WPY 2014

Photograph Details

Finalist 2014

Plants and Fungi

Herfried Marek, Austria

Golden birch

When Herfried woke one October morning and looked out of the window of his home in Wörschach, Austria, he was taken by surprise at the transformation. Everything was covered with a thin blanket of white. Heading straight out ‘to capture some of the magic’ with his camera, he found one of his favourite silver birches glowing through a dusting of fresh snow. The green and gold diamond-shaped leaves were delicately edged with frost. The pattern of the leaves softly cascading down the slender, snow-covered twigs was offset by the solid trunk, its silvery-white bark cracked with age and encrusted with lichen and algae. Framing and reframing, he finally settled on a composition. The ethereal quality of the picture was enhanced by the white backdrop of freezing fog.

Technical specification

Nikon D4 + 28–300mm f3.5–5.6 lens at 200mm; 1/200 sec at f14 (+0.6 e/v); ISO 400.

Pyhrnbach, Liezen, Austria: latitude 47.5674, longitude 14.2432 Pyhrnbach, Liezen, Austria: latitude 47.5674, longitude 14.2432

Pyhrnbach, Liezen, Austria

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.

Herfried Marek

Herfried Marek, Austria

Herfried’s love for nature photography stems from his desire to reveal how fascinating nature is, to raise awareness and inspire conservation. Most of his pictures are taken in his native Austria, where he works as a nature photographer and a loan broker. He has won many national and international awards, has collaborated on several books and produces an annual calendar.

  • Skating on sunlight