Overall Winner: Erlend Haarberg | Snow spat
Over the past 25 years I have spent a lot of time in spring in the mountains of central Norway photographing hares in the upland birch forests. These animals are nocturnal – even during the mating season most activities take place under the cover of darkness. Fights between males – be it for food or a female – occur regularly, but because of their nocturnal habits, are rarely observed. I have tried for a long time to capture such a near-perfect image as this one. The hares have taken up a perfect position, and a soft snow fall emphasizes the magic of the moment.
Nikon D800E, 2.8/300mm, ISO 3200, tripod, 1000W flood light
Biography Erlend Haarberg
Erlend Haarberg was born in Trondheim, Norway, in 1966. He trained as a biologist and has been working as a freelance photographer since 1990, specialising in the wildlife of the Nordic countries. His images have received awards from renowned competitions throughout the world, among others, “NHM Wildlife Photographer of the Year”. He was also awarded the title of "Nature Photographer of the Year" in Norway six times between 1986 and 2000.
Over the past 12 years, Erlend has worked on several large projects in the north of Europe together with his wife Orsolya. In this time, they produced four coffee table books: Lapland – the Alaska of Europe, Iceland – Land of Contrasts, Iceland in all its Splendour and Laponia – Majestic Stillness. Their work has been widely published throughout Europe, including GEO and BBC Wildlife Magazine. Their first story for the National Geographic Magazine titled "Iceland’s resilient beauty" gives an insight into their work during a ten-month stay in Iceland. In November 2013, the same magazine published a selection of photographs from their project on coastal Norway in the story "Follow the water – Journey to the heart of Norway". Finally, in October 2015, the magazine published their third piece, dealing with their latest project, the Laponia World Heritage Site, the largest wilderness area in Europe.