WPY 2014

Photograph Details

Finalist 2014

15-17 Years

Ingo Zahlheimer, Germany

The resurrected forest

An infestation of bark beetles destroyed vast areas of managed spruce forest in the Bavarian Forest Biosphere Reserve in 1990. The authorities decided to stop logging, and let nature take charge, leaving infested trees standing. By the time Ingo took this image nearly a quarter of a century later, the forest had begun to rejuvenate. Now it has an abundance of species, including rowan and spruce of varying ages, and a carpet of reed grass, ensuring it is far more likely to survive future beetle infestations. Ingo climbed the slopes of Mt Lusen on the German-Czech Republic border, to take a picture looking down on the trees. He chose a rainy day in autumn as ‘the colours come out more brilliantly if everything is wet’. Ingo loves the remoteness of the area and considers the regrowth of ‘new life from dead matter one of the most amazing natural spectacles in the world’.

Technical specification

Nikon D700 + 300mm f4 lens; 1/2500 sec at f4; ISO 1250.


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Ingo Zahlheimer

Ingo Zahlheimer, Germany

With both parents working in the field of conservation, Ingo spent much of his childhood outdoors and was amazed by nature from the start. He got his first camera at the age of nine and gradually developed his skills, winning a Bavarian photography competition for four years in a row. His dream is to be a nature photographer when he has finished his studies.