Winners of the Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2014


The winners of the Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2014 were just announced! UK landscape photographer Greg Whitton grabbed the top prize with his breathtaking image of light hitting the Southern Highlands in Iceland. Greg’s photograph was taken during a six-day wild camping trip in Iceland with four other photographers. Greg said: “I took this picture on the last night of the trip. We hadn’t had a moment of really good light during the whole six days. When we reached the top of this particular peak there was thick cloud blocking the sun. My camera battery was running out and I didn’t have any spare in my pack, so I started to make the descent back to basecamp. After making my way about 50 metres down the mountain the clouds started to part slightly. The light only lasted a few minutes. I’ve got other photographs when the light became really epic, but for me this image, where the light is building, is more successful.” Greg’s photograph was chosen out of more than 10,000 images that were entered by professional and amateur photographs from around the globe. As the overall winner, Greg wins an exclusive place on the Fjällräven Polar dogsled expedition. Greg wins a trip of a lifetime. In April 2015, he’ll be off to the Arctic for the Fjällräven Polar dog sled expedition.

Outdoor Photography magazine editor Steve Watkins said: “Greg’s picture turned out to be the overwhelming favourite among the judges. I love how he captured the amazing light sweeping across the Icelandic peaks: it’s dramatic, has impact and longevity. His photograph is the worthy winner of Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2014.”

To learn more about the competition, visit the OPOTY website. Below are some photos of the category winners (and those commended).

Light on the Land: Commended
Winners of the Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2014-1

Claire Carter – Gimsøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. 

April 2013 saw some of the deepest snow that this archipelago had experienced for many years. One snowstorm after another engulfed me but the gaps between the storms provided exciting opportunities. On this occasion the parting clouds briefly framed the mountain at dusk. (Image copyright Claire Carter 2015)

Light on the Land: Commended
Winners of the Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2014-2

Joe Wright – Forest beech canopy

The intent was to portray the many facets and life stages of the beech – its structure and strength in the trunk along with the fine filigree of the canopy branches, young and ancient. All set against the cacophony of autumn colour. (Image copyright Joe Wright 2015)

Light on the Land: Commended
Winners of the Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2014-3

Marco Barone – Dark Lake

I captured this photograph in the mountains around Petit Mont Cenis in Savoie in France. I went to this place many times to find the right weather conditions to capture the gloomy shot I’d had in mind for a while. On this occasion, I went during a storm, and just before sunset the rain stopped. The light filtered through the clouds, creating the right atmosphere. (Image copyright Marco Barone 2015)

At the Water’s Edge: Winner

Winners of the Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2014-5

Shaun Walby (UK) – River Wharfe, Yorkshire Dales

The river Wharfe has it origin in the upper northern Yorkshire Dales, and it narrows considerably at a place known as ‘the Strid’ on the Bolton Abbey estate. There was a lovely thick fog that particular morning. I got to work quickly as the light and weather conditions were changing rapidly. It was the combination of elements within the scene that raised my interest level as soon as I looked through the viewfinder. Golden autumn leaves on the ground balanced the heavy damp air and foliage, and the central river merging with the fog in the distance provided a sense of depth. I chose a long shutter speed to soften the water movement and to instill a sense of time. The ever-strengthening autumn sun filtered by the fog provided wonderful diffuse light. (Image Copyright Shaun Walby 2015)

At the Water’s Edge: Commended
Winners of the Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2014-6

David Wrangborg – Svalbard

The polar light has broken through the clouds and is playing along the Isfjord coast of Svalbard. I often try to capture the magical high-arctic light in its many forms and expressions. This is taken during a hike up Blomsterhøgda, outside Longyearbyen. (Image copyright David Wranborg 2015)

At the Water’s Edge: Commended
Winners of the Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2014-8

Lee Acaster – Shingle Street

It was a stormy day, but the shingle banks at Shingle Street in Suffolk create a natural harbour. There was a spectacular sunrise over the sea, but when I saw that the row of cottages opposite might be briefly illuminated against the dark brooding sky I knew that was the shot I wanted. (Image copyright Lee Acaster 2015)

Wildlife Insight: Winner

Winners of the Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2014-10

Arabian oryx, United Arab Emirates
Unlike the story of so many other species, the reintroduction of the Arabian oryx into the wild, after the species went extinct in the wild in the 1970s, is a success. There are now over 1,000 individuals living in the wild. I have been living in the United Arab Emirates for some years, and been into the desert many times to find and photograph the elusive Arabian oryx. On this particular day, I witnessed a scene I had been dreaming of. I drove the 4×4 carefully into position and placed the oryx at the edge of the viewfinder to reflect the sense of emptiness in the desert. I converted the image to black & white to convey the beauty of this desert dweller in the most optimal and simple way. (Image Copyright Stefan Gerrits 2015)

Wildlife Insight: Commended
Winners of the Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2014-12

Judith Conning – Mother bear and cubs

We’d had four days in a blizzard in Kaktovik, Alaska, and a small group of us were on a tiny boat, buffeted by the wind but totally captivated by the journey of a mother bear seeking a more sheltered site to feed her cubs. (Image copyright Judith Conning 2015)

Wildlife Insight: Commended
Winners of the Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2014-14

Michael Maes – Mother and cub

I was tracking this mother and cub near Churchill, Canada, for five days. Despite the bad weather, I returned to them after dinner on my last day of filming, as I had pre-visualised a shot in the Arctic sunset light. One little gap in the otherwise covered sky for a few seconds was my gift from Mother Nature. (Image copyright Michael Maes 2015)

Live the Adventure: Winner

Winners of the Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2014-15

Ski Touring, Slovenia
The weather conditions were extraordinary that day on 2104m Vajnež mountain in the Karavanke Alps in Slovenia. When we arrived on skis under the saddle we were confronted with a heavy windstorm. The sunbeams were penetrating through the thin clouds and the spindrift. I wanted to capture the sense of struggle involved as the heavy gusts tried to throw us off balance. After taking the shot, it was just another 500 metres to where there was some shelter from the wind, and from there we decided to continue our expedition to the summit. (Image Copyright Sandi Bertoncelj 2015)

Live the Adventure: Commended
Winners of the Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2014-16

Greg Whitton – Wild Mountain: The Ridge I

Wild Mountain: The Ridge I is the first in a mini-series of images taken on UK mountains, which are processed in a manner intended to convey the often claustrophobic and threatening nature of these majestic lumps of rock. This image is from Striding Edge in the Lake District. (Image copyright Greg Whitton 2015)

Live the Adventure: Commended

Winners of the Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2014-18

Jan Faßbender – Grimberger Sichel bridge

I love to combine sports with architecture and landscape in my pictures. This picture was taken at sunrise on a trip to the Grimberger Sichel pedestrian bridge in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, with Basti Aldehoff, a slackliner from Cologne. I was attracted by the combination of water, architecture and light, and captured the scenery while lying in a rubber dinghy. (Image copyright Jan Faßbender 2015)

Live the Adventure: Commended
Winners of the Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2014-19

Sandi Bertoncelj – Ride on the Ridge

It was an autumn afternoon when we went with friends on a cycling tour on Gubno Mountain, in the Karavanken Alps in Slovenia. We arrived at the summit half an hour before sunset, just in time to take the best photos. The light was awesome; the sun was shining through the thin clouds, causing long shadows, and mist was lifting from the valley. I asked my friend to ride on the ridge, and I made this shot from some distance away. I aim to capture the spirit of mountain biking and to show that it takes place in a beautiful environment, in this case among breathtaking mountains of the Alps. (Image copyright Sandi Bertoncelj 2015)

Small World: Winner

Winners of the Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2014-20

Butterfly at Sunrise, Netherlands
I love to photograph insects in the early morning because of the wonderful atmosphere around sunrise. The idea grew in my mind to capture a butterfly opening up to catch the warmth of the first rays of sun. It took some time to find the right location that matched with the pre-visualized image in my head. I visited this particular place multiple times in search of subjects before both the weather conditions and the subject were perfect. (Image Copyright Johannes Klapwijk 2015)

Under Exposed: Winner

Winners of the Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2014-21

Craig Parry (Australia) – Humpback Whale, Tonga

I captured this image in Tonga in the South Pacific. Using a small aperture, I was able to keep the sky in focus as well as the humpback whale. I used an Aquatech underwater housing with a fisheye port that enabled me to split the image under and over the water’s surface. (Image Copyright Craig Parry 2015)

Young Outdoor Photographer of the Year

Winners of the Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2014-22

Josiah Launstein (Canada) Age 10 – Bighorn Sheep, Alberta, Canada

Rocky Mountain bighorn rams do battle in the lower slopes of the Rocky Mountains in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada. I love Bighorn Sheep, so I jumped at the chance to go out with my dad and big sister looking for rams to photograph. I was going to follow my dad towards some bigger rams he spotted, when I heard these guys head-butting at the edge of the forest. There wasn’t much light left so I had to use a higher ISO to freeze the action, but I’m glad I was able to capture this picture just as they rammed into each other! (Image Copyright Josiah Launstein 2015)