GDT Nature Photographer of the Year 2021

Gesamtsieger | Overall Winner: Karsten Mosebach, Bernhard Volmer | Turbo Rauchschwalbe | Turbo Barn Swallow

Overall Winner: Karsten Mosebach & Bernhard Volmer - Turbo Barn Swallow

Barn swallows are fast flyers. They cut through the air at top speed, dodging obstacles at lightning speed and abruptly. Our eyes can hardly follow their daring flight manoeuvres. The birds always seem to be in the air. Only rarely they do rest in the company of other swallows on a telephone wire or the gutter of an old pigsty. Through its windows and the half-open gate, barn swallows hunt in summer and feed their chicks, who sit in nests close under the rafters and cry hungrily for food.
With our swallow photos we try to depict the beauty and elegance of the animals, which they radiate especially in flight. In the photos, speed, lightness, elegance and beauty of the animals are to be combined into a unity. As a stylistic device we have chosen a long exposure. Using flash units with a particularly short flash duration, we freeze the movement at the end of the exposure time. In this way, the swallow in the picture wears a veil that flies after it in an airy, light and transparent way and at the same time testifies to its high speed.

Karsten Mosebach and Bernhard Volmer live in the Teutoburg Forest. Since the two photographers first bumped into each other by chance while taking pictures almost 20 years ago, they have been connected by their love of nature photography and a friendship that has grown. Over the years, they have realised various photo and book projects together, most recently the book "Magische Impressionen - Naturfotografien aus dem Osnabrücker Land".
The two photographers work particularly closely together on technically complex projects. In the case of the swallows, it was impossible to control two cameras at the same time because of the necessary light barrier and flash technology. In this case, only one camera is set up and the pictures taken belong equally to both photographers. This is how they won the title of Nature Photographer of the Year together once before, exactly ten years ago. In addition, they have often been successful individually in national and international photo competitions.
Mosebach | Volmer

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: We are family

Prize of the Jury

4.Platz: Alexandra Wünsch (DE) | Waldvogel Prize of the Jury | Alexandra Wünsch | Waldvogel

Thank you!

AC-Foto We'd like to thank our sponsor AC-Foto for providing valuable prizes for the winners of this contest!
OLYMPUS - Premiumpartner der GDT We'd also like to thank our premium sponsor Olympus Europe for providing the Olympus E-M5 Mark III incl. kit lens (12-40/f2.8)  for the overall winner of this contest!

Jury 2021

Heike Odermatt

Heike Odermatt

Born and raised on Lake Constance, Heike Odermatt and her family moved to the Netherlands when she was 16 years old. Wildlife photography was her secret dream from childhood on, which she could realize many years later. Since 2002 she has been into with heart and soul. In the first few years she still took analogue photos with SLR and medium format, but then the switch to digital was unstoppable.

In the beginning her main focus was landscape photography, but in the meantime she feels at home in all disciplines. Heike loves the colder regions of our earth - the rough and lonely landscapes of Scandinavia and the (ant)arctic regions. There she finds what she misses at home in the heavily populated Netherlands. In these areas, the strongest feeling is for her to be just a small guest in this overwhelming nature.

Her wish is to use her pictures to sensitize other people to the beauty and importance of nature. Learning to appreciate and love nature is the beginning of a better way of dealing with it.

Stefan Christmann

Stefan Christmann

Stefan Christmann is a German wildlife photographer, best known for his photographic work of the Antarctic and about the emperor penguin colony of the Atka Bay. In 2017 Stefan worked as an expedition photographer and camera assistant for the BBC Natural History Unit and was part of the 3-man film team that shot the Emperor Penguin episode of the BBC documentary Wild Dynasties in Antarctica. During two South Polar hibernations, he accompanied the charismatic birds with his camera for over 24 months.

The physicist, who lives in southern Germany, has been a member of the GDT since 2009 and is also a co-founder of the GDT youth group. With his stories from Antarctica, he has already appeared twice on the lecture stage at the International Nature Photography Festival in Lünen.

Stefan's pictures have received worldwide recognition in recent years and won the renowned NHM Wildlife Photographer of the Year Portfolio Award in 2019. His stories have already been published in international magazines such as the National Geographic Magazine or the BBC Wildlife Magazine. Stefan's first own book ‘The Community of Penguins’ has been published by teNeues since the end of 2020.

Stefan always enriches his stories from (polar) nature with scientific facts or detailed behavioral descriptions and tries to enlighten his audience sustainably about the wonders of nature. He hopes to make a contribution to the preservation of our planet.

Jan Piecha

Jan Piecha studied environmental planning and is a freelance wildlife photographer. After completing his studies he started to work as a research assistant in the field of nature conservation at different universities.

Originally he comes from a rural region in the southern Lüneburger Heide, where it was almost impossible to avoid nature. So it happened that the interest in wildlife was already present in childhood and photography came along a few years later. Even today vertebrates are still his favorite motives. A responsible approach to nature without having a negative influence on the motives is particularly important to him.

He prefers to work on picture series and larger projects in the immediate vicinity of his home. In addition, he is also drawn to tropical regions of the world, where he is fascinated by the diversity of species.

His photographs are regularly published in various specialist magazines and have received awards both in Germany and in Europe. From 2014 to 2017 he was head of the GDT youth group.