Unusual photo of snow monkey with human mask wins European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2020

Oct 22, 2020

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Oct 22, 2020

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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© Jasper Doest/European Wildlife Photographer of the Year; overall winner

Earlier this year, the German Society for Nature Photography (GDT) announced the winners of its annual Nature Photographer of the Year contest. There are now more beautiful photos from GDT we want to share with you. The 2020 winners of European Wildlife Photographer of the Year have just been announced and they’ll take you through the beauty of wildlife, but also through our complex relationship with it.

This year’s contest received more than 19,000 entries from 38 countries. The overall winner is Jasper Doest from the Netherlands for his photo A monkey’s mask. The photo was taken in a traditional Japanese sake house north of Tokyo. “After dinner, the tavern’s guest can watch Japanese macaques performing tricks with various props on a makeshift stage,” the artist explains. “In the old days, the Japanese macaque or snow monkey was a sacred religious symbol, known to mediate between gods and humans. Today, the animal has been reduced to a secular scapegoat, a defaced outcast and target of mockery.” Jasper’s photo is a part of a larger series he shot for National Geographic. Just like this image, it sheds light on the complex relationship between humans and Japanese macaques.

YouTube video

Angel Fitorthis, a member of the jury, sees the winning photo as an icon of our time:

“A macaque on stage takes off his mask in front of a fake forest. As the mask slips, the wall of arrogance that we have built between us and nature over many centuries suddenly collapses. Never before has a portrait of an animal mirrored us like this: a naked monkey behind a human mask.”

The European Wildlife Photographer of the Year has awarded winners in ten categories:

  1. Birds
  2. Mammals
  3. Other Animals
  4. Plants & Fungi
  5. Landscapes
  6. The Underwater World
  7. Man and Nature
  8. Nature’s Studio
  9. Young Photographers to 14 years
  10. Young Photographers from 15 to 17 Years

There is also a special category, Fritz Pölking Prize, which also includes the Junior prize. This category is dedicated to nature photography
stories and portfolios. Alejandro Prieto from Mexico has won with his project about the almost two thousand miles long border between the USA and Mexico, whose sensitive ecosystem would be very sensitively disturbed in the case of a wall being built by the US government. The Fritz Pölking Junior Prize was awarded to Florian Smit for his portfolio about the Siberian jay in the deepest forests of Lapland.

© Alejandro Prieto/European Wildlife Photographer of the Year; Fritz Pölking Prize
YouTube video
© Florian Smit/European Wildlife Photographer of the Year; Fritz Pölking Junior Prize
YouTube video

Every year, the winners are awarded at a live ceremony. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year it will look quite different. The award ceremony will take place, but without any audience. Instead, the event will be broadcast live on social media today (22 October) at 8.00 p.m. CEST. After the award ceremony, there will be an exhibition of this year’s competition. The photos will be displayed at the German Horse Museum in Verden/Aller from December 1, 2020 to February 21, 2021. After that, the awarded images will go on their regular tour of Germany and Europe.

You can take a look at some more fantastic photos below. Make sure to visit GDT’s website for more information and more winning photos.

© Ben Cranke/European Wildlife Photographer of the Year; Birds winner
© Christoph Kaula/European Wildlife Photographer of the Year; Mammals winner
© Andere Tiere/European Wildlife Photographer of the Year; Other Animals winner
© Marco Gaiotti/European Wildlife Photographer of the Year; Plants and Fungi winner
© Georg Kantioler/European Wildlife Photographer of the Year; Landscapes winner
© Mike Korostelev/European Wildlife Photographer of the Year; The Underwater World winner
© Marcus Westberg/European Wildlife Photographer of the Year; Men and Nature winner
© Thomas Hempelmann/European Wildlife Photographer of the Year; Nature’s Studio winner
© Andrés Domínguez Blanco/European Wildlife Photographer of the Year; Young Photographers to 14 years winner
© Lili Sztrehárszki/European Wildlife Photographer of the Year; Young Photographers 15-17 years winner

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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One response to “Unusual photo of snow monkey with human mask wins European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2020”

  1. Vaios Vitos Avatar
    Vaios Vitos

    great choice, a winning image that focus on human cruelty to animals and nature…the whole series is a wake up call to those that think that there are not such behaviours still in our planet…