Landscape Photographer of the Year is one of the world’s most exciting and prestigious photography awards. Landscape photographer of the year aims to inspire engagement with the British landscape through photography. The fifteenth Landscape Photographer of the Year has been announced. The stunning ‘Brecon in Winter’ by Will Davies was chosen by the judges as the overall winner of the prestigious title and £10,000 prize.
From the stillness of misty forests, warm beaches and dark backstreets to the drama of spectacular sunsets, crashing waves and thrilling mountain ranges, the photographs in the 15th Landscape Photographer of the Year Awards showcase talented photographers. Their images inspire us all to engage with the wonderful diversity of the British landscape.
Will Davies says “This view is out towards the west of the Brecon Beacons from the Pen y Crug hill fort. I love this area in winter – the mountains somehow feel and look grander and wilder in the snow. The weather was not looking promising as I hiked up in the dark, but luckily the sun broke through right at sunrise, just long enough to get this shot. I have followed Landscape Photographer of the Year for a long time, without previously believing I had photos good enough to enter, so it was a wonderful surprise and a huge honour to find out from Charlie that I’d won.”
Awards Founder, Charlie Waite says “Will has captured a wonderful relationship between the distant cold snow covered tones and warmer tones below. The expertly balanced geometric shapes within the thrillingly vivid yellow provides the viewer with a superb visual experience, all culminating in this hugely well-deserved winning photograph.”
Congratulations to Will Davies, who has won the prestigious title of Landscape Photographer of the Year 2022. Will’s image ‘Brecon in Winter’ was awarded the overall prize.
Will Davies / Can you tell us about the day you took your winning photograph ‘Brecon in Winter’?
It was around mid-December. I remember setting off early in the dark – it’s not a long hike up to the Pen y Crug hillfort outside Brecon, but I wanted to be there by dawn. The forecast was for the weather to clear, but when I arrived it was still very gloomy and overcast. Fortunately, the cloud started to lift just enough for the sun to peak through right at sunrise. The sunlight was fleeting, as is usually the case with the best light, but in those few moments I was able to get this photo.
It was not a shot I had pre-planned, but when I saw the light hitting the fields with the overcast snowy peaks in the distance, it was a natural composition. I really love the Brecon area in winter. The mountains somehow feel and look so much grander and wilder in the snow. Quite often you can have a whole mountain to yourself, especially if you get up early! It’s also quite near to where I grew up, so I am especially pleased to have won with a photo from “home”.
What was your reaction to the news that you’d won Landscape Photographer of the Year 2022?
I guess overall it was a mix of surprise, shock, and huge satisfaction – I have definitely been walking around on a high for a few weeks! I have followed the competition for many years, and I always enjoy going through the winning images, trying to spot photographers I’ve heard of and places I know. For me, getting my photography to a level where I had a chance of making the collection became a bit of a bucket-list goal. To receive the call from Charlie telling me I’d won the whole thing, it completely blew me away. There are so many fantastic landscape photographers in the UK, to win this award is far beyond my highest hopes.
When did you start taking photographs?
I was lucky to get the opportunity to move to East Africa for work about 15 years ago. I had played around with cameras before then, but it was in Africa that I really got into photography. The landscapes and wildlife in that part of the world are breathtaking, and the photographic opportunities are endless, so it was hard not to quickly become hooked.
That said, over recent years I’ve equally enjoyed applying what I’ve learned back in the UK. I think travel makes you see your home country in a new light, and with a new appreciation. I also find the UK has stunning, but often quite subtle, landscapes. For a photographer I find it’s a great challenge, as you need to use all the elements – the weather, the seasons, the natural patterns – to distill and convey that beauty.
Why is photography important to you?
When I am out taking photos, I become completely absorbed, nothing else matters. In this sense, I find photography a great way to unwind, to clear my head. I also find it hugely motivating – I will happily get out of bed at 4am on a winter’s morning to be up a mountain for sunrise. There is not much else I’d voluntarily get up at that time for!
And finally, I think there’s something about the thrill of the chase with photography. Whether it’s searching for wildlife or waiting for that tiny break in the cloud on the top of some windswept mountain, I just find the hunt for that elusive perfect photograph is addictive.
AWARD WINNERS 2022