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Fritz Steiniger Prize: GDT honours Stephen Dalton for pioneering work in the field of high-speed flash photography

01-28-2016 11:25 AM CET | Arts & Culture

Press release from: GDT - Society of German Wildlife Photographers

f.l.t.r.: Florian Möllers (master of ceremonies), Stephen Dalton and Michael Lohmann (president of the GDT)

f.l.t.r.: Florian Möllers (master of ceremonies), Stephen Dalton and Michael Lohmann (president of the GDT)

Within the framework of the international nature photography festival, the GDT honoured British photographer Stephen Dalton with the Fritz Steiniger Prize for his contribution to nature photography. The results of his experiments in high-speed flash photography and his subsequent publications were landmark events in the world of photography and caused a great stir worldwide.

Stephen Dalton (GB)

Stephen Dalton (born in 1937) has been enthusiastic about nature and photography already at a young age. After his degree he set out to combine these two passions in his professional life. In 1970 he started something completely new: photographing insects on the wing with absolute clarity. At this time digital photography was decades away, film speeds (for quality results) were limited to ISO 25 - 32, flash units were restricted to about 1/1000 second - far too slow for stopping insects, or birds for that matter. It was the solution of these problems that became his overriding obsession. Two years of experimentation resulted in perfecting techniques and highly specialised equipment, allowing him to capture movements that were far too rapid to be seen by the human eye, and ones never observed in such detail before. Stephen Dalton's images are much more than mere documentation; his work of fascinating intensity and striking beauty has set visual and artistic standards that are still valid today.

Apart from his photographs being published in many books and exhibitions at home and abroad, one of his insect images was chosen to board NASA's Voyager 1 and 2, which have been travelling through and out of our solar system since 1977. By now Voyager 1 is some 20 billion kilometres away from Earth and carries the image, which is expected to last one billion years, as part of records conveying something of the science and culture of mankind to possible extra-terrestrial beings.

Stephen Dalton lives with his wife in southwest England and still works in nature photography.

www.stephendalton.co.uk

Professor Fritz Steiniger

Professor Fritz Steiniger was one of the founding fathers of the GDT, whose visions of a society for wildlife photography had significant influence during the formative years. It is in his memory that the GDT awards their most important prize for special contribution to nature photography at irregular intervals. It was first awarded to Herbert Erich Maas in 1986, who, in the course of years, was followed by Heinz Sielmann, Fritz Pölking, Horst Niesters, Frans Lanting, Klaus Nigge, Dietmar Nill, Winfried Wisniewski and Hannu Hautala.

The GDT
There is a society or association for wildlife and nature photography in almost every European country. In Germany this has been the Society of German Nature Photographers (GDT – Gesellschaft Deutscher Tierfotografen e.V.) since 1971. With manifold activities, the non-profit association is the leading organisation of nature photographers in Europe. Photographic topics are diverse ranging from classic wildlife images and landscape, plant and macro photography to abstract forms of nature photography. The GDT promotes authentic, unmanipulated images and focuses equally on aspects of natural history as well as artistic values. In addition to members from Germany, Europe and overseas, numerous sponsors from the photographic industry including many well-known camera manufacturers, specialist suppliers in nature photography, publishers and agencies, support the goals and the work of the GDT by their sponsor membership.
In addition to the International Nature Photography Festival the GDT hosts an annual photo competition for their members as well as the open international competition GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Patron of the competition is Prof. Beate Jessel of the Federal Ministry for Nature Conservation. Information at www.gdtfoto.de

GDT office/press relations
Karen Korte
Körnerstrasse 4
24103 Kiel
Germany

phone: +49 (0)431-906 63 64
presse@gdtfoto.de

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