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Incredible image of hare scoops major wildlife photography prize

Wildlife photographer wins photo competition with incredible shot of a hare
(Image credit: GNPY 2020, Peter Lindel, GDT)

The GDT Nature Photographer of the Year 2020 has officially been announced as wildlife photographer Peter Lindel, who captured a stunning image of a sun-drenched European hare in its natural habitat. Lindel's photo beat out over 5,000 other images to grab the top prize of an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III (opens in new tab) + 12-40mm lens kit. 

The Society for Nature Photography runs the GDT Nature Photographer of the Year competition exclusively for their members. This contest is separate from the GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year, which is open to all photographers resident in Europe. 

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Although Peter Lindel is passionate about photographing African fauna, his winning image was taken in his native Dortmund, which isn't exactly known as a wildlife photography hot spot. However, Lindel decided to shine a spotlight on a native resident that used to thrive, but is now sadly in decline.

"The European hare, once a common inhabitant of open country all over Germany, has become a rare sight. While the large number of hares that I used to spot every morning on my way to work in the fields and meadows north of Dortmund prompted me twelve years ago to explore this area with my camera, it has now become increasingly time-consuming to find hares and present them in an appealing photograph. 

"This photo was taken in July of 2019, when months of searching [for] a suitable location led me to a dirt road, which offered the most beautiful morning light, lovely vegetation and… three hares."

The image was shot with a Canon EOS-1D X (opens in new tab) fitted with a Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM with a 1.4x teleconverter (opens in new tab). The exposure was 1/800sec at f/5.6, ISO 500.

Lindel's image shows that it's possible to capture award-winning photos without traveling to far-flung locations. However, Peter Lindel wasn't the only wildlife photographer to experience success in this photography competition. You can see more prize-winning entries from the individual categories below…

WINNER | BIRDS Flurin Leugger - Take-off Coyote panics geese (Image credit: GNPY 2020, Flurin Luegger, GDT)
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WINNER | OTHER ANIMALS Jens Cullmann - Danger in the mud Crocodile in a drying pool (Image credit: GNPY 2020, Jens Cullman, GDT)
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2ND PLACE | MAMMALS Mohammad Murad - Glowing fox Arabian red fox in Kuwait City (Image credit: GNPY 2020, Mohammad Murad, GDT)
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5TH PLACE | LANDSCAPES Axel Gomeringer - Yukon gold rush Tombstone Territorial Park, Canada (Image credit: GNPY 2020, Axel Gomeringer, GDT)
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4TH PLACE | MAMMALS Jan Piecha - Curious glances Raccoons, North Hesse (Image credit: GNPY 2020, Jan Piecha, GDT)
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3RD PLACE | OTHER ANIMALS Henry Jager - School of mackerel School of mackerel, Cocos Island (Image credit: GNPY 2020, Henry Jager, GDT)

3RD PLACE | BIRDS Hermann Hirsch - Stony dipper American Dipper, California (Image credit: GNPY 2020, Hermann Hirsch, GDT)
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2ND PLACE | SPECIAL CATEGORY, WATER Sandra Bartocha - Milk and honey Reflection of the chalk coast (Image credit: GNPY 2020, Sandra Bartocha, GDT)
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WINNER | PLANTS AND FUNGI Radomir Jakubowski - New life in a dead forest Dead forest, Bavaria (Image credit: GNPY 2020, Radomir Jakubowski, GDT)
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With over a decade of photographic experience, Louise arms Digital Camera World with a wealth of knowledge on photographic technique and know-how – something at which she is so adept that she's delivered workshops for the likes of ITV and Sue Ryder. Louise also brings years of experience as both a web and print journalist, having served as features editor for Practical Photography magazine and contributing photography tutorials and camera analysis to titles including Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab) and  Digital Photographer (opens in new tab). Louise currently shoots with the Fujifilm X-T200 and the Nikon D800, capturing self-portraits and still life images, and is DCW's ecommerce editor, meaning that she knows good camera, lens and laptop deals when she sees them.