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 + 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 fitted with a Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM with a 1.4x teleconverter. 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…
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