A picture of awakening fruit bats wins Czech Nature Photo


Photograph of the year in this pilot year of the Czech Nature Photo Contest is Stanislav Macík’s picture, Awaiting the Night. It also won the Mammals category. The other winners of the main categories were Jiří Hřebíček, Rostislav Štefánek, Petr Bambousek, Jan Bainar, Zdeněk Dvořák and Roman Šimek.

Stanislav Macík’s Czech Nature Photo winning picture shows a group of Rousettus aegyptiacus fruit bats who are waking up. “It all happened when photographing natives in a small village near the Senegalese town of Kaolack. A large number of fruit bats surrounded a single baobab in the small square; there were so many they couldn’t be missed. We were literally like an early alarm clock for them, because in looking for the best possible vantage point we had aroused the curiosity we feared from the local natives and huge numbers of children. It was literally an uphill battle to take a good photo, as I constantly had dozens of inquisitive children’s hands on myself, and in particular on my camera,” says Stanislav Macík of how the picture came about.

An expert panel selected the best wildlife shot of a domestic photographer from 3 140 submitted photographs. 467 wildlife and nature photographers took part in the Czech Nature Photo contest, having sent their images from 5 April to 14 May this year.

“Authors could submit their pictures in seven categories. Just the submitted photographs alone make it clear that the Czech Republic is a country where wildlife and nature photography holds a strong position. It is no accident that many domestic authors also take wildlife and nature shots for a large number of international agencies and publishers. As for the Czech Press Photo contest, the winning awards were designed and manufactured by Nižbor glassworks, Rückl Crystal,” says Veronika Souralová, Director of the Czech Nature Photo contest.

Jirí Hřebíček won the Birds (wild) category with his Gull photo. This captures a gull flying out of the dark depths of a Norwegian fjord. Rostislav Štefánek won the Reptiles, Amphibians and Underwater Life (wild) category with his photograph, Spring Romance for the Common Toad, in which a toad interweaves a chain of eggs around flooded grass, thus creating a beautiful underwater web. Petr Bambousek claimed victory in the Invertebrates (insects, crustaceans, molluscs and others – wild) category with his photo of a Gasteracantha genus orb-weaver, one of the most attractive spiders in Borneo. Winner of the Czech Forests category was Jan Bainar, who captured frozen trees in the Trojanovice area of the Beskid Mountains. Carp harvesting at the Castle Pond in Jaroslavice was the subject of Zdeněk Dvorák’s photograph, When the Water Boils. Richard, a male gorilla at Prague Zoo, picking pieces of food from his teeth is the subject of Roman Šimek’s picture, which came top in the Animals in Human Care category.

Over the course of the summer, nominated pictures and some other images were displayed at Prague Zoo and in the Czech Photo Centre, where visitors were also able to choose their favourite picture. In the end, the Czech Nature Photo Public Prize was taken by Michal Dobeš for his photograph capturing the antics of red foxes in Nemuro, Japan. The special Kudy z nudy website prize was won by Vladimír Čech for a picture originally submitted in the Mammals category. The picture shows a hare in dew near Postřekov. The Lidé a země magazine prize was taken by Filip Fojtík, whose shot, Happy Hen, was originally submitted in the Czech Farmland and Rural Areas category.

The panel for this pilot year of the Czech Nature Photo contest comprised renowned wildlife photographers of many years’ standing Michal Krause and Rostislav Stach, along with Veronika Souralová, Director of the Czech Press Photo contest and the multi-genre Czech Photo Centre, and Prague Zoo director Miroslav Bobek. “The number of submissions and the interest visitors expressed in the Czech Nature Photo exhibition form good foundations for future years of the whole project. We can now reveal that submissions for next year will likely begin in mid-January,” adds Souralová.

Press release for download in  .docx format.
Press release with photographs in  .zip format.

Source of photographs: Czech Nature Centre

Contact details and further information:
Public relations - Radek Polák tel.: +420 778 747 113, polak@czechpressphoto.cz, www.czechphotocentre.cz.