UK’s Best of the Year Landscape Image Collection
Reviewed By Albert Chi—
Almost 15 years ago, acclaimed landscape photographer Charlie Waite began an annual search for the finest landscape photography in Great Britain. Landscape Photographer of the Year Collection 14 is the latest and does not disappoint. In fact it’s an exhilarating experience because it not only includes stunning images, but each photographer lucky enough to be included takes the reader behind the scenes and provides personal comments and technical information about each of his or her images.
The 10.5×10.5-inch hardcover edition (US $33 at Amazon) is a is flawlessly printed in Italy and each picture jumps off the page; it would make a perfect holiday gift for any photographer interested in land and/or cityscapes. It is also available in an ebook format at Amazon for only $2.99. Finally, most of the past collections are also available if you want to purchase them.
We’ve culled a small number of images from the 224 page book for your viewing pleasure, so take a break, sit back, and enjoy!
I was returning from Birmingham to Southampton, and as I was driving along the M40 motorway I decided to take a detour to Chesterton Windmill, as the skies looked good. I have been there quite a few times before in the hope of getting a good sky. This was taken quite late in the afternoon. Camera: Fujifilm X-T30. Lens: Fujifilm XF10–24mm f/4. Post-production: Minor adjustments to shadows, clarity and vibrance in Lightroom.
This place has always felt familiar under my walking boots, but at the beginning of the year, with the world in the grip of a pandemic, it now felt alien and otherworldly. A hard frost and chance of mist had sent me high upon the Downs, as the dawn sky blushed with warmth yet the ground was still iron. Camera: Canon EOS 6D. Lens: Canon EF 16–35mm f/2.8L. Post-production: Four consecutive panoramic images were taken – two for the land and two for the sky – and blended in Photoshop, with minor adjustments made in Camera Raw.
The patterns left in the sand after high tide looked like a prehistoric forest. Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II. Lens: Canon EF-S 10–22mm f/3.5–4.5. Post-production: Shadows darkened; slight crop.
Traditional drystone walls zigzag across the fields beneath Malham Lings in the Yorkshire Dales, as the rising sun begins to light the scene. I arrived on location well before sunrise and the entire valley was filled with thick fog, but as the minutes ticked by, it began to shift and retreat. This particular view caught my eye, and fortunately the swirling mist revealed the copse at the decisive moment, with the first direct light washing over the landscape. Camera: Sony A7R II. Lens: Sony FE 24–105mm f/4. Post-production: The image was created from a single RAW file in Adobe Lightroom; white balance, shadows, whites and blacks modified; dehaze to add a minor contrast boost; colour correction.
Out on a walk during a short stay in Southwold, we were walking away from the sea when I looked around and saw the beach huts highlighted against the dark and rather threatening sky. Amazingly, the storm stayed out at sea and never reached us. Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II. Lens: Tamron 28–300mm f/3.5–6.3. Post-production: Adjustments made in Lightroom to exposure and clarity to bring out detail in the sky; some small distracting rubbish bins and a sign cloned out; cropped.
I enjoy presenting the ordinary in an extraordinary way. This image, shot in the Silvertown district of London, was turned upside down so that the balconies became cages – as they might have felt during lockdown. Converting it to monochrome gave it an even more dynamic and graphic feel. Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II. Lens: Canon EF 70–200mm. Post-production: Converted to monochrome and inverted; exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, whites, blacks and clarity adjusted; chromatic aberration removed; cropped.
As I stood overlooking the Eskdale Valley from a viewpoint near the Roman fort on Hardknott Pass, I was treated to some lovely conditions as a weather front moved in across the valley and the rainbow appeared fleetingly. Camera: Fujifilm X-Pro1. Lens: Fujifilm XF16–55mm f/2.8. Post-production: Clarity, tint and shadows increased; tonal adjustments; spot removal; clipping.
Rows of flats on Comely Bank Avenue, Edinburgh. Camera: Nikon Z 7II. Lens: Nikon Z 24–200mm f/4–6.3. Post-production: No major digital adjustments made.
Two juvenile red deer stags developing skills of the rut in preparation for the real event in seasons to come. I got lucky with being at the right place at the right time during the right conditions. I noticed a small, raised clearing within the bracken and several red deer nearby, so I set up my tripod looking into the direction of the sunrise. It was very low light and with the mist I needed to bump up the ISO significantly. These two stags climbed onto the mound and locked antlers for a practice rut. I couldn’t believe my luck! I decided to convert this blood-orange sunrise image to black and white as it creates an urban, gritty feel, almost like a street fight, with the deer entering the arena and the spectators watching on from afar. The mist adds to the ambience too. Camera: Fujifilm X-T2. Lens: Fujifilm XF100–400mm f/4.5–5.6. Post-production: Black and white conversion; slight cropping; noise, sharpness, contrast, highlights, shadows and exposure adjusted.
I planned this shot a few months ago and hoped for good weather. Luckily, I had everything in place on the day – it’s always a joy when a plan comes together! Camera: Sony A7 III. Lens: Sigma 100–400mm f/5–6.3. Post-production: Minimal editing in Lightroom and finished in Topaz DeNoise AI.
This excerpt from Landscape Photographer of the Year Collection 14, created by Charlie Waite has been reprinted by permission of the publisher, ilex Press, a division of Octopus Publishing Group, Inc.
Cover Image © Nicholas Seymour
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