WPY 2016

Photograph Details

Winner 2016


Stefano Unterthiner, Italy

Spirit of the mountains

Two years of photographing the Aosta Valley meant that Stefano knew the mountains would be swathed in low cloud that day. He chose ancient larch trees and dramatic folds of rock as a backdrop. As a vulture loomed ghost-like above a flock of Alpine choughs, Stefano set about capturing the magic of this ‘wild, wonderful region’.

Bearded vultures have recently returned to the Gran Paradiso National Park. Soaring above the mountains on enormous wings, they scavenge for carcasses in the valleys below. The choughs, a type of crow, are not on the bearded vulture’s menu. They will be looking for small invertebrates and seeds to eat.

Technical specification

Nikon D3S; 200-400mm f4 lens at 350mm; 1/400 sec at f8; ISO 400.

Gran Paradiso National Park, Italy: latitude 45.584743, longitude 7.223756 Gran Paradiso National Park, Italy: latitude 45.584743, longitude 7.223756

Gran Paradiso National Park, Italy

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Stefano Unterthiner, Italy

Stefano works with his wife Stéphanie, with whom he founded the publishing house Ylaios and created The Little Wild Gallery, his personal photography gallery in the Forte di Bard (Italy). He was recently chosen by the Valle d'Aosta region to endorse their ecotourism project VIVA. Since 2009, he has regularly collaborated with National Geographic magazine.

  • Arrangement of swans
  • Cat attack
  • Crane perfection
  • Illusion
  • A vision of self
  • Last glance
  • No man’s land
  • A taste of humanity
  • Portrait of Nona
  • Where yakis end up