19 December 2015
The category winners of the Outdoor Photographer of the Year competition have been revealed. From the stormy coastline of eastern Australia and the top peaks of the Welsh mountains to the depths of the Atlantic ocean and exquisite wildlife of South Africa, the category winners in the latest Outdoor Photographer of the Year competition have captured the magnificent diversity of our planet.
The category winning images can be seen at www.opoty.co.uk and the Overall Winner – chosen from the category winners – will be announced live on the Outdoor Photography PhotoBox stage at the Telegraph Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show at London ExCel, in the UK, on Saturday 13 February 2016. All the winning images and selected commended images will be exhibited as large format prints at the show.
The category winners have all won £200 plus a Fjällräven Kaipak backpack, and the lucky Overall Winner will be heading off for a money-can’t-buy adventure of a lifetime on the epic Fjällräven Polar dogsled expedition across the Scandinavian Arctic at the beginning of April 2016.
The category-winning photographers come from around the globe, and their images had to fight off fierce competition from over 12,000 images entered by professional and amateur photographers. A new category, the Spirit of Travel, was introduced to this year’s competition, where we asked photographers to enter images that captured the essence of their experiences on journeys around the planet. There has been overwhelming praise from the judges for the extremely high quality of the shortlisted images.
Naomi Stolow from north London, sparked the judges’ imagination and triumphed in the Wildlife Insight category with her creative image of an elephant’s trunk, which she took while camping in South Africa. Naomi’s reaction to her win was, ‘It's a wonderful feeling to know that I can now share my photographs with even more people and in turn be able to tell more stories about all the wildlife I love so much. I am one happy outdoor photographer!’
Andrea Francolini from Sydney, Australia won the Spirit of Travel, a new category for the 2015 competition, with her thought-provoking picture of a classroom of students at Foundation School in Chalt Pain, Gilgit-Baltistan, northern Pakistan. Andrea said upon learning of her victory, ‘Needless to say that I am blown away by this news as this project is a personal one I have been shooting since 2010. Thank you to all the judges and especially to my fellow competitors. I saw many images from them that I would have hung on my walls at home or even wish I took.’
Henrik Spranz from Austria’s Vienna picked up top prize in the Small World category with his macro photograph of a gossamer-winged butterfly at sunrise. Commenting on the lead-up to the winners being announced, as well as finding out about his win, Henrik says, ‘It was a very thrilling experience to wait for the category winners to be published online. I'm very happy and a little bit proud that one of my moody macro shots made it with all that tough competition around. I always wondered if this kind of romantic macro style would have a chance to win such an award.’
George Karbus now living in Ireland but born in Czech Republic scooped the prize in the Under Exposed category, for underwater images, with his dreamlike shot of a freediver swimming with moon jellyfish in Irish waters.
William Eades from New South Wales, Australia won the At the Water’s Edge category with his dramatic image of a thunderstorm he took at Tacking Point, which is close to his hometown Port Macquarie. Reacting to the news of his win, Williams says ‘It is absolutely thrilling to have my image recognised at such a high level, especially alongside photographers whose work I have followed for some time. To win in my category is fantastic, but it becomes all the more special when I think that the image was captured in my own hometown of Port Macquarie, Australia. It goes to show that anyone can witness the beauty and power of nature, even at home; all you have to do is get outside and take a look.’
Anastasia Ziavra from Greece was crowned Young Outdoor Photographer of the Year with her painterly picture of a beach in Chalkidiki, Greece. Using the low light and a long exposure, Anastasia, at just 15-years-old, wowed the judges with her photograph.
Greg Whitton from Solihull, UK, captured the essence of what it’s like to be on a high mountain in adverse weather with his epic image of two walkers on top of Tryfan’s north ridge in Snowdonia, north Wales. Greg’s reaction when he heard about winning the Live the Adventure category was: ‘Wow, this is a kind of unbelievable really. Having won overall last year I really didn't think I'd get a look in if I entered this year. However, after such an amazing, if unconventional, experience on the Fjällräven Polar last year and after really trying to encourage others to enter I thought ‘why not, there is a book this year, I can at least try to get into that!’ Notwithstanding all that, winning a different category this year is a fantastic feeling in itself. The other winning images are absolutely marvellous, any one of them would be a deserved winner overall. Therefore I wish everyone luck with the final reveal.’
For further information on the competition, visit www.opoty.co.uk.
Image: © George Karbus. Under Exposed OPOTY Category Winner.