British Photographer Wins European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015

This year’s GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year attracted a record breaking 17300 submissions from a total of 36 European countries but it was British photographer Richard Peters who fought off all the competition to win this year’s top prize.

The winning entry is set, not in a natural open space, but in a urban garden and features one of our common British mammals but it is the striking shadow silhouette and light contrast which has wowed the judges.

Shadow Walker by Richard Peters - Overall Winner (Photo Credit: Richard Peters/ GDT)

Shadow Walker by Richard Peters – Overall Winner (Photo Credit: Richard Peters/ GDT)

Beate Jessel, President of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation also highlighted why such urban wildlife images were important for conservation and wildlife interactions:

“This fox stands for many more European animal species that are conquering new habitats in our constantly growing cities… the Federal German Agency for Nature Conservation advocates urban spaces, which provide the possibility of natural experiences and are beneficial for people and nature alike, and also supports action groups such as the nationwide alliance Towns for Biodiversity.”

And there seems little question of the winning status of the image, as many way remember it also featuring in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition and taking the top prize in the Urban category.

Richard Peters explained the set up to his winning photo to competition:

“Taken in my back garden, the image shows the shadow of an urban fox on its nightly patrols. To give context to the image, I placed the camera up high enough to show the neighbouring house, and using a 30-second exposure setting, I also captured the stars in the night sky. I did not plan to include the upstairs light in the neighbour’s house, but it helps connect the human and wild elements of the image, giving context to the story. The camera was triggered by a light barrier when the fox walked by.”

The competition is run by one of the world‘s largest nature photography groups; the Society of German Nature Photographers (Gesellschaft Deutscher Tierfotografen e.V. – GDT). Though based in Germany the GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition is open to all professional and non-professional photographers resident in Europe

This year there were 8 categories including Mammals, Under Water and Man and Nature plus two further junior categories for under 18s entries.

A full gallery of all this year’s winning images can be found on the Gesellschaft Deutscher Tierfotografen website. And more of Richard Peters work on his own photography site.

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Kirstin McEwan
Current Wildlife Conservation Masters student and former Environmental Stewardship graduate with interests in wildlife conservation and science communication

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