WPY 2015

Photograph Details

Winner 2015

Black and White

Hermann Hirsch, Germany

The dynamics of wings

The moment a white-tailed sea eagle grabs a fish from the sea, it rapidly switches flight pattern, speed and direction to avoid plunging into the water. Hermann had resolved to capture this pivotal moment. By panning and using a slow shutter speed he blurred the wing motion, using black and white to accentuate the bird’s energy and intent. With an impressive 2.5-metre wingspan, white-tailed sea eagles are the largest eagles in Europe and the fourth largest in the world. While they are versatile and opportunistic hunters, they pirate a considerable amount of their mainly fish-based diet from other birds, a practice known as klepto-parisitism.

Technical specification

Canon 5D Mark III + 500mm f4 lens at 500mm; 1/50 sec at f8; ISO 200.


Felderberger Seenlandschaft, Germany : latitude 53.354355, longitude 13.462103 Felderberger Seenlandschaft, Germany : latitude 53.354355, longitude 13.462103

Felderberger Seenlandschaft, Germany

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Hermann Hirsch, Germany

Hermann started to photograph wildlife in 2009, having been on many wildlife trips around Europe with his family as a child. He is currently enjoying working as a carpenter, but hopes to achieve his goal of working as a professional nature photographer or film-maker in the future.