Winner announced: GDT Nature Photographer of the Year 2022
The winner of Europe's most prestigious nature photography competition has been revealed. Enjoy this gallery of winning images and runners up.
This stunning photograph, taken by 23-year-old Thomas Hempelmann from Greifswald, Germany, of a kestrel on a branch full of cherry blossoms, has won the GDT Nature Photographer of the Year 2022 competition.
In Europe's premier photography competition, which considered by some to have even higher standards than the UK's Wildlife Photographer of the Year, finding a winner is never easy. This year, Hempelmann came out on top with his picture, titled 'The Florist', in a field of more than 400 GDT members from 11 countries. Overall, 6,400 photographs were submitted.
About the GDT Nature Photographer of the Year 2022
Every year the competition is exclusively run for the Society's members (unlike the competition GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year, which is open to all photographers resident in Europe).
A shortlist was judged by Corinna Leonbacher, Carsten Ott and Florian Smit, before the GDT members’ voted from ten images in each of the seven categories: Birds, Mammals, Other Animals, Plants and Fungi, Landscapes, Nature's Studio and this year's special category in co-operation with NABU Foundation for National Natural Heritage: Beech – Tree of the Year 2022. The beech is considered the ecologically most important tree species in Germany, hence the idea to dedicate a separate category to it.
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Hempelmann was cycling home from an unsuccessful photo tour when he spotted the bird of prey sitting on a lamp post. He quickly stopped and got his camera out to take a few shots: "The pictures were not very special at all. But when the kestrel rose up and then settled between the white blossoms that I had already spotted from the corner of my eye, my heart began to beat faster as I had imagined such a situation many times before. While I was still pondering whether to take off my 2x extender to include more of the tree in the picture, he was already gone again. In the end, it was only a few seconds that made my day and I whistled loudly with joy all the way home."
Below is a selection of images from this year's competition.
To view the images as a slideshow, click on the arrows in the top right hand corner of the photos below.