美丽的动物世界(高清图片) - By Larisa Brown,28 October 2012
From herons rudely showing off their behinds while hunting for fish, to hungry cheetahs preparing to pounce on their next dinner - these striking images capture the magic of the animal kingdom.
The photos are entries to the European Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition and are among a field of almost 12,500 entries by photographers from 27 countries.
The winning image, titled 'Stargazer', is a night shot of white-tailed deer in winter at their feeding place in Finland.
Back front back: Three egrets fighting for the best place to fish stand on a frozen lake in Hungary
Hungry: Four cheetahs prepare to pounce on a gazelle as it runs away as fast as it can
Winning photo: Star-grazing deer search the forest floor for food with stars shining brightly above them
Finnish photographer Tommy Vikars spent countless hours at night in the forest to get the shot.
He worked with a hidden camera, which he could trigger with a remote shutter release, while he sat in his hiding place about 50 metres away from the feeding place, observing the scene through the 300mm lens of a second camera.
He said: 'In the dark it was extremely difficult to see what was going on at the feeding place, and many images would come out useless.
'Often the deer would move too fast or in the wrong direction given the long exposure time.
'For years I spent almost every spare minute in the forest. In the beginning I did not photograph that much, mostly I just wandered around thinking what a fascinating place the forest was with all its secrets to discover, and I realized how healthy, happy and whole I felt on these hikes.
'This is the kind of feeling I aim to convey in my photographs. I wanted to capture the essence of the forest, its spirit.'
The competition European Wildlife Photographer of the Year is run annually by the GDT, the Society of German Nature Photographers.
A hare in a corn field in Austria appears to be quite unperturbed by a photographer's presence
'First Kiss': Flies on a patio railing on the French island La Reunion
A fishing cormorant taken at a depth of 20 metres lying face up on the sandy bed of the Sea of Cortez, Baja California
Manuel Presti, who judged the pictures, said: 'This image fuses aesthetics, technical ability, emotions, magic and originality and is also telling a story about the life of wild animals.'
Photographs can be entered in eight different categories as well as the Fritz Pvlking Award and Fritz Pvlking Junior Award.
One of the photos captures four cheetahs looking ready to pounce on a terrified gazelle as it flees away from the hungry predators in Tanzania.
Bouguereau Gregoire, from France, took the picture. He said: 'During the breeding season young Thomson’s gazelles are easy prey. They are also the first prey with which young cheetahs perfect their hunting skills.
'On that day in April 2011 in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, the adult cheetah had caught this fawn, and then let her four cubs finish the hunt.
'At first, they did not seem particularly interested in the fawn, but its attempt to escape suddenly aroused their natural predatory instincts. As luck would have it, I was right in the prey’s path of flight and was able to take this picture at the moment when the young cheetahs all focused in unison on the fleeing gazelle.'
Footprints: A polar bear in Norway as it came close to an expedition ship
Jellyfish feeding on plankton and sugars generated as waste products by an algae with which they form a 'symbiotic relationship'
Incredible: A frog is captured leaping through the air in this vivid image
One of the more humorous pictures captured three egrets, a type of heron, feeding on an iced lake.
Jerome Guillaumot, from France, took the picture, which he named ‘Back front back’. He said: 'On an almost completely frozen lake in Kiskunsagi National Park in Hungary, a number of egrets were fighting for the best place to fish.
'After numerous assaults the situation calmed down, and I was able to capture this somewhat bizarre arrangements of three egrets from out of my hide.'
In the category Birds the winner is Markus Zadra from Italy with his image, 'Mysterious and secretive'.
said: 'For three months dedication, passion and even love accompanied
me when I set out early in the morning at dawn to observe this extremely
rare and inexpressively beautiful bird in the South Tyrolean lowlands.
'During this time, I had quite a few moving encounters with this young female kingfisher, which I relish and which actually left their stamp on me.
'One morning the rays of the sun created very special light conditions, the water gleamed in striking colours, and the kingfisher’s sharp beak pointed like a sword into this mysterious and secretive atmosphere.'
An extremely rare and inexpressively beautiful bird in the South Tyrolean lowlands
After two weeks of patience a photographer managed to capture this badger in the undergrowth at twilight
Florent Cardinaux from France spent two weeks of patience before capturing her image, a badger in underwood at dusk.
And a particularly romantic image, titled 'First Kiss', was by Klaus Tamm, who managed to capture two flies on the French island of La Reunion while they appeared to kiss. He photographed them for several hours.
David Maitland, from the UK, took the amazing picture of a Crane fly.
David said: 'This is the head of a long-palped crane fly, commonly called ‘daddy-long-legs’ in the UK.
'The spectacular metallic green compound eyes of this crane fly are unusual amongst crane flies which typically have unremarkable black-coloured eyes.'
Hephaestus: A crab in Montenegro at night with the reflections of orange-coloured streetlights
Loch Lomond in Scotland captured as the wind ruffled the water's surface
The photographs did not just capture animals but nature in general. Frank Krahmer, from Germany, took the picture ‘Rainbow over Two Medicine Lake’.
He said: 'One of the most magical moments I have ever experienced. After a rainy night and without reasonable chances of success, we went to Two Medicine Lake in Glacier National Park for daybreak.
'Chances were, in fact, zero, to the east where the sun would rise, mountains obstructed the horizon.
'But then, as by a miracle, the pyramid of Sinopah Mountain lit up in bright orange in just the same moment when a heavy shower of rain moved in from the west.
'There was still no wind but rain over the mountain and perfect morning light and thus a perfect rainbow.'
Magical: A rainbow over Medicine Lake in Glacier National Park at daybreak
Wrens in a municipal forest in Dortmund who nosily staked out their territory
A vivid picture of a hare was captured by Leopold Kanzler, from Austria, who was in fact looking out for a royal stag.
He said: 'From my hid in a corn field I observed a hare, which seemed quite bored nibbling at the thin stalks of grass.
'I had the impression the hare had also noticed my presence and kept his eyes glued to me.
'When I then checked the image on the camera’s display I was quite grateful for his suspicion.'
A 40ft fishing and whaling boat on the west coast of Greenland hunting for minke whales
The head of a Crane fly, commonly called 'daddy-long-legs'
A fishing cormorant was captured by Cristobal Serrano, from Spain, who was lying face up on the sandy bed of the Sea of Cortez, Baja California, at a depth of 20 metres.
And a particularly picturesque photo was taken of Loch Lomond in Scotland as the wind ruffled the water's surface and the trees and bushes along the shore.
Rosa Isabel Vazquez said: 'It was a very beautiful scene, and I opted for a rather long shutter speed of 13 seconds to capture the movements of the plants while giving the water a silky appearance.'