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Fritz Pölking Award and Fritz Pölking Junior Award 2012

The story "New Life" has won Ingo Arndt from Germany the Fritz Pölking Award for the second time. This award, run by the GDT (Society of German Nature Photographers) and Tecklenborg publishing house in its fifth year to commemorate the work of Fritz Pölking, who died in 2007, goes again to Ingo Arndt preceded by Klaus Echle (2011), Solvin Zankl (2010), Kevin Schafer (2009) and Ingo Arndt (2008).
The jury consisting of Gisela Pölking, Stephanie and Hubert Tecklenborg, Theo Bosboom and Klaus Echle, worked together very harmoniously. "Almost every decision about letting an entry go through to the next round or not was made unanimously", says jury member Theo Bosboom. "The Fritz Pölking Award is not an easy one to win. It requires exceptional photographs technically well executed. But that is definitely not the end of it. Equally important is the coherence of the images (in subject and style), the originality of the theme as well as sufficient variety. Entries that fulfilled only one of these requirements were rejected."
One of the photographers who clearly know what it takes to make a good picture story is Ingo Arndt. The jury found that his story "New Life" about the birth of insects and reptiles has an original theme and is very well photographed in a consequent and recognizable style.
Scientists, private breeders, family members, research institutes: they were all roped in for Ingo Arndt's latest project; "New Life" - a photo story in which he wishes to show the unique moment when an animal is born. He quickly discovered that in some cases he had to exchange the woods and meadows for the photo studio as with some species the only way to photograph them was in a controlled environment. However, a good share of the images were made outdoors on his own door step.
The entries for the Fritz Pölking Junior Award positively surprised the jury. "It seems that young photographers are more creative, feel more free to experiment and less restricted by the established rules of photography", says Bosboom. The jury had a hard time in choosing the best from a few strong series that had reached the final round. In the end they decided unanimously to give the award to Zoltán Gergely Nagy, a young photographer from Romania. His story about the starlings in Blackpool is creative and coherent and contains some really strong pictures.
"Urban Flock" is a story of coexistence. A project that looks at the life of starlings living or just overwintering in the coastal town of Blackpool.
During his last year at university, Zoltan Gergely Nagy started to spend more and more time with the tens of thousands of starlings overwintering under the coastal piers of Blackpool. He was inspired by the sight and sounds of the great flocks gathering every evening at this fascinating, almost bizarre location. As autumn slowly turned into winter, Zoltan went out to witness the starlings as often as he could. During his many visits, he was able to observe a special harmony in the starlings’ routine, the way they interacted with each other, with other species, and with the urban environment.
It might sound surprising, but starlings are currently an official UK Red List species. As he followed these birds, Zoltan Gergely Nagy came to realize that the captivating flocks not only deserve a second look, but they could also become a symbol of peaceful coexistence between humans and wildlife in our changing world.
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