Picture credit: Tommy Vikars

Vikars pocketed €2,000 in the Canon-sponsored competition, beating more than 12,000 other entries with his photo of white-tailed deer.

The professional nature photographer said he triggered his camera using a remote shutter release, while he remained in a hide around 50m away – monitoring the scene through a 300mm lens mounted on a second camera.

‘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.’

Commenting on the photo, Manuel Presti, one of the judges, said: ‘This image fuses aesthetics, technical ability, emotions, magic and originality – and is also telling a story about the life of wild animals.’

He added: ‘When checking the raw data, we were delighted all the more to find that the photographer also showed a very honest approach to image editing.’

Open to amateur and professional photographers, the contest – organised by the Society of German Nature Photographers (GDT) – is now in its 12th year.