WPY 2016

Photograph Details

Winner 2016

Land

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

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.


Love this image?

Choose your favourite from this year's collection. You can only choose once.

Top five favourites

Stefano Unterthiner, Italy

After Stefano began his career as a zoologist with his camera always at his side, his hobby turned into a profession and he now travels the world in search of new subjects for his photo stories. Widely published in magazines, he is the author of seven photography books. Since 2009, Stefano has been a contributing photographer for National Geographic magazine.

  • Arrangement of swans
  • Crane perfection
  • Illusion