Digital Cameras

Brave the elements with the incredible Outdoor Photographer of the Year winners

Brave the elements with the in...
Live the Adventure – Winner, Greg Lecoeur (France). Rangiroa, French Polynesia
Live the Adventure – Winner, Greg Lecoeur (France). Rangiroa, French Polynesia
View 35 Images
Overall Winner and Light on the Land – Winner, Robert Birkby (UK). Near Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, England. Much of the higher ground in the South Pennines is relatively featureless, but these sheep had found shelter between a snowdrift and dry stone wall.
1/35
Overall Winner and Light on the Land – Winner, Robert Birkby (UK). Near Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, England. Much of the higher ground in the South Pennines is relatively featureless, but these sheep had found shelter between a snowdrift and dry stone wall.
Live the Adventure – Joint Runner-up, Alex Palmer (UK). El Capitan, Yosemite National Park, California, USA. Two climbers approach El Cap Tower on the The Nose route on El Capitan
2/35
Live the Adventure – Joint Runner-up, Alex Palmer (UK). El Capitan, Yosemite National Park, California, USA. Two climbers approach El Cap Tower on the The Nose route on El Capitan
Live the Adventure – Joint Runner-up, Alison Perkins (Australia). Sistema Sac Actun, Quintana Roo, Mexico. This image shows cave diver Cameron Russo travelling through the Sistema Sac Actun cave system on the Yucatán Peninsula
3/35
Live the Adventure – Joint Runner-up, Alison Perkins (Australia). Sistema Sac Actun, Quintana Roo, Mexico. This image shows cave diver Cameron Russo travelling through the Sistema Sac Actun cave system on the Yucatán Peninsula
Live the Adventure – Winner, Greg Lecoeur (France). Rangiroa, French Polynesia
4/35
Live the Adventure – Winner, Greg Lecoeur (France). Rangiroa, French Polynesia
View from Above – Commended, Ross Farnham (UK). Farnborough, Kent, England
5/35
View from Above – Commended, Ross Farnham (UK). Farnborough, Kent, England
View from Above – Runner-up, Roie Galitz (Israel). Lake Kuril, Kamchatka, Russia. Lake Kuril in southern Kamchatka attracts millions of sockeye salmon on their last journey in life to spawn, and the brown bears come to the lake for that reason – an all you can eat salmon buffet so they can gain enough fat for winter hibernation
6/35
View from Above – Runner-up, Roie Galitz (Israel). Lake Kuril, Kamchatka, Russia. Lake Kuril in southern Kamchatka attracts millions of sockeye salmon on their last journey in life to spawn, and the brown bears come to the lake for that reason – an all you can eat salmon buffet so they can gain enough fat for winter hibernation
View from Above – Winner, Tom Putt (Australia). Namib Desert, Namibia. Flying low over the endless sand dunes of the Namib Desert. When the sun heats up the dunes, it draws the black minerals to the surface
7/35
View from Above – Winner, Tom Putt (Australia). Namib Desert, Namibia. Flying low over the endless sand dunes of the Namib Desert. When the sun heats up the dunes, it draws the black minerals to the surface
Under Exposed – Commended, Judith Conning (Australia). Vava’u, Kingdom of Tonga. This image was captured on a trip to swim and snorkel with the magnificent humpback whales and their calves in the warm tropical waters of Tonga, their winter breeding ground
8/35
Under Exposed – Commended, Judith Conning (Australia). Vava’u, Kingdom of Tonga. This image was captured on a trip to swim and snorkel with the magnificent humpback whales and their calves in the warm tropical waters of Tonga, their winter breeding ground
Under Exposed – Runner-up, Pier Mane (Italy and South Africa). Protea Banks, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Protea Banks is an underwater reef on the east coast of South Africa that is under consideration for protected area status. Amazing creatures such as this cephea (or crown) jellyfish live there
9/35
Under Exposed – Runner-up, Pier Mane (Italy and South Africa). Protea Banks, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Protea Banks is an underwater reef on the east coast of South Africa that is under consideration for protected area status. Amazing creatures such as this cephea (or crown) jellyfish live there
Under Exposed – Winner, Greg Lecoeur (France). Shetland Islands, Scotland. Presumed to have been introduced to the Shetland Isles during Viking times, or maybe earlier, the otter has adapted to marine life and proliferated. More used to living in the rivers and lakes of Scotland, they are now found along the coastline and dive into the sea to feed on marine animals, especially crustaceans – some of the more experienced otters attack octopuses
10/35
Under Exposed – Winner, Greg Lecoeur (France). Shetland Islands, Scotland. Presumed to have been introduced to the Shetland Isles during Viking times, or maybe earlier, the otter has adapted to marine life and proliferated. More used to living in the rivers and lakes of Scotland, they are now found along the coastline and dive into the sea to feed on marine animals, especially crustaceans – some of the more experienced otters attack octopuses
At the Water’s Edge – Commended, Chris Fletcher (UK). Grand Union Canal, Olton, Solihull, England. This shot was taken handheld using the diffused sunrise light to soften the subject and surrounding woodland
11/35
At the Water’s Edge – Commended, Chris Fletcher (UK). Grand Union Canal, Olton, Solihull, England. This shot was taken handheld using the diffused sunrise light to soften the subject and surrounding woodland
At the Water’s Edge – Commended, Ian Snowdon (UK). Saltburn by the Sea, North Yorkshire, England. This row of houses is known as the coastguard cottages and is situated on the top of Huntcliff at Saltburn by the Sea
12/35
At the Water’s Edge – Commended, Ian Snowdon (UK). Saltburn by the Sea, North Yorkshire, England. This row of houses is known as the coastguard cottages and is situated on the top of Huntcliff at Saltburn by the Sea
At the Water’s Edge – Commended, Mark Cornick (UK). Reynisfjara, Vík í Mýrdal, Iceland
13/35
At the Water’s Edge – Commended, Mark Cornick (UK). Reynisfjara, Vík í Mýrdal, Iceland
At the Water’s Edge – Commended, Matthew James Turner (UK). Kallur, Kalsoy, Norðoyar, Faroe Islands
14/35
At the Water’s Edge – Commended, Matthew James Turner (UK). Kallur, Kalsoy, Norðoyar, Faroe Islands
At the Water’s Edge – Runner-up, Alex Wrigley (UK). Wastwater, Lake District, England
15/35
At the Water’s Edge – Runner-up, Alex Wrigley (UK). Wastwater, Lake District, England
At the Water’s Edge – Winner, Roberto Marchegiani (Italy). Lake Martin, Louisiana, USA. The wetlands of Louisiana are a gigantic tangle of canals, swamps and forests that stretch around the great Mississippi estuary. In autumn the great cypresses are covered with Spanish moss
16/35
At the Water’s Edge – Winner, Roberto Marchegiani (Italy). Lake Martin, Louisiana, USA. The wetlands of Louisiana are a gigantic tangle of canals, swamps and forests that stretch around the great Mississippi estuary. In autumn the great cypresses are covered with Spanish moss
Light on the Land – Commended, Marcio Esteves Cabral (Brazil). ESO Paranal astronomical observatory, Chile. This image shows ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) at work; these are the largest and most modern telescopes in the world. This is a panoramic image consisting of three vertical images. It shows the telescope’s laser guides, which are the most powerful in the world and can reach more than 50 miles
17/35
Light on the Land – Commended, Marcio Esteves Cabral (Brazil). ESO Paranal astronomical observatory, Chile. This image shows ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) at work; these are the largest and most modern telescopes in the world. This is a panoramic image consisting of three vertical images. It shows the telescope’s laser guides, which are the most powerful in the world and can reach more than 50 miles
Light on the Land – Commended, Sven Tegelmo (Sweden). Lunsen nature reserve, Uppsala, Sweden. The summer of 2018 was very dry and this caused a lot of forest fires in Sweden
18/35
Light on the Land – Commended, Sven Tegelmo (Sweden). Lunsen nature reserve, Uppsala, Sweden. The summer of 2018 was very dry and this caused a lot of forest fires in Sweden
Light on the Land – Runner-up, Daniel Laan (Netherlands). Storvatnet, Flakstadøya, Lofoten, Norway. Stjerntinden is a sheer-walled 930m peak rising from the often frozen and snow-covered Storvatnet lake. Along its shoreline the ice is punctured by unyielding rocks, which create tiny ice caves
19/35
Light on the Land – Runner-up, Daniel Laan (Netherlands). Storvatnet, Flakstadøya, Lofoten, Norway. Stjerntinden is a sheer-walled 930m peak rising from the often frozen and snow-covered Storvatnet lake. Along its shoreline the ice is punctured by unyielding rocks, which create tiny ice caves
Small World – Commended, Daniel Trim (UK). Sandy Heath, Sandy, Bedfordshire, England. A European beewolf (Philanthus triangulum) carrying a European honeybee. Beewolfs nest in sandy soil, burying a paralysed honeybee with a single egg
20/35
Small World – Commended, Daniel Trim (UK). Sandy Heath, Sandy, Bedfordshire, England. A European beewolf (Philanthus triangulum) carrying a European honeybee. Beewolfs nest in sandy soil, burying a paralysed honeybee with a single egg
Small World – Commended, Pete Hyde (UK). Loch Ard Forest, The Trossachs, Scotland
21/35
Small World – Commended, Pete Hyde (UK). Loch Ard Forest, The Trossachs, Scotland
Small World – Runner up, Jay Birmingham (UK). Wyming Brook, Peak District, England. A small mossy island with a solitary bonnet mushroom growing on it
22/35
Small World – Runner up, Jay Birmingham (UK). Wyming Brook, Peak District, England. A small mossy island with a solitary bonnet mushroom growing on it
Small World – Winner, Stefan Gerrits (Finland and Netherlands). Parainen, Finland. In Finland, the mountain apollo (Parnassius apollo) was one of the first species of insects to be protected by law, as the population decreased because of a disease, acid rain and climate change. The apollos were hardest hit in the south-west, where there had been heat waves and little precipitation
23/35
Small World – Winner, Stefan Gerrits (Finland and Netherlands). Parainen, Finland. In Finland, the mountain apollo (Parnassius apollo) was one of the first species of insects to be protected by law, as the population decreased because of a disease, acid rain and climate change. The apollos were hardest hit in the south-west, where there had been heat waves and little precipitation
Spirit of Travel – Commended, Jeremy Flint (UK). Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea. Few lands are as exotic and mysterious as Papua New Guinea, a region of dense, rugged valleys and magnificent tribes. Deep in the jungle highlands of Jiwaka province, two women touched noses to honour their friendship
24/35
Spirit of Travel – Commended, Jeremy Flint (UK). Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea. Few lands are as exotic and mysterious as Papua New Guinea, a region of dense, rugged valleys and magnificent tribes. Deep in the jungle highlands of Jiwaka province, two women touched noses to honour their friendship
Spirit of Travel – Runner-up, Peter Racz (Hungary). Lake Baikal, Siberia, Russia. There are many ice caves on the shore of Lake Baikal and this picture was taken from inside one of them
25/35
Spirit of Travel – Runner-up, Peter Racz (Hungary). Lake Baikal, Siberia, Russia. There are many ice caves on the shore of Lake Baikal and this picture was taken from inside one of them
Spirit of Travel – Winner, Matt Parry (UK). Varanasi, India. 64-year old SiyaRam hangs from the beams above the wrestling pit in Varanasi, India, in the middle of doing stomach crunches as part of an intense warm up routine that belied his age. Kushti wrestling akhara is steeped in history, culture and tradition but is gradually dying out due to government pressure for participants to move on to a modern mat-based wrestling format in order to compete at international level. SiyaRam has been training in this akhara for 13 years, and what started as a hobby is now a major part of his daily life
26/35
Spirit of Travel – Winner, Matt Parry (UK). Varanasi, India. 64-year old SiyaRam hangs from the beams above the wrestling pit in Varanasi, India, in the middle of doing stomach crunches as part of an intense warm up routine that belied his age. Kushti wrestling akhara is steeped in history, culture and tradition but is gradually dying out due to government pressure for participants to move on to a modern mat-based wrestling format in order to compete at international level. SiyaRam has been training in this akhara for 13 years, and what started as a hobby is now a major part of his daily life
Wildlife Insight – Commended, Christoph Ruisz (Austria). Lake Neusiedl region, Austria. A European hare (Lepus europaeus) on a cloudy morning in March
27/35
Wildlife Insight – Commended, Christoph Ruisz (Austria). Lake Neusiedl region, Austria. A European hare (Lepus europaeus) on a cloudy morning in March
Wildlife Insight – Commended, James Lewin (UK). Tsavo East National Park, Kenya. The locusts combined with the fighting zebras tells us a story about how tough the drought is for these animals
28/35
Wildlife Insight – Commended, James Lewin (UK). Tsavo East National Park, Kenya. The locusts combined with the fighting zebras tells us a story about how tough the drought is for these animals
Wildlife Insight – Commended, Olav Thokle (Norway). Isfjorden, Svalbard, Norway
29/35
Wildlife Insight – Commended, Olav Thokle (Norway). Isfjorden, Svalbard, Norway
Wildlife Insight – Commended, Roie Galitz (Israel). Pyramiden, Svalbard, Norway. The Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) is one of the ultimate survivors in the high Arctic, thanks to its super-insulating fur and food storing and collecting strategies. This specific fox’s territory is in and around the abandoned Russian town of Pyramiden
30/35
Wildlife Insight – Commended, Roie Galitz (Israel). Pyramiden, Svalbard, Norway. The Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) is one of the ultimate survivors in the high Arctic, thanks to its super-insulating fur and food storing and collecting strategies. This specific fox’s territory is in and around the abandoned Russian town of Pyramiden
Wildlife Insight – Runner-up, Jose Fragozo (Portugal). Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya. Imani is a well-known female cheetah in the Masai Mara. She is recognisable by the ‘bracelet’ of spots around the left front leg. This image shows Imani and her cub during a rainstorm, crossing an area with a high density of lions and hyenas
31/35
Wildlife Insight – Runner-up, Jose Fragozo (Portugal). Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya. Imani is a well-known female cheetah in the Masai Mara. She is recognisable by the ‘bracelet’ of spots around the left front leg. This image shows Imani and her cub during a rainstorm, crossing an area with a high density of lions and hyenas
Wildlife Insight – Winner, Salvador Colvée Nebot (Spain). Valencia, Spain. A pair of common kestrels (Falco tinnunculus) using dead agave flower plants as a perch from which to access the waterhole
32/35
Wildlife Insight – Winner, Salvador Colvée Nebot (Spain). Valencia, Spain. A pair of common kestrels (Falco tinnunculus) using dead agave flower plants as a perch from which to access the waterhole
Young Outdoor Photographer of the Year – Commended, Josiah Launstein (Canada). Porcupine Hills near Pincher Creek, Alberta, Canada
33/35
Young Outdoor Photographer of the Year – Commended, Josiah Launstein (Canada). Porcupine Hills near Pincher Creek, Alberta, Canada
Young Outdoor Photographer of the Year – Runner-up, Anya Burnell (UK). Berry Head, Brixham, Devon, England. A common blue butterfly perching on some dry wheatgrass ready to roost as the sun was setting
34/35
Young Outdoor Photographer of the Year – Runner-up, Anya Burnell (UK). Berry Head, Brixham, Devon, England. A common blue butterfly perching on some dry wheatgrass ready to roost as the sun was setting
Young Outdoor Photographer of the Year – Winner, Riccardo Marchegiani (Italy). Simien National Park, Ethiopia. The gelada monkeys are an endemic species to Ethiopia, living mainly in the Simien Mountains in groups that at night find shelter in caves located on steep slopes – some are more than 800m up
35/35
Young Outdoor Photographer of the Year – Winner, Riccardo Marchegiani (Italy). Simien National Park, Ethiopia. The gelada monkeys are an endemic species to Ethiopia, living mainly in the Simien Mountains in groups that at night find shelter in caves located on steep slopes – some are more than 800m up

The overall winner of this year's Outdoor Photographer of the Year competition braved a brutal snowstorm to capture an incredible shot of sheep sheltering from the elements. Selected from more than 20,000 entries, the image illustrates the extreme challenges outdoor photographers face.

The competition spans 10 categories, from landscapes and wildlife, to adventure sports and macro, but if there is one overarching theme to be found it seems to be a focus on the extraordinary lengths photographers go to capture impressive moments from nature. Alongside individual category winners receiving £500 (US$660), the overall winner also collects £2,000 (US$2,600).

"The judges were blown away by the quality of work that we looked at this year, and it shows that the world of outdoor photography is thriving like never before, thanks to the hard work, fresh thinking and deep passion brought by the photographers," explains Steve Watkins, head judge and editor of Outdoor Photography magazine.

Overall Winner and Light on the Land – Winner, Robert Birkby (UK). Near Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, England. Much of the higher ground in the South Pennines is relatively featureless, but these sheep had found shelter between a snowdrift and dry stone wall.
Overall Winner and Light on the Land – Winner, Robert Birkby (UK). Near Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, England. Much of the higher ground in the South Pennines is relatively featureless, but these sheep had found shelter between a snowdrift and dry stone wall.

UK photographer Robert Birkby took the top prize in this year's competition with a frosty shot snapped during a massive snowstorm in West Yorkshire England. Birkby's shot perfectly encapsulates the challenges of extreme outdoor photography, using a fast shutter to capture falling snowflakes and conveying a truly chilly sense of being in the middle of a gusty storm.

"Robert's image captures just about every aspect of what is required to be a top-level outdoor photographer; from the willingness to go the extra mile to be out there shooting in extreme conditions to the calmness and clear thinking then necessary to pull together a technically brilliant and creatively compelling composition," says Watkins. "All of the judges had an immediate and strong emotional response to his image, which manages to combine the chilling feeling of being there in the blizzard with the slightest hint of humor at the hopeless predicament of the hardy sheep."

Live the Adventure – Joint Runner-up, Alex Palmer (UK). El Capitan, Yosemite National Park, California, USA. Two climbers approach El Cap Tower on the The Nose route on El Capitan
Live the Adventure – Joint Runner-up, Alex Palmer (UK). El Capitan, Yosemite National Park, California, USA. Two climbers approach El Cap Tower on the The Nose route on El Capitan

For a smaller photography competition, the Outdoor Photographer of the Year has collected a truly astonishing group of winners, rivaling any competition on the annual calendar. Other winning highlights include a mind-bending shot of two tiny climbers climbing El Capitan in Yosemite, a surreal snap of a cave diver navigating an alien-like underwater landscape, and a stunning drone-captured image of a bear surrounded by salmon in a Russian lake.

Live the Adventure – Joint Runner-up, Alison Perkins (Australia). Sistema Sac Actun, Quintana Roo, Mexico. This image shows cave diver Cameron Russo travelling through the Sistema Sac Actun cave system on the Yucatán Peninsula
Live the Adventure – Joint Runner-up, Alison Perkins (Australia). Sistema Sac Actun, Quintana Roo, Mexico. This image shows cave diver Cameron Russo travelling through the Sistema Sac Actun cave system on the Yucatán Peninsula

Take a look through our gallery featuring all the winners and commended images from this year's strong competition.

Source: Outdoor Photographer of the Year

2 comments
guzmanchinky
These are incredible. As an amateur photog I love these galleries to learn some of the techniques I can use to improve my own pictures.
ljaques
The Rangiroa wave, the Wyming shroom, and Olav's seabird were the most extraordinary of the 35 photos. How many blasé pics got into the finals surprises me. And I have a much nicer painting by a Chinese artist of a foggy swampy/forest area. How did that ho-hum pic get in, let alone take honors? (Hmm, are architects moonlighting here, too?)