Gear Inspirations

9 Stunning images that show European wildlife at its best

Winning shots from the European Wildlife Photographer of the Year will inspire you to grab your telezoom…

Europe is home to a vast and varied collection of wildlife, affording photographers the opportunity to capture amazing images and the best of the best have been recognised thanks to the European Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest.

Organised by the German Society for Nature Photography (GDT), this year’s event attracted over 19000 entries from 36 counties. Picking up the Overall Winner title was Spanish photographer Angel Fitor, who took the top honour for an mesmerising image entitled ‘Ballet of the Medusa’ and shows jellyfish near the surface of the water. Angel captured the image using a Nikon D800 paired with a 20mm lens.

Image by Angel Fitor / European Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The highly competitive Birds category was won by Norwegian photographer Terje Kolaas, for a beautiful image entitled ‘Bird Migration’, which shows the sheer number of birds on their travels through a snowy landscape. Terje commented; ‘Thousands of Pink-footed Geese roosts in the middle of Norway in spring, on their way to the breeding grounds on Svalbard in the Arctics. Probably because of climate change, they arrive earlier for every year and often the ground and the fields where they feed are covered by snow when they arrive. The geese tend to use the same paths, so by waiting with a drone photos like this one is possible.’

Image by Terje Kolaas / European Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Split second timing can make or break an image and this was definitely the case for the winning shot from the Mammals category, which was taken by UK photographer Danny Green. The frame is entitled ‘After the rain’ and Danny used a Canon 1DX Mark II DSLR to capture the  must-see moment.

Image by Danny Green / European Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The competition also saw a category for Landscapes, which was won by Swiss photographer Anette Mossbacher for an image entitled ‘Tree of life’. The ethereal frame shows how excellent lighting can elevate a frame and was captured with a Fujifilm X-H1 paired with a XF 100-400mm lens.

Image by Anette Mossbacher / European Wildlife Photographer of the Year

As well as capturing images above the water, the competition included subjects below the surface too and the winner of the Underwater category was named as French photographer Fabrice Guerin, who captured this spectacular frame entitled ‘Water ballet’ using a Canon 5D Mark IV paired with a 16-35mm lens.

Image by Fabrice Guerin / European Wildlife Photographer of the Year

In the Other Animals category, Swedish photographer Jan Pedersen was named winner for an image entitled ‘Emerald Dragon’. The colourful frame was captured with a Olympus E-M1 Mark III camera paired with a 300mm f/4 lens.

Image by Jan Pedersen / European Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The interesting Man and Nature category was full of images of our impact on the wildlife world and was won by Swedish photographer Magnus Lundgren for an image titled ‘Diving and species protection’. Magnus commented about the image on his Instagram page saying; ‘My image is also meant to challenge the sensational myths around sharks that is planted in people’s minds since a young age through cartoons, sensational news, horror movies and poorly made documentaries. Nearly all telling false stories.’

Image by Magnus Lundgren / European Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The winner of the Plants and Fungi category was named as German photographer Tobias Richter, who captured this stunning frame, entitled ‘Hoarfrost’ using a Canon R5 paired with a 16-35mm.

Image by Tobias Richter / European Wildlife Photographer of the Year

In the Youth (15-17 year old) category, the first place went to Lasse Kurkela from Finland, who took the honour for his picture entitled ‘Forest of the Siberian jay’, which was captured using a Nikon D5S paired with a 14-24mm lens.

Image by Lasse Kurkela / European Wildlife Photographer of the Year