Inarguably one of the most spectacular photo contests around, the International Landscape Photographer of the Year has again delivered a truly awe-inspiring selection of highlights in its seventh year. From fairy-tale inspired forest shots to beautifully surreal drone perspectives, this incredible competition highlights the diversity of landscape photography.
“As our annual award grows with over 3,800 entries this year, so does the range and diversity of subjects, locations and styles,” explains Peter Eastway, chairman of the judges. “Landscape photography is a powerful medium, even more so when we acknowledge the impact of climate change and our footprint on this Earth.”
The contest is simple, with two main prizes: a single Photograph of the Year, and the overall Photographer of the Year Award for a portfolio of images. A handful of special prizes are also awarded each year in categories such as best Snow and Ice photo, or best aerial image.
The top Photographer of the Year prize went to Hong Kong artist Kelvin Yuen for a stunning portfolio including a magical night shot taken in Norway. The 24-year-old Yuen sees landscape photography as a way to better understand himself by being thrown into challenging situations in remote locations.
“Working outdoors, I need to deal with many uncertain conditions – for example, shooting without sleeping, shooting inside a storm, exploring areas without a path and even dealing with a car that gets stuck!” he says. “These challenges have improved my problem- solving skills and give me an opportunity to reach a place I never expected I could in my life.”
German photographer Kai Hornung won the top prize for best single shot of the year with a surreally beautiful shot of a mountain river in Iceland. Hornung is open about his post-processing techniques but suggests the goal is enhance and not to completely alter an image.
“I usually like to keep my images rather natural-looking,” says Hornung, discussing his post-production process. “This doesn’t mean I don’t spend lots of time post-processing and thinking an image through – because I do! My technique includes dodging and burning, and selective and local color and contrast adjustments, often with the help of luminosity masks.”
Other highlights from the top 101 selected by the judges include a fairy-tale tree found in England’s Mortimer Forest; an incredible shot of a bolt of lightning surrounded by a perfect rainbow; and an otherworldly look at Mr Fuji.
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