WPY 2014

Photograph Details

Finalist 2014

New Special Award: People's Choice

Marek Kosinski, Poland

Red deer and cranes

Marek headed to an old fish pond in a nature reserve in Lower Silesia, Poland in early autumn. It was a wildlife haven that he knew well and he was intent on photographing common cranes as they gathered to roost. Common cranes – one of the most abundant and widespread crane species – come together late in the evening to roost and depart again early the next morning. Setting up his hide on the swampy ground of the reed beds was tricky. Once he was in position, he had little time to work and the light was poor. But Marek got lucky. He had seen red deer among the cranes before, usually just one or two running through the shallow water and spooking the birds. This time, however, the choreography was perfect. ‘Two stags turned up together, on the opposite side of the pond, and began walking directly towards me,’ he says. It was the start of the rutting season, when stags compete for access to females. They try to avoid violent clashes by roaring and walking side by side to size each other up first, only locking antlers if they are evenly matched. Marek grabbed the chance to capture the pair strolling majestically through the crowd of cranes, keeping the image blue to convey the haunting atmosphere and soft light of the early morning.

Intellectual property rights to all WPY images are retained by the photographers. Reproduction without prior written consent constitutes an actionable infringement. For usage enquiries please contact us.

Sign up to receive emails from the Natural History Museum about events and exhibitions, including Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

Marek Kosinski, Poland

Marek trained as a scientist and gained a PhD in plant ecology but decided to leave university to pursue his lifelong passion, becoming a full-time, award-winning nature photographer. He relishes each encounter with a wild animal or plant as a unique experience, bringing new impressions and emotions, which he tries to convey in his pictures.