An amateur photographer from Canada has captured one of the world’s most prestigious photography prizes.
Surgeon Don Gutoski as been named Wildlife Photographer of the Year for 2015 after a panel of international judges selected his image, “tale of two foxes,” as the year’s best nature photo. Officials with the Natural History Museum called it “a beautiful but haunting portrait of the struggle for life in the subarctic climes of Cape Churchill, Canada” where the ranges of the red fox and the more northern Arctic fox overlap.
‘The Churchill guides had heard that the two species will occasionally fight, but no one we talked to had ever seen this behaviour,” Gutoski said. “I first noticed the red fox hunting and interacting with some prey and on closer approach realized that prey was a white Arctic fox. By the time I got close enough to capture the event, the fight was over and the victor was feeding. I took a number of pictures of the event, until the red fox had eaten its fill, and picked up the remains to find a hiding spot for a later meal.”
The Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award when to Ondrej Pelánek, 14, from the Czech Republic. His snapshot, titled “Fighting ruffs,” was taken in Norway’s Varanger’s tundra, as the birds were in the midst of their warlike behaviour during courting.
“Far away behind the polar circle we observed fighting ruffs,” Pelánek said. “I took this photograph at midnight when my father was sleeping. I was too excited, so stayed awake.”
You can see all the adult finalists and winners of the 51st annual awards here and all the youthful shutterbugs nominees and winners here. You can scroll through the awards ceremony on Twitter, too. The images are stunning.