Czech Nature Photo chooses winning entry, exhibition opens in Prague today

A Slovak photographer received the 2023 award for a vivid photo of a female and male bear fighting.

Thomas Smith

Written by Thomas Smith Published on 11.05.2023 12:00:00 (updated on 11.05.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

The winning entry of the 2023 Czech Nature Photo Competition was a snap of two bears fighting taken by Slovak photographer Miroslav Ondruš. The award was announced at the Czech Photo Center gallery in Prague 13 on Wednesday evening. Over 250 photographers from Czechia and Slovakia entered the competition, and an expert international jury chose the winner out of 2,400 other photos.

An unexpected shot

Ondruš, who works in forestry and sees photography as his hobby, said that his photo was taken in the middle of summer in a Slovakian mountain range. About to leave after spending the afternoon in the area, Ondruš suddenly spotted a male bear heading in his direction, followed by the sounds of other bears a few meters away.

“A female bear suddenly stood on her back and started looking around – she was probably watching where the cubs were moving, and suddenly she ran towards the surprised male. They met in a wild and furious duel that lasted only a few seconds. At this moment, I began to tremble at what had just taken place before my eyes”

Miroslav Ondruš

The title of the winning submission is: “When the mother bear defends her young.” This was the seventh year of the Czech Nature Photo competition, which also featured entries from Czech school pupils. Some of their submissions are on display at the exit of the Nové Butovice metro station on the yellow B line.

Starting today, the Czech Photo Center gallery will exhibit selected entries from the 2023 Czech Nature Photo Competition as well as other award-winning photographs. You can find its location here.

A range of categories

In the “mammals” category of the Czech Nature Photo contest, Jaromír Daněk’s submission of two headbutting muskoxen and Matěj Šmucr’s vivid photo of a lion eating its prey came in second and third positions respectively.

The winning entry of the junior competition for high school students came from Eliška Panáčková, who submitted a photo of a blue-winged insect in the sunlight.

The competition also had other categories, including birds, amphibians, invertebrates, plants, and more. A full list of the winners – including the photos – is available on the official website

A participant in the Czech Nature Photo Competition (or other related events held by the Czech Photo organization) must prove that they are a professional photographer or enrolled in a photography-related educational course. You can find a full list of rules here.

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