Entries are open for European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2022

European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2021
Medusa Balley by Angel Fitor, Overall Winner in 2021 (Image credit: Angel Fitor - European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2021)

Entries for European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2022 have just opened and you could be in with a chance of winning up to €3000 ($3,400/£2,500). The competition is separated into eight categories as well as two youth categories for - 14 years and 15 - 17 years.

The competition was launched in 2001 by the German Society for Nature Photography (GDT) and has become one of the most renowned European Wildlife photo awards. Every year, it receives thousands of entries showing exceptional talent through a range of high-quality, diverse and unique images. Like last year, the categories will include, birds, mammals, other animals, plants and fungi, landscapes, the underwater world, man and nature and nature studio.

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Judges look for creative image compositions, interesting subjects, unusual perspectives and how nature conservation can be captured through photography. The jury for this year's competition has not yet been released but you can expect it will include a mix of wildlife photographers and wildlife experts who excel in their field. 

Last year's overall winner was Angel Fitor, a Spanish Photographer whose image Medusa Ballet captivated the judges. The shot shows a sea of jellyfish at Mar Menor - Europe’s largest saltwater lake which was hit with a massive fish shortage in 2021. 

The two youth categories give budding photographers the chance to enter their wildlife images into the competition. There is a 14 and under category as well as a 15 - 17 category for slightly more experienced young photographers.

The European Wildlife Photographer of the Year also includes the Fritz Pölking Prize and the Fritz Pölking Junior Prize which recognizes extraordinary work in the field of wildlife photography. In memory of the GDT founding member, Fritz Pölking who died in 2007, the prize is awarded to a unique wildlife project or a portfolio of individual photos. 

Scroll down to see a selection of winning images from last year's competition…

(Image credit: Martin Van Lovken - European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2021)

(Image credit: Arnfinn Johansen - European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2021)

(Image credit: Nicolas de Vaulx - European Photographer of the Year 2021)

The closing date for entries is 1 March 2022 at midnight and the competition is open to European residents and paid-up members of the GDT (overseas membership costs €103 a year). Full details of the competition can be found on the GDT website.

All winning images will be shown as large-format prints at an exhibition at the International Nature Photography Festival in Lünen, Germany, in October 2022 (assuming the Festival returns following its cancellation due to the pandemic last year). 

Read more:

Best lenses for wildlife and bird photography
Best cameras for landscape photography
5 wildlife and nature photography tips
How to photograph the perfect landscape

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.