GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2021

We love Nature. We love photography. We are nature photographers.


Take part …
... in the competition European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2021!

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

Closing date is 1 March 2021 at midnight (CET)

In 2001, the then board of the GDT (German Society for Nature Photography) initiated the European Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. Since then, it has matured to be one of Europe's most renowned competitions. Every year its results show exceptional quality, diversity and unique style offering the best of contemporary nature photography across all subjects.

In creative image compositions, surprising subjects and unusual perspectives the results of this competition display the nature around us in touching images and support the idea of nature conservation through the means of photography. Authenticity is the highest precept for all the photographs.


Photographs can be entered in ten different categories: Birds, Mammals, Other Animals, Plants and Fungi, Landscapes, The Underwater World, Man and Nature, Nature’s Studio, Young Photographers and the category Fritz Pölking Prize, which is a category of its own within this competition!

The Young Photographers‘ category invites young photographers in two age groups (up to 14 years and 15 - 17 years) to enter their best nature
images; topics may be chosen freely and do not need to correlate to one of the other categories).

Fritz Pölking Prize and Fritz Pölking Junior Prize
This story and portfolio prize is from now on a special category integrated in the EWPY (European Wildlife Photographer of the Year) competition!

In recognition of GDT founder member Fritz Pölking, who died in 2007, Tecklenborg publishing house in cooperation with the GDT annually presents the Fritz Pölking Prize and Fritz Pölking Junior Prize within the context of the GDT EWPY competition. These prizes will be awarded for extraordinary work in the field of wildlife photography. This may either be a unique wildlife photography project or a portfolio of individual photographs. Judgement will focus on photographic performance as well as the overall conception, idea and creative execution.


As every year our jury consists of seasoned photographers from all over the world. This year's jury members

Jim Brandenburg - USA (Wildlife photographer)
Viktoria Haack - UK/CA (Landscape photographer)
Andrew Parkinson - UK (Wildlife photographer)
Ole Jørgen Liodden - NO (Wildlife photographer)
Ofelia de Pablo - ES (Writer, Filmmaker)

All jurors will be presented in more detail on our website soon.


There will be cash and material prizes in the amount of 32,000 EUR altogether.

Overall winner: 3,000 EUR, invitation to the award ceremony (travel expenses, costs for the buffet and accommodation)

K 1 – 8: winners: 800 EUR, runners-up: 500 EUR

K 9: winners: 200 EUR as well as an invitation to the award ceremony (travel expenses, costs for the buffet and accommodation; includes expenses for an accompanying adult), runners-up: 100 EUR

All winning participants will receive free tickets to the GDT International Nature Photography Festival 2021 in Lünen * as well as the exhibition catalogue.

* the realisation of the festival depends significantly on the pandemic development


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

Copyrights & Usage Rights:

Copyright and right to one‘s own picture

By entering the competition, the photographer confirms that the entered photograph is his/ her original work and the photographer is the sole owner of the copyright and that there are no third-party claims. It is the photographer‘s responsibility to obtain releases and consents in written form for publishing, exhibiting and using the awarded image if any persons appear in the photograph or if objects in the photograph are subject to the rights of third parties; it is the photographer‘s responsibility to obtain official permits where applicable.
The photographer is held liable for all damages that the GDT or third parties, to whom the GDT legally granted usage of the image, may experience due to the lack of necessary release forms or missing permits.

Usage rights

Photographs awarded with a prize or highly commended may be used in the context of the competition GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year and its related public relations.
The GDT is in particular entitled to publish the photographs on their website, their social media accounts and to pass the images on to newspapers and magazines for the purpose of news coverage of the competition. The GDT has also the right to use the images for marketing purposes and finding sponsors. In addition, the GDT is entitled to exhibit the photographs in Germany and abroad, to reproduce and distribute them in the form of print
media and to use them to advertise the exhibitions and publications. With all of the stated usage, the connection of the images with the GDT competition European Wildlife Photographer must be clearly marked. The GDT is entitled to transfer these usage rights to third parties. For the above stated usage rights the photographer cannot claim compensation or a fee of any kind.
In case of enquiries concerning the purchase of usage rights of the awarded photographs, the GDT will forward the relevant photographer‘s contact details to the interested party.
The required prints for the exhibitions will be made on the GDT‘s own expenses, or that of third parties eligible for using the photographs. After the exhibitions have concluded, the GDT is authorized to sell the prints to interested members of the public provided the proceeds of this transaction are assigned to charitable projects, in particular nature conservation
projects. Unsold prints will be destroyed.


Landscape Wildlife Nature Underwater Environmental Documentary Macro/Micro Seascapes