Majesty of nature on full display in the best landscape photos of 2020
Agora’s 2020 landscape photography contest delivers a spectacular assortment of images, from powerful displays of lightning, to several compelling shots of tiny human figures overwhelmed by the majesty of the natural environment.
The top prize in this year’s landscape contest was awarded to an stunningly well-timed shot of a man standing in front of a magnificent full moon. Australian photographer Luke Simpson says the shot was entirely spontaneous, as he and a friend stumbled across this magical moment while hiking through Goblin Valley in the US.
“It was a totally unplanned shot on our American road trip, only made possible by the running speed, willingness, and full send it ability of my friend on the photo,” says Simpson. “What a blessing and a pleasure it is to be alive and to share this beautiful earth with you all!”
Photography social network Agora runs frequent photo contests on various themes. Entry is free and the winner is chosen by popular vote. Selected from almost 15,000 submissions, Simpson’s image won him US$15,000.
Another highlight comes from Russian photographer Pavel Tokarev, offering a rare glimpse into the ice caves of Lake Baikal in southern Siberia. Tokarev says the caves are only accessible for a short time every year when the lake freezes over.
“You can't reach the caves during summer, even by boat – the only way to get in is to wait for the winter to freeze all the water, so you can access them by foot,” says Tokarev. “There was ice all around, hanging from the ceiling and streaming along the walls. It felt like there was a mirror spreading along the ground.”
Other impressive images from the strong collection include a gorgeously surreal view on the iconic windmills of the Netherlands; an unbelievable shot of a tiny isolated church in Italy’s Dolomites; and a mind-bending shot of powerful lightning right next to a tiny wind farm.
Take a look through our gallery at more amazing highlights from Agora’s Landscape2020 contest.