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Landscape Photographer Of The Year 2014 Exhibition

Stuart Fawcett went along to this year's Landscape Photographer of the Year competition exhibition.

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Landscape Photographer of the Year 2014 exhibition

Above: Some of the exhibition images at Waterloo station

 

For two months, the Landscape Photographer of the Year 2014 exhibition is open to the public on the gallery of Waterloo station. Stuart Fawcett went along to the opening night of the event to see and report on the awards ceremony and exhibition.

The exhibition is running till the end of January 2015 and is a great place to walk around with a coffee if you have to wait for a train to arrive or just if you want to see some great photography – just catch a later train and make time. You can see some of the images that are on show at the exhibition in ePz's Landscape Photographer Of The Year Image Showcase.

The exhibition was arranged by Visit Britain under the ‘Take a View’ organisation with other sponsors being The Countryside Is Great, Nikon, The Sunday Times and Network Rail. Network Rail is very proud of their part in the exhibition as with 40,000 rail bridges and 2,500 stations they recognise their infrastructure is often a big part of the countryside of Britain, both in helping to form its look as well as allowing passengers access to vast and beautiful areas in the United Kingdom.

 

Landscape Photographer of the Year 2014 exhibition winners

I was lucky enough to meet some of those listed in the 2014 winner's list including, top left, Mirek Galagus who has the most amazing supporting wife following him again and again around the country. Mirek was honoured three times in this competition with commendations for his photos 'Green view', 'Cheddar gorgeous' and 'Infralavender'. He will keep going back to a location until he gets the time, the light and the weather right for the shot; he went back over 7 times for the 'Cheddar gorgeous' shot!

Top right is Steve Bright, he was also there with his lovely wife but here he is standing in front of the sponsor's boards. He won the Network Rail award for his super de-saturated aerial image of London Bridge station in the evening that gives the feeling of a busy but relaxed commute in the evening. One of his prizes is a trip on one of British Rail's track inspection helicopters. There are few reasons to expect quite a bit more from this very dedicated person known for having a camera everyday at his work as an IT worker - at the end of the article is a link to his site to see more if you wish.

Bottom left is Andrew Turner, again with his supportive partner keeping him company. Andrew actually works for the railway and was here with his commended 'forest of deer' image showing a misty morning with stag heads and antlers rising in a surreal manner from the undergrowth in which the deer are roaming. Andrew had been commuting the same way to work for a quite a while when he saw the right weather opportunity to take this image. Andrew has been a keen photographer for over 30 years.

Bottom Right is 17-year-old Sarah Dobler who shot a beautiful dreamy image titled 'Autumnal Morning' at the Ribblehead Viaduct in Yorkshire. Sarah is still at school and is contemplating a few university courses and careers including psychology and developing her creative side further in both film and images. I’m sure her very proud Dad, shown with her here, will keep supporting her through all of this. It’s a good reminder that competitions like this can really help young creatives fast track their careers as professional image producers.

Landscape Photographer of the Year 2014 exhibition

One of the primary reasons for this particular evening was to publicly award the winners of the various categories, and we had the very well-known English landscape photographer and presenter Charlie Waite on hand to compére the evening. Charlie is an excellent and friendly presenter with a real passion for sharing beautiful photography with others in a warm and inspiring way.

The first award was presented by Jon Cohen of Fujifilm for the Sunday Times Magazine's 'Choice Award' to James Osmond for his strong light and dark image 'Cloud clearing Cribyn' taken in the Brecon Beacons.

The second award was presented to Steve Bright, as mentioned above, by David Biggs, Managing Director of property at Network Rail. David was passionate about what is now Networks Rail's 5th year of sponsorship for this competition and the way that the rail infrastructure is both formed by the landscape as well as forming the landscape and being sensitive to the beauty this imparts and the people this affects is very important. Another key aspect of the property at Waterloo is that the exhibition could be held on the first floor mezzanine gallery and also that the photographs could be presented on Europe’s largest LED screen (the new super large screen ‘Motion @ Waterloo’ is 40 metres wide and spans 4 platform entrances).

The third award was presented by Josh Croft who is Marketing Director for ‘Visit Britain’ and responsible for promoting Britain worldwide and developing our visitor economy. Their ‘You're Invited’ category for overseas photographers. which encourages people to take beautiful pictures of the UK, was won by Sven Mueller for his 'Sunrise at Winnats Pass' photo. It's a super richly coloured photo of a valley with a road snaking off to the distance; being a foreign national Sven was in Berlin so unfortunately, could not attend the ceremony.

The fourth presentation was from Conrad Bird, he is a Director of the Great Britain Campaign run from the Prime Minister’s office. Conrad’s job, as Charlie Waite says, is to ‘big up Britain’ and of course sometimes it’s easy to do this, such as with the talent on show at this exhibition. This time, John Robinson was the worthy recipient with his beautifully warm sunset on the North Yorkshire Moors - 'Heather in Bloom'.

The last two awards were presented by the TV presenter, writer, journalist and geographer Nicholas Crane; Nicholas has presented landscape programs for the BBC and written 9 books so does have a bit of landscape experience. He says the word landscape comes from the 16th century and may have been landschap or Lowlands at that time, it's originally a painterly term and means a visually distinct section of land. To Nicholas, a landscape has 3 different interpretations; firstly a collection of related places, but also a record of people through space and time. And finally that landscapes are empowering, such that people create landscapes and landscapes create people in a circular related fashion.

Nicholas presented the first award for Young Landscape Photographer of the Year to Sam Rielly for his 'Parys Mountain' photograph in Wales. This B&W photo shows a woman walking through the landscape with a castle in the background and portrays a sense of the beauty and isolation landscapes can give you.

Finally, Nicholas presented the top award, the Landscape Photographer of the Year 2014 award to Mark Littlejohn for his picture 'A Beginning and an End' of Glencoe, Scotland. A picture that is amazingly detailed but also almost an abstract, if shows a stream cascading down a Glencoe rock face looking like a bolt of electricity from the mists at the top to the scrubland below. It’s certainly a picture worth seeing large and in print.

 

Landscape Photographer of the Year 2014 exhibition

Landscape photographer of the year images shown on ‘Motion @ Waterloo’

 

Charlie Waite’s final words of encouragement to us, the audience, were that we should pick up our tripods and go out and start to fully engage with our surroundings to really capture the essence of our own landscapes.

You can see more photos from the exhibition here: Take A View

More photo’s from the Network Rail winner Steve Bright can be viewed on Steve's website

Words and pictures by Stuart Fawcett (JackAllTog)

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