GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year

GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Deadline: March 1, 2020
Entry fee: €35, Young Photographers — Free
Prizes: €100, €200, €500, €800, €1,500, €2,000, €3,000

For the 20th time the German Society for Nature Photography (GDT – Gesellschaft für Naturfotografie) invites photographers from all over Europe to join this year‘s competition.

This competition is open for photographers residing within Europe and for GDT members.

The competition aims to illustrate the high quality and specific style of European wildlife photography through excellent pictures from Europe and all over the world. It also seeks to promote awareness for nature conservation through the means of photography.

All award-winning images will be shown as large-format prints in an exhibition which will have its premiere at the International Nature Photography Festival in Lünen (23 to 25 October 2020) and will then be presented to millions of visitors in museums, galleries and at festivals in Germany and throughout Europe for several years.

A presence on the GDT website, its social media channels, a high-quality exhibition catalogue and an international press campaign contribute to the broad visibility of the award-winning photographers and their images.


  • Birds
    The frequently fascinating reproduction of birds, the dynamics of bird migration, their often dramatic fight for food, bizarre shapes and magnificent colours as well as their elegance on the wing: all this is what the photos in this category are meant to express.
  • Mammals
    From European hamsters to elephants, from blue whales to bats: the world of mammals is colourful and varied. This category calls for photos that express the animals‘ character and individuality, that tell us about their behaviour or show them in their natural habitat.
  • Other Animals
    The appearance and habits of reptiles, amphibians, insects, spiders and invertebrates are often quite spectacular. Here, photos are called for that draw attention to the character and beauty of these animals.
  • Plants & Fungi
    This category aims to highlight the beauty and aesthetics of plants and fungi as well as their way of adapting to different habitats. This category looks for photos that, for example, play with light and the means of modern composition.
  • Landscape
    The topics in this category range from the cultural landscape at our doorstep to remote regions all over the world, from more detailed sights to overviews of habitats, from weather phenomena to the formative power of wind and water.
  • The Underwater World
    The blue planet: 71% of its surface is covered by water. Oceans, rivers and lakes accommodate an infinite abundance of life. This category gives us an insight into a hidden world with its animals, plants and habitats both in fresh and salt water.
  • Man and Nature
    Humans interfere with nature in many ways. Photos that illustrate these interferences are the subject matter of this category: photographs which are thought-provoking, astonishing or simply make you smile quietly to yourself.
  • Nature‘s Studio
    This category covers photos that deal with colours and shapes beyond mere representation. Here, photographers can express their individual point of view, aesthetic considerations and their love of photographic experimentation.
  • Young Photographers
    This category invites young photographers in two age groups (up to 14 years old and 15 to 17 years old) to enter their five best photographs, irrespective of the themes of the categories (they do NOT need to comply with the given categories).
  • Fritz Pölking Prize
    story- and portfolio prize
  • Fritz Pölking Junior Prize
    story- and portfolio prize (aged 26 years and under)


All winning participants will receive an invitation to the award ceremony, free tickets to the GDT International Nature Photography Festival 2020 in Lünen as well as the exhibition catalogue.

European Wildlife Photographer of the Year

  • 3,000 EUR – donated by Canon
  • certificate and trophy
  • travel expenses, costs for the buffet and accommodation

Fritz Pölking Prize

  • 2,000 EUR – donated by Tecklenborg publishing house
  • certificate and trophy
  • costs for the buffet and accommodation

Fritz Pölking Junior Prize

  • 1,500 EUR – donated by Tecklenborg publishing house
  • merchandise voucher worth 500 EUR – donated by AC-Foto *
  • certificate and trophy
  • costs for the buffet and accommodation

Category winner

  • K1 – 8: winners: 800 EUR & certificate
  • K1 – 8: runners-up: 500 EUR & certificate

Youth category

  • K9: winners: 200 EUR & certificate
  • travel expenses, costs for the buffet and accommodation; (including a parent or legal guardian if applicable),

K9: runners-up: 100 EUR & certificate

  • Highly commended
  • certificate & invitation to the award ceremony, free ticket for the festival

Entry Fee

  • €35
  • Young Photographers is free of charge



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