GDT International Nature Photography Festival 2015

Enjoy Lünen! October 23 – 25

Tip of the Nature Photo Portal Team: the yearly GDT Festival in Germany. It’s  a nice festival with lots of good lectures and lots of nice people. It’s 100% percent nature photography and maybe me meet, because a few Nature Photo Portal bloggers are there to join!

For the 23rd time the Society of German Nature Photographers (GDT) will open the doors to the GDT International Nature Photography Festival 2015 in Lünen. Again an exquisite programme invites photographers and visitors from all over the world to this most renowned festival of its kind in Europe. In addition to live presentations by national and international wildlife photographers, workshops, seminars and exhibitions, a small stage at the photo market with a series of product presentations and short talks on all things nature photography will provide ample opportunity to talk shop.  An extensive photo market will offer information on the latest in camera technology as well as on tried and tested equipment. As usual the pleasant, yet international and professional atmosphere offers numerous opportunities to engage in conversation with photographers from all over the world or to establish new contacts. Welcome to Lünen!

date: 23 – 25 October 2015

location: event centre Heinz Hilpert Theatre / Hansesaal Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 39-41, D – 44532 Lünen


Ticket sale has started 15 June 2015!

Monika Bruisch, Holtenauer Straße 210, D – 24105 Kiel

e-mail:, phone: +49 (0)431 – 820 77


Online ticket sale and further information:


Admission is free to

  • the award ceremony and exhibition opening of the GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015 and the international Fritz Pölking Prize 2015 on Friday
  • the exhibitions GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015, Fritz Pölking Prize 2015, GDT Nature Photographer of the Year 2015 and many more exhibitions by national and international photographers
  • the new location of our large photo market on 1286 sqm with its own unique stage programme
  • Camera manufactures Canon and Nikon will offer a free Check & Clean-Service for your equipment.


Friday‘s seminars and fringe events
 The seminars are held in German.

Seminar 1: „Professional workflow and optimizing images with Lightroom 5“ with Claus Brandt

Seminar 2: „Taking better pictures“ with Sandra Bartocha, Werner Bollmann and Winfried Wisniewski

Seminar 3: „Timelapse photography“ with Moritz Huber


Photography Workshop at game park Granat with Markus Botzek


Friday night will be characterized by festive award ceremonies and prize-givings of the competitions GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015 and Fritz Pölking Prize 2015 followed by the corresponding exhibition openings of both events.


Festival programme for Saturday and Sunday

Saturday and Sunday awaits visitors with a diverse and exciting programme of 15 lectures by well-known nature photographers from around the globe:


Marc Steichen from Luxembourg will open the International Nature Photography Festival of 2015 with his lecture „There and back again – Nature impressions at home and abroad“. The photographer shows us around his native locale, the Ardennes in Luxembourg and takes us on a tour of discovery around the nature of North Europe. You will experience the hidden world of the local animals such as deer, foxes and badgers during the course of the seasons. In spring you will follow the cranes to the north of Europe, join black grouse and capercaillies during their dramatic mating season and discover the vast landscapes of Lapland and its gushing waterfalls and raging torrents.

GDT International Nature Photography Festival 2015

GDT International Nature Photography Festival 2015 / Marc Steichen

Roy Mangersnes from Norway shows the audience „his Svalbard“ with a selection of his most favourite encounters of the last years .He has been on 17 expeditions to Svalbard, both in winter and summer. There will be a focus on the Arctic light and the extraordinary wildlife that inhabits the Arctic realm. We will be there when the guillemots arrive at the bird cliffs, we will follow the polar bears in winter and meet them later again as they are mating on the ocean ice, we will also see how they cope when the ice disappears late in the summer and witness how the Arctic fox has adapted to the extreme seasonal changes in winter and summer.

David Pattyn (Belgium/Netherlands) gives an insight into the intimate life of „Waterbirds of lakes and marshes“. For many years he has had a passion for birds living on lakes and marshes with a special affinity for grebes. He constructed many floating hides and has also worked with inflatable tubes and hides to be able to travel abroad. That is how he worked on a project to photograph the famous Dalmatian Pelicans of Kerkini from a different perspective.

GDT International Nature Photography Festival 2015

GDT International Nature Photography Festival 2015 / David Pattyn

After finishing his first photo book on the wild nature of Iceland, it was quite a challenge for Theo Bosboom to start his new project „Dreams of Wilderness“ about the nature in his home country, The Netherlands, and in Belgium – some of the most densely populated areas in the world, where there is no wild nature left and every square kilometre is used and controlled by people. But although the project was sometimes difficult and frustrating, Theo discovered that it is still possible to experience and photograph wild nature close to his home. He looked at nature on a small scale, he went out in extreme weather conditions, he photographed a national park just after a big fire and he went under water in small rivers in search for a fresh look on autumn.

GDT International Nature Photography Festival 2015

GDT International Nature Photography Festival 2015 / Theo Bosboom

Wolves are among the most charismatic, intelligent and yet elusive wildlife species in the world. Tracking them is a challenging activity; seeing them is almost impossible; photographing them with consistency is something close to madness. Obsessed by the idea of documenting the life of the wild wolves roaming „his“ Apennine Mountains in the Italian Abruzzo region, wildlife photographer Bruno D‘Amicis set off for one of the greatest challenges of his life. He spent more than 300 days in the field trying to understand this incredible animal and predict its moves. In his presentation „Time for wolves – Tracking a myth in the Apennine Mountains“ he will show an outstanding portrait of this mythical species together with the compelling experience of a human being who advocates the preservation and appreciation of a wilderness that still remains in the modern world.

„Home to me is Britain’s largest National Park, the Cairngorms in the highlands of Scotland“ says Mark Hamblin. This is a truly wild place of high mountains, rich forests and remote lochs, and it represents the closest to wilderness we have within the United Kingdom.

Mark  photographs a vast diversity of habitats and wildlife on his doorstep in all kinds of weather and all seasons. In his presentation „Close to home – The benefits of photographing local wildlife“ he shows the audience why he finds this far more fulfilling than travelling to other parts of the world.

After his degree in photography Stephen Dalton started out to capture insects on the wing. Until then, there was no technique capable of stopping an insect with absolute clarity in free flight. At this time digital photography was decades away, film speeds (for quality results) were limited to ISO 25 – 32, flash units were restricted to about 1/1000 second – far too slow for stopping insects, or birds for that matter. Years of experimentation resulted in perfecting techniques and specialised equipment that allowed him to capture movements that were far too rapid to be seen by the human eye and that were never observed in such detail before. The resulting images are much more than mere documentation. They show moments of striking beauty and have set visual and artistic standards that are still valid today. One of his photographs of a flying insect was selected to board NASA’s Voyagers 1 and 2 spacecraft as part of records conveying something of the science and culture of mankind to possible extra-terrestrial beings.

The lecture “Pioneering work in the field of high‑speed flash photography” will take you on a journey to the past and the dawn of flash photography.

The PROJECT WIENER WILDNIS (project Viennese Wilderness) is something like a multimedia initiative. Initiated by landscape photographers Verena Popp-Hackner and Georg Popp WIENER WILDNIS certainly is the first project ever to cover this topic so extensively and methodically in both photography and film. Together with photographers Thomas Haider, Christine Sonvilla and Marc Graf they developed this eco-topic that looks into the future: Estimates suggest that from around the year 2030 over 80% of the population will be living in urban, metropolitan areas while at the same time agricultural areas will be developing into anti-animal wasteland due to high-tech farming methods. Surprising to many, the city steps in here as it offers many diverse habitats and niches to a large number of wild animals. The photographers also grant a look behind the curtain and would also like to pass on some ideas as to how this project works and how to set up such a broad project.

The members of the GDT Regional Group Lower Saxony have pooled imagewise to take the audience on a visual stroll through the infinite natural areas of Lower Saxony. The RG and their members completely cover this second largest federal state of Germany as well some of the neighbouring regions. In order to make this diversity more accessible to the festival visitors in Lünen they have chosen a representative selection (the Wadden Sea, the Harz Mountains, heath- and moorlands) from the multitude of natural areas that will be showcased in their presentation.

During these past years, some amazing things have happened just outside the door of Audun Rikardsen on the coast of Tromsø in northern Norway: „During the dark winter, we can see and hear hundreds of humpback and killer whales, thousands of birds, as well as a crowd of fishing boats from our window; all hunting for the same – the Atlantic herring – a real polar night feast. Surprisingly, also some other marine mammals showed up during summer, and one of them became almost a friend and gave me the most memorial time of my life ever! Suddenly there is no need to sign up for expensive trips to the Arctic for taking pictures of Arctic mammals! A dream comes true for any nature photographer!“

Heinrich van den Berg from South Africa  speaks about changes in photography and how those changes have influenced his wildlife photography. The talk will touch on the changes that have already taken place as well as on the prospects of wildlife photography and how technology will influence how we will be photographing nature in the future. Heinrich will also talk about his latest book „Reflection“, which also focuses on change. The book illustrates the transition from black and white to colour, and Heinrich will look at the development in the publishing industry as well as changes in the wildlife photography opportunities and destinations, all of which influence the modern wildlife photographer. His talk will end with tips on how to survive these changes in wildlife photography.

In his short lecture Dr. Jörg Kretzschmar will explain the manifold areas of application of the rather young field of digiscoping. With its origins in bird photography¬, digiscoping also ventures out into new fields like macro photography and does not flinch at difficult challenges like night shots. At present this technique is very popular with videographers who fit high-end cameras to scopes to use this set-up for television productions.

This lecture will outline currently possible applications in the field of nature photography, aims to inspire and provide help to all those who wish to explore something new or different in their photography.

In another short lecture the two young nature photographers Jessica Winter and Christoph Kaula will report on their stint on the Falkland Islands, where they stayed from November 2013 to March 2014 as part of a research crew. Most of their time was spent on New Island, a small island at the western edge of the archipelago. They were especially fascinated by the local colony of black-browed albatrosses and rockhopper penguins. The island has been a nature reserve for more than 40 years, and as a result the unique nature has developed undisturbed.

GDT International Nature Photography Festival 2015

GDT International Nature Photography Festival 2015 / Jessica Winter

With time-lapse you can reveal the hidden. You can uncover magical worlds unseen to the naked eye. By drastically speeding up time we get insights into movements and changes of everyday processes. An evolving storm, water freezing, an icy lake that  slowly thaws or a flower opening in the early morning sunlight. Capturing these scenes with a dslr takes a good sense of anticipation, some trial and error and a lot of patience. Time-lapse is a great medium that uses aspects of both photography and film. Learn practical tips from Paul Klaver, who has won the time-lapse category at the 50th BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. Get inspired by using time‑lapse in a creative way!

At present nature photography faces changes as it never has before. With the help of video tutorials and workshops anybody – provided there is a certain basic degree of talent – can learn in a fairly short period of time how to take good pictures. Nature photography has become a mass phenomenon with all its known pros and cons.

Working in photographic projects rather than single images may be a potential alternative to this general development. Engaging with one single subject over a certain period of time provides its own unique pleasures but also poses its own particular challenges. And you are still not untouched by the effects of the mass phenomenon of nature photography when you are trying to place and publish your project story on the market. With stories about flamingos, bald eagles, kingfishers and others Klaus Nigge  gives rise to thoughts on the general situation of nature photography.

On both days the exhibitions at the theatre, the gallery and the Hansesaal will be open to the public. The large photo market at the sports hall will showcase its own stage programme and offers almost everything a photographer’s heart may desire: the latest in camera technology and printing, special equipment, specialist literature and travel offers. Admission is free. The list of exhibitors and the stage programme can be checked at the GDT’s website from around the end of June.

Find more detailed information on all events from mid June at our website




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