In photographs: the breathtaking scenery of Britain

Kelsi Farrington

From an eerily misty loch in Cumbria, to Dorset’s chalky cliffs, a new book celebrates 10 years of the Landscape Photographer of the Year award

Their lenses have been trained on everything from saltmarshes, chalk cliffs and misty lochs, to tumbledown coastal villages, geometric farmland and jagged cityscapes. Hundreds of snappers with an eye for striking scenery have taken part in the Landscape Photographer of the Year award since its launch 10 years ago.

Established by photographer Charlie Waite to celebrate the UK’s ‘most beautiful and dramatic scenery’, winning entries across four award categories have included a shot of vibrant rapeseed fields in bloom, and a stuntman atop a seemingly inaccessible summit in Skye. Now, a decade of winning entries is being marked by a new book: Landscape Photographer of the Year: 10 Year Special Edition.

The award, said Waite, offers an “ongoing platform for capturing images that best symbolise our land and our times, and that will stand as a record of our country”.


 

Natural beauty: stories behind 10 of the winning entries

 

Fields of Rape near Weymouth, Dorset, by Adrian Bicker
Landscape Photographer of the Year winner: Classic view, 2008

“I have admired the shape of this field beside the main road to Weymouth for many years. I love its gentle slopes and the clean lines of its boundaries, leading to the group of trees that breaks the horizon. All the elements came together with a crop of oilseed rape in the main field and another behind the trees, set off by the fresh green of newly germinated cereal crops all around.

“Late morning put the sun at right angles to the view and coincided with the appearance of fair weather cumulus clouds, adding interest to a plain blue sky. This is the first cloud of the day but others are closing in from the right, casting their long shadows across the undulating green fields. I always find this image uplifting. It seems so positive, so vibrant and uncomplicated. So optimistic.”

Bat’s Head, Dorset, England, by Andy Farrer
Landscape Photographer of the Year: Overall winner, adult category, 2015

“Snow this far south on the Jurassic Coast is a fairly uncommon event and it was not until February 2015 that I managed to reach some of my favourite parts of the coast when snow had fallen. As incredible as it was to see the arch of Durdle Door covered in snow, this view, looking in the opposite direction, was every bit as captivating. The encroaching tide, revealing the warm shingle beneath, provided an enjoyable distraction for a few minutes.”

Danny MacAskill on The Inaccessible Pinnacle Isle of Skye, Scotland, by Chris Prescott
Landscape Photographer of the Year winner: Living the view, 2015

Danny MacAskill on top of the Inaccessible Pinnacle, the most difficult to access summit of the Cuillin Ridge on the Isle of Skye.


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Old Man in the Trees, Kelly Hall Tarn, Cumbria, by Chris Shepherd
Landscape Photographer of the Year winner: Classic view, 2015

“I reached Kelly Hall Tarn well before sunset and had a feeling that it was going to be a magical evening as the light was already rich and warm. As the late August sun began to set and make the landscape glow, I marvelled at the beauty of the scene that unfolded before me. Having a view like this completely to myself and capturing the essence of the scene is, for me, the real joy of landscape photography.”

Sunrise over the Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye, Scotland, by Emmanuel Coupe
Landscape Photographer of the Year: Overall winner, adult category, 2009

“I reached the Old Man while it was still dark, hoping that there might be some interesting light later on, but I surely did not expect the light show that ensued. Shortly after sunrise, and while the sun was still at a low angle, rays started to pierce through the clouds, spreading all across the Sound of Raasay, completing this classical Skye view in the most dramatic way.”

Barney on a Jetty in December, Hove Beach, East Sussex, England, by Gary Eastwood
Landscape Photographer of the Year: Overall winner, adult category, 2009

“This shot was taken at 4.30pm on a stormy December afternoon. I was walking along the beach with my dog Barney in unpromising grey and windy conditions when the sun broke through the clouds and bathed everything in a glorious amber light. I quickly tried to capture the jetty and some nearby windsurfers (one of whom can be seen in the distance) but Barney kept wandering into the frame and standing in that particular spot! It’s now one of my favourite images as it encapsulates the best aspects of living by the sea in winter.”

Starlings over Carmarthen, south west Wales, by Nigel McCall
Landscape Photographer of the Year winner: Urban view, 2013

“In January 2011, Carmarthen began to play host to some unusual visitors. Starlings were making part of the town their roost for the night. By early March it was being estimated that in excess of 250,000 birds were arriving every evening. The murmurations were a wonderful sight and this photograph captures probably the most spectacular combination of shapes seen above the urban skyline.”

Knapps Loch, Bridge of Weir, Scotland, by Peter Ribbeck
Landscape Photographer of the Year winner: Classic view, 2011

“This was my first time at Knapps Loch and I stumbled around looking for a decent composition in the half-light as the sun began to rise. An eerie glow began to appear in the mist behind the trees and lasted for about two minutes before it slowly started to fade. This gave me just enough time to take this shot and a few more of different compositions. When I saw this image in the back of my DSLR camera I was very excited and left for home a happy man.”

Staithes at Twilight, North Yorkshire, England, by Simon Atkinson
Landscape Photographer of the Year winner: Urban view, 2011

“I made the long journey up to the small coastal village of Staithes (where Captain Cook served his apprenticeship) ready for sunset and twilight. I spent the afternoon looking for various compositions but not many compare to this popular view which shows the compact village’s size and also the sea and cliffs. This was about 20 minutes after the sun had set behind me and just as the street and house lights were coming on ready for the night. It was critical to strike a balance between the artificial light and the ambient light and so even at this time of night, I was still using two graduated neutral density filters.”

Mist and Reflections, Crummock Water, Cumbria, England, by Tony Bennett
Landscape Photographer of the Year: Overall winner, adult category, 2013

“This photograph was taken during those magical minutes of an autumn dawn when the rising sun began striking the tops of the trees and breaking through to the surface of the lake. Every second the scene was changing, creating a hundred memorable images, but this moment particularly caught my attention. The still night mist began rolling and tumbling, as if in protest, as the heat of the sun vaporised and dispersed it forever. Within a minute it was over: a moment in time, never to be repeated but always remembered.”

All images taken from Landscape Photographer of the Year: 10 Year Special Edition (AA Publishing, 28 April, £35)


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  • Alan Williams

    Beautiful, simply beautiful.

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