Each year, the GDT holds a competition for the Society’s members, in contrast to the GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest which is open to all European photographers. That said, the GDT is open to non-German photographers. In this year’s contest, 424 GDT members from 13 countries entered, with nearly 7,000 images submitted.
GDT Nature Photographer of the Year 2023 — Silke Hüttche
German photographer Silke Hüttche has been named “GDT Nature Photographer of the Year 2023” for her image, Scenes of a Marriage. The winning photo shows a pair of birds on a utility pole looking in opposite directions.
“I have this habit of constantly looking for birds wherever I am. So, every time I pass this electricity pole, I look up for there is always some kind of bird sitting there,” Hüttche says.
“As was the case on this somewhat dull day in September 2021 when I glanced up and spotted the kite sitting there on the one end and, shortly after, a second one arriving to settle on the opposite end. This seemed to get exciting — were the two a pair or rivals? Hoping for some action-filled photography, I took out my camera and waited. Initially, my wish was for interaction between them. But they just seemed to have nothing to say to each other and kept looking in opposite directions. In the end, I was fascinated by this scene of perfect symmetry, and luckily both birds remained still for long enough until I had the picture I wanted,” she continues.
Silke Hüttche, a 58-year-old wildlife and nature photographer, is only the second woman to be named the overall winner in the competition’s 51-year history. The GDT hopes that her victory, along with the growing numbers of woman participants, is a good sign that the historically male-dominated genre of nature photography is beginning to better reflect society at large.
The contest includes seven categories: Birds, Mammals, Other Animals, Plants and Fungi, Landscapes, Nature’s Studio, and Urban Nature. Hüttche’s overall winning image took first place in the Urban Nature category.
The winners and runners-up receive prizes sponsored by AC-Foto, the GDT’s long-time partner. For her overall victory, Hüttche received an OM System OM-D E-M1X camera and 45mm f/1.8 lens provided by OM Digital Solutions.
Prize of the Jury
Photographer Dominik Janoschka won the “Prize of the Jury” for his image, Beyond. The image is a double exposure captured in Saxon Switzerland National Park.
All Winning Images
In addition to the winning images featured in this article, the GDT selected the top 10 images for each category. These images can be viewed on the GDT Nature Photographer of the Year 2023 website.
Image credits: GDT Nature Photographer of the Year 2023