“Our philosophy is that all approaches to landscape photography are valid,” said Eastway. “It is not up to us to say whether an image is a landscape or not … the history of landscape art is much broader than merely creating a record of nature. It is interpretive, imaginative and inspirational. Some photographers take their captures and re-map the tonality; others take several captures to produce a landscape of the mind.”
The competition centers around two main prizes: Photographer of the year (for a portfolio of at least four images) and Photograph of the Year. Turkish photographer Aytek Cetin won the top portfolio prize with a collection of gorgeously evocative images.
The top single photograph of the year prize went to amateur US photographer Tamnay Sapkal. The shot, taken on Mt. Tamalpaís, north of San Francisco, took a great deal of planning and multiple visits.
“It wasn’t possible to line up the comet exactly above the foreground I wanted, so I decided to take two separate exposures,” explained Sapkal. “It took a couple of visits to get just the right amount of fog on the hills to create the dreamy setting and then I waited patiently for some cars to drive by and create a blanket of light under the fog.”
The competition also awards a number of annual special prizes that can vary from year to year. One of this year’s special award highlights was Chris Byrne’s Amazing Aerial Award-winning shot offering a mind-bindingly abstract glimpse inside a volcano in Iceland.
Primeval Arch and Columns. Mono Lake, CA – Simon Xu
Tree Frame. Torres Del Paine National Park, Chile – Chandra Bong
Fire. Yosemite National Park, CA – Marcin Zajac
Take a closer look through our gallery at some more handpicked highlights from this essential landscape photography competition.