The first-ever Natural Landscape Photography Awards has announced the winners of its competition that promotes the best landscape photography for those who value realism and authenticity.
The new landscape photography competition — founded by Matt Payne, Tim Parkin, Alex Nail, and Rajesh Jyothiswaran — aims to bring something fresh in the already saturated industry of photo awards.
The founders established a set of rules to avoid the types of what they describe as deceptive digital editing techniques that they have found to be commonplace in landscape photography today. This is something that the founders have noticed across social media feeds where the lines are blurred between art and reality.
“This current status quo is somewhat inevitable and understandable; however, when competitions do not make any distinction between the two, we are faced with a conundrum: photographers who try to work within the boundaries of the landscape they actually experienced find it difficult to compete with photographs that depart from these constraints,” the organization says.
The results are a fantastic showcase of not only the photographers involved, but also the true wonder of the landscape in a way that people can trust.
13,368 photographs were submitted to the competition from 47 countries by over 1,300 photographers.
— Natural Landscape Photography Awards (@natlandawards) November 1, 2021
In this, its first competition, the Natural Landscape Photography Awards has four distinctive categories — Grand Landscape, Intimate and Abstract, Nightscape, and Aerial — as well as a Project section where photographers could submit six to 10 images that relate to one another.
The overall winning title of The Natural Landscape Photographer of the Year was awarded to the photographer with the best collection of six images, which don’t need to relate to one another and can display a variety of content, techniques, and approaches.
First place received a cash prize of $5,000, a Canon EOS R5, and a Shimoda Designs Action X Starter Kit, with the runner-up and other category winners, also awarded with cash and other prizes from a $20,000 prize pool.
Photographer of the Year
Utah-based landscape and nature photographer Eric Bennett was awarded as the overall winner of the competition for his selection of images.
“As a photographer who strives to show people the value of wilderness, I have always enjoyed seeing and creating more subtle and personal photographs that portray nature in a realistic manner,” says Bennett.
“To be given this award by such a prestigious and well-respected group of photographers whom I have always looked up to is a great honor for me. I hope that the Natural Landscape Photography Awards can continue for many years to come, remain true to its values, and inspire other photography competitions to award photographers based on similar principles of artistry.”
Photograph of the Year
Intimate & Abstract
The submissions were judged by eight industry leaders including world-famous landscape photographers Joe Cornish from the United Kingdom and William Neill from the United States.
All category winners and runners-up can be viewed on the Natural Landscape Photography Awards’ website.
Image credits: All photos individually credited and provided courtesy of the Natural Landscape Photography Awards.