Tanja wins GDT award

October 2016

Coexistence wins first prize

We feel happy and honored being awarded a first prize in the GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2016 competition. Tanja’s picture won the category “Man and Nature” and is titled “Coexistence”. It shows a family group of elephants which is moving towards the pink horizon, while a Maasai herdsman is bringing in the cattle for the night. The car tracks show our presence as tourists. We witnessed this peaceful sunset in Amboseli, Kenya. People and wildlife compete for access to water, food and space. The only way to maintain the balance of this ecosystem is coexistence, where Maasai cattle has access to water, elephants are allowed to roam freely and ecotourism supports the local communities.

Nature Photography Festival

The award ceremony was held during the annual International Nature Photography Festival in L√ľnen, Germany, which we visited. There were presentations and exhibitions from renowned international wildlife photographers. It was inspirational to see their work and have the opportunity to talk to them.

The award ceremony

Attending an award ceremony as photographers was a first time event for us. The atmosphere in the theatre was very special and it was great to see all the awarded pictures on the big screen. Tanja won a first prize in one of the 8 categories from almost 20 000 images that had been entered.

Tanja overwhelmed and proud

“Winning this prize has overwhelmed me. Yet it confirms my changing approach to photography. Although we have been photographing wildlife for a long time, my focus had always been on finding new and exciting material for my children’s books. Only since I stopped making them, I can really appreciate a photograph as a creative result and not as the input for a bigger picture. That is why photo-competitions were never on our radar. This is the first year we participated and we are very happy with the result.”

Have a look at twikga Stories…

The stories of Tanja Dekker Illustration and the twikga books, children’s books about the wilderness, with its diversity of animals, plants and landscapes…