Wildlife photography: shockingly beautiful | Environment| All topics from climate change to conservation | DW | 20.10.2016
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Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Wildlife photography: shockingly beautiful

DW introduces the newest and most fascinating winners of the "Wildlife Photographer of the Year" award. These photos not only show the beauty of nature - they also draw attention to the many threats wild things face.

An orangutan that wants to reach the top, a mournful owl, a hazelnut tree that refuses to stand still: It must have been a hard task for the jury of the 52nd "Wildlife Photographer of the Year" competition - they were spoiled for choice! 

Photographer Tim Laman took the winning photo, which shows a critically endangered Bornean orangutan in an Indonesian rainforest. The picture is part of a series documenting the life and survival of these great apes, and which include shots from clear-cut rainforests, areas burned by fire and of orangutan rescue operations.

To achieve his successful picture, Laman repeated the same process for several days: he climbed the tree, installed his camera, and waited for just right moment to press the shutter.

World championship of nature photography

The "Wildlife Photographer of the Year" competition started in 1965. Back then, the jury had to choose from some 500 photos - this year, almost 50,000 photos from 95 countries were submitted.

The pictures are evaluated on the basis of originality, creativity and technical execution.

2015 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award (Picture: London National History Museum/ Don Gutoski)

The winning picture from 2015: red and Arctic foxes cross paths due to global warming

The art of being genuine

Last year winner, shutterbug Don Gutoski portrayed a scene at the Wapusk National Park in Canada that was quite surprising for many. Red and Arctic foxes have historically had different habitat areas - but due to global warming, red foxes are ending up more often in the habitat of the Arctic fox. In this fight for territory, the red fox turned out to be fittest. 

Many of the submitted photos show not only the beauty of nature, but also draw attention to the threats many animals face. The scenes on the shots are not prepared nor embellished - and this is surely one of the defining features of wildlife photography.

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