „Ährensache“. This category looks for images that explore the opposing poles of farming and the diversity of species.

Prize of the Jury

10.Platz: Hermann Hirsch | Bidde Hermann Hirsch (Germany) - Bidde!?

Thank you


We'd like to thank our sponsor AC-Foto for providing valuable prizes for the winners of this contest!

OLYMPUS - Premium Partner of GDT We'd also like to thank our premium sponsor Olympus Europe for providing the prize for the overall winner of this contest!

Jury 2018

Jessica Winter

Born in 1991 in Middle Hesse, Jessica discovered a close connection with Nature at an early age. From this close connection soon developed a fascination which lead to a university degree in biology and last but not least to her great passion nature photography. During her course of studies, the opportunity arose to spend a research season on a small, uninhabited island of the Falkland archipelago at a colony of seabirds. Other travels led her to Coast Rica, South Africa and Swedish Lapland. She now lives in Wien, focussing on behavioural and cognitive biology, and is a member of the multimedia project Viennese Wilderness. In the past years she has dedicated more and more time to the protection of species through her photography aiming to generate awareness and consideration.

Jessica Winter

Hans-Jürgen Schmid

As a GDT member of long and leader of the regional group XV Munich South, I have covered a lot of ground in photography and witnessed many different trends in nature photography. After all, you can always argue about style and taste. However, I am convinced that a diverse pictorial language should be highly valued and there is always something to get out from various trends even if you otherwise would not choose to follow them. So, I have looked into many topics in nature photography - at home and abroad - and never restricted myself, although for professional reasons my activities have returned to travel and animal photography once again.

Volker Bohlmann

Nature and photography are the two things that have fascinated Volker Bohlmann since his childhood. This resulted in first reportages for local newspapers and presentations featuring the Elbe water meadows around Wittenberge. Capturing people as well as the ongoing change of the urban and natural environment with his camera continues to be a delightful task for him. So, the foundations for his professional career have been put down early. Today he works as a photo editor at the local paper Schweriner Volkszeitung by the publisher Medienhaus Nord Schwerin. For more than 20 years he has been an active member of the GDT regional group IX Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania promoting the topics of photography and nature conservation. He has been one of two regional group leaders for six years for the Society of German Nature Photographers (GDT) in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. His images are represented in various competitions, among others in the  European Nature Photographer of the Year and GNY. As a project manager and photographer he took part in photography projects such as “Skizzen einer Landschaft – UNESCO Biosphärenreservat Schaalsee“ 2013-2015 / GDT M-V. His nature photographs have been published in many books, magazines and calendars.

Volker Bohlmann ©  Sandra Bartocha