See the breathtaking photoshop-free winning images from this year’s Natural Landscape Awards

Nov 16, 2022

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

See the breathtaking photoshop-free winning images from this year’s Natural Landscape Awards

Nov 16, 2022

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

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See the breath taking photoshop free winning images from this year's Natural Landscape Awards

USA-based landscape and nature photographer Brent Clark has won the 2022 Natural Landscape Photography
Awards. His images of sweeping sands and autumn forests wowed judges with their slightly abstract feel and cohesive umber color palette.

The award is the very first international photography competition of its kind. Now in its second year, the competition was created to promote the very best landscape photography by digital and film photographers who value realism and
authenticity in their work. The competition established a set of important rules to avoid the excessive digital
editing techniques that have become commonplace in landscape photography. Here are the rest of the winning images.

Photographer of the Year

Brent Clark, Wisconsin USA

“I am a nature photographer based in the Upper Midwestern region of the United States, and I also travel to protected public lands around the United States that inspire me. Since I began photographing the natural world in 2012, my motivations have continuously evolved and I’ve found it surprisingly difficult to answer the question “why do I keep doing this?”, despite spending untold hours and energy on it year after year. Recently, I finally found a simple yet satisfactory answer – nature photography continually pushes me to grow as a person and do challenging yet rewarding things.”

Photograph of the Year

Joint winner: Jim Lamont, Canada

“A shadow falls on the Lowell Glacier”

The photograph shows the shadow cast by some peaks on the surface of the Lowell Glacier, in Kluane National Park, Yukon Territory, Canada. It was taken on a July morning in 2022 from a Cessna 172 as part of a decades-long project on glaciers. With climate change the Lowell Glacier, like most glaciers in the world, is crumbling into ruin, its surface gradually disappearing beneath dirt and rubble as the ice melts. The image is intended to suggest the wave of destruction that will overwhelm us unless we stop dumping carbon into the atmosphere.

Joint winner:

Philipp Jakesch, US

“Ardour”

When I decided to visit the volcanic site on the Reykjanes Peninsula, I was uncertain how it would be and how dangerous it was. Luckily we had good conditions and good filters to protect our lungs. The Image called “Ardor” is one of my favorite images from the volcanic series because of the small fragment of this huge area. The blue hour threw ambient blue light on the background layers, with the orange lava standing out even more. The 1,100°C hot liquid earth is frozen in time. Even though my distance from the erupting volcano was about 500 Meters, I could feel the radiating heat with every outbreak.

Project of the Year

Daniel Mirlea, Romania

“One of the beauties of Romania is the virgin forests spread in the Carpathian Mountains. It represents one of the country’s natural treasuries, and even though some are parts of different natural parks, they are still endangered.

The vision aims to get people closer to nature, raise awareness and help people not to see the forest just as an economic resource. Through this selected series of images, I wanted to highlight how well-adapted the conifers trees are to winter conditions and harsh landscapes. Nature is not as fragile as many thinks, but it’s raw and well-adapted. Even though for some people, this kind of forest in the alpine terrain or on a rocky ridge it’s not economically significant, it has enormous importance regarding biodiversity and the well-being of the ecosystem.

As a parenthesis, the majority of photos have been captured in the county I am currently living in and where I am now working on a project in which I am trying to raise awareness regarding the importance of nature in our lives and to show how diversity can be around us. Exploring and challenging myself with different themes helped me to understand how important it is to treasure the places near you – in this way, sometimes, you can find the story you want to tell near your house.”

Grand Scenic

Kevin Monahan, US

For this backpacking trip in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, one of the photographs I was hoping for was of these mountains reflecting in a calm alpine lake. After hiking 11 miles and climbing close to 5000 feet, I reached the top and realized the chances of capturing that were slim. We were engulfed in fog, couldn’t see anything around us, and there was too much wind. Throughout the evening and entire night, these mountains were hidden and no pictures were taken however during sunrise the clouds finally began to part, revealing these impressive peaks. I decided not to walk down to the lake but instead focus on these two mountains that really commanded the scene and my attention. The conditions were magical but quickly fleeting. Despite this being nothing I originally anticipated, I couldn’t have been happier photographing this scene out in the backcountry.

Intimate Landscape

Spencer Cox, US

When I first saw this scene, the warm, earthy tones of the riverbed reminded me of 19th-century landscape paintings. Even the fierce rapids of the Yellowstone River felt like gentle brushstrokes when viewed from afar.
I knew that I could play with scale and perspective when I composed this photo, as the trees appeared to stand against a cloudy sky rather than a swirling river. It can be a difficult photograph to parse without a second look.
This photo breaks many of the supposed ‘rules’ of landscape photography. It uses midday sunshine rather than Golden Hour light. The main subjects—the spindly trees along the riverbank—are at the bottom of the frame near the corner. And, to take the photo, I pointed straight downward from the edge of a canyon, not forward at a classic scene.
These unusual factors, though, are what give the photo its personality. I’ve always loved searching for offbeat, intimate views of nature like this wherever I go. It can be the best way to tell the story of a landscape.

Abstract & Details

Mieke Boynton, Australia

This photo, “Ocean Deity”, means so much to me. It was a gift. And she has a deeper meaning… if you look closely, her eyes have been “sewn shut” by tire tracks. More than 6,000 marine turtles live in Gutharraguda/Shark Bay, including the globally endangered green turtle (Chelonia mydas) and loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta). When people drive along the beach in 4WDs, they put the lives of turtles at risk, as this is where they nest.

Rivers, Lakes & Waterfalls

Tom Shapira, Israel

Each year the level of the water in the Dead Sea falls and new salt layers form on newly exposed banks.

Environmental

Samuel Markham, Australia

Embers flay as a tree burns from the inside out. I would frequently visit it and photograph it over the two weeks before it eventually collapsed in on itself into a fiery grave.

Trees, Forests, and Woodland

Stuart McGlennon, UK

A morning mist at sunrise on Holme Fell in the Lake District was so colorful it detracted from the shapes of the trees. Converted to black and white, the form of the subject was revealed.

Mountains

Matt Jackisch, US

I stood on the Baltoro Glacier in Northern Pakistan at the foot of legendary 8000-meter mountains like Gasherbrum IV (7925m), Broad Peak (8051m), and none other than K2 (8611m). Full winter had set in and everything was white and blue. It was -20C. Cold, windless, lifeless. The mountain seemed to roar in silence.

Desert

Peter Coskun, US

Steam rising off layers of badlands after a day of non-stop rain followed by bright sunshine in Death Valley National Park.

Nightscape

Marley Butler, Australia

It was an uncharacteristically clear and still night for a region known for some of the most inclement weather in Australia. That didn’t stop me from shivering in enough insulation to make the Michelin man jealous. Unlike me, the pandani leaves managed to stay almost completely still for the entire 8 minutes of foreground exposure. It really was eerily calm on the ridge. Below the amphitheater of pandani, an alpine lake is nestled amongst rugged quartzite peaks.
Above the peaks, the galactic core rises and the violet light emissions from the Carina Nebula can be seen at its peak. The night sky is swathed in airglow – a natural phenomenon where atmospheric oxygen atoms release green light. The small and large Magellanic Clouds feature in the top right of the frame and below on the horizon the Aurora Australis dances.
While I was giving some attention southward for potential aurora activity, it was only months later when viewing on a desktop that I realized the aurora had made an appearance just before midnight. Maybe it was hidden by the airglow or maybe it was my frosted glasses or fatigue. Regardless I was pleasantly surprised that I had rather luckily captured so many features of the night sky. You could say the stars aligned.

Aerial

Julie Kenny, Australia

The tree is seen as a sacred symbol, which carries significant meanings in both religious and spiritual philosophies. From above the surrounding sheep tracks combined with the fallen tree reminded me of the Tree of Life. While the aerial perspective focuses on the earth, you can see the pooled water in the sheep tracks reflects the blue of the sky. While this represents many different things, for me it communicates the interconnection of all things, beginnings, and endings, the cycling of life.

Frozen Worlds

Brian Pollock, Scotland

The last gasp of a short-lived winter in the Scottish highlands let me photograph these coniferous Scots Pine trees. A short while later, the snow had melted and the Highlands had an unexpected early heatwave.

Seascapes

Andre Donawa, Barbados

The Great Wave. A stormy sea rises above the viewer and descends into a gargantuan waterfall of water and foam.

All of the winning images plus runners-up can be viewed on the Natural Landscapes Awards website.

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Alex Baker

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

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One response to “See the breathtaking photoshop-free winning images from this year’s Natural Landscape Awards”

  1. Simon Dewey Photography Avatar
    Simon Dewey Photography

    These are beeautiful