Tuesday 1 November 2011

Highly Commended

I have just returned from a super weekend in Lünen, Germany where one of my images has been highly commended in the landscape category in GDT European Wildlife photographer of the year. This is considered one of the most prestigeous nature photo contests in the world with about 1000 photographers from 39 different countries entering this year, so it is no secret that I feel a bit proud and honored to receive such a prize. 

This was the first time ever I entered the competition. I have always had a somewhat ambivalent feeling about photo contests, and I have only entered my images into competitions four times in my life. There is certainly a bit of lottery involved in this game as you never know which images will reach the feelings of the jury. I am sure that a lot of great images don't make it to the top, so there is also a need for humbleness for the winners involved.

Last year's success in the BBC Wildlife photographer of the year and this year's prize means that I have a pretty good hit rate so far, and maybe I should stop while I'm on top. Then again, going to these prize ceremonies also means the chance to meet colleagues from around the world. I get new ideas, new inspiration and the chance to attend different presentation where great images and stories are showed. Time will show if I enter again.

Three other Norwegians (Orsolya Haarberg, Ole Jørgen Liodden and Knut-Sverre Horn) were successful as well, and I think its really nice to see that Norwegian nature photography is at such a high international level. An exhibition of the winning photographs will now tour Europe, and will be seen by a huge audience.

My image was taken at the end of July in Svalbard two years ago. We where having dinner at the sailboat we were working from, when the low clouds finally liftet a bit. Fresh snow had made the land formations in the mountains of Svalbard even more obvious than usual, and I saw the oppurtunity to make this image at the southern tip of Edgeøya at the eastern part of Svalbard.