Amazing Nature, Captured

Eric Zerkel
Published: May 20, 2013

Overall Winner: 'Evening Idyll' (GNPY 2013, Hermann Hirsch, GDT)

All the deadlines and schedules that characterize the monotony of every day life make it far too easy to drown out the world's beauty in a dull, fluorescent haze. But one group of photographers aims to bring the allure of nature back into focus, with a series of photographs highlighting nature across the globe.

The Society of German Nature Photographers' (GDT) annual Nature Photographer of the Year contest shows off nature's full spectrum, with images covering everything from simulated nature to penguins romping through foggy tundra. 

Hermann Hirsch, 18, the overall winner of this year's installment, dedicated days to monitoring and interacting with a skulk of foxes that set up shop in the heart of his hometown of Dortmund, Germany. Despite living in a bustling city of more than 500,000, Hirsch was able to capture an extraordinary example of nature at work. 

"To watch a vixen raising her young in the middle of a city influenced by human activity as much as Dortmund has been one of my most stunning nature experiences so far," said Hirsch. "One evening when the little foxes played and scrapped right before my very feet, the 'big one' would only sit there and watch the summer sun go down." 

Hirsch's photograph -- and the others like it -- encapsulate a moment in time when nature exists in its most unadulterated form -- free from human influence, raw and instinctual. 

Be sure to check out more photos from the contest in the slideshow above, and other great examples of GDT's work on their website. 

MORE: Amazing Animal Portraits

German photographer Wolf Ademeit captures powerful portraits of animals. (Wolf Ademeit)

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