A picture of a hunting wolf has won the prestigious Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2009 award. Jose Luis Rodriguez captured the imaginations of the judges with a picture that he had planned for years, and even sketched out on a piece of paper. I wanted to capture a photo in which you would see a wolf in an act of hunting - or predation - but without blood, he told BBC News. I didnt want a cruel image. With a great deal of patience and careful observation of the wolves movements, he succeeded in taking the award-winning photograph. Mr Rodriguez used a custom-built infrared trap to snap the wolf as it leapt into the air. The WPY competition, now in its 45th year, is owned by BBC Wildlife Magazine and Londons Natural History Museum. The panel of judges looked through more than 43,000 entries to this years competition. This is the fifth year that wildlife photographer Mark Carwardine has been on the judging panel. He said of the winning photo: Its captured thousands of years of human-wolf interaction in just one moment. Mr Rodriguez won the Animal Portraits category and went on to win the top prize with this haunting image that the judges said captured the character of the wolf. When he started planning the photograph, he feared that he might not be able to get close enough to the Iberian wolves. This subspecies of the grey wolf lives close to human habitation in northern Spain. They are often persecuted by people who see them as a threat to livestock, and they are consequently very wary. Watching the animals as they returned to the same spot to collect food each night, Mr Rodriguez decided on his dream shot. - BBC He eventually captured it using a photographic trap that included a motion sensor and an infrared barrier to operate the camera. He hopes that his picture, showing the wolfs great agility and strength, will become an image that can be used to show just how beautiful the Iberian wolf is and how the Spanish can be proud to have such an emblematic animal. Hasselblad 503CW with a 6x6 Fujichrome backing + Planar 80mm lens; 1/30 sec at f11; ISO 50; purpose-made Ficap infrared camera trap - BBC