Winning images from the inaugural World Landscape Photographer competition

The winning photographs and commended shots of the inaugural World Landscape Photographer competition have been announced, showcasing incredible scenery captured around the world.

The World Landscape Photographer competition is the brainchild of professional landscape photographer Nigel Danson. Determined to help those affected by people affected by COVID-19 and inspired by browsing through his own photo catalog, Danson conceptualized the competition and eventually brought it to life.

The premise was simple — share five of your best landscape photos captured from before March 1, 2020 for an entry fee of just £10. ‘At least 90%’ of the entry fees would go to a COVID-19 charity, with the remaining 10% going towards ‘CC fees and costs associated with sending the prizes to the winners.’ According to Danson, he ‘never thought over 1000 people would enter,’ but sure enough, he and six other judges pored over 4,838 images from more than 1,000 entrants to whittle it down to one 1st place winner, seven prize winners and 50 commended images.

The 1st place prize in the inaugural World Landscape Photography competition went to Neil Burnell from England with his ‘stunning mystical image of Wistman’s Wood in Devon entitled Wise.’ For winning the coveted 1st place prize, Burnell is receiving a Nikon Z50 camera and two lenses, which were donated by Nikon. Other items from Benro, Fotospeed, Kase and Tenba were given out to the remaining six winners.

In total, more than £10K went to a Unicef coronavirus appeal that is ‘raising money to help children affected by the outbreak by working to provide handwashing campaigns as well as providing essential health worker supplies, such as surgical gloves, soap and clean water facilities.’

In this gallery, we’re presenting the 1st place winner and the remaining six prize-winning photos. You can view all 50 of the commended images and words from each of the judges on the World Landscape Photographer website.

1st Place — Wise by Neil Burnell

Gear & Settings:

  • Nikon Z7
  • 24–70mm F4 Z Lens
  • 28mm F8 1/3s ISO 64

About the photo: I’ve been shooting Wistmans now for four years and have had the composition of this shot in mind for a little while. The shot required extremely thick fog to give the centre trees a touch of separation in what is a very condensed and complex area of the woodland. After several unsuccessful shots of this scene, I finally got lucky with a full day of fog in January this year, I have to say this is probably my favourite image I’ve taken from this wonderful woodland.

2nd Place — The Copse by Jason Hudson

Gear & Settings:

  • Fujifilm XT1 (Infra Red converted)
  • XF10–24mm F4 lens
  • 24mm F8 1/125s ISO 200


About the photo: Living in the Eden Valley, all I have to do normally to see if its misty is look out of the window. Thus was the case this particular morning. Thick mist sat across the Eden Valley. With my Sony A7 in for repair I was left with a small Sony Compact and my Fujifilm XT1 which had been converted to Infra Red.

I waited for the sun to rise over the Pennines for the magic to happen. For a glorious 20 minutes I scurried about in my local woodland at Edenhall. I captured some lovely images but then as I came along the road I saw this copse of trees emerging from the mist. It looked majestic. With some blue sky above.

I knew Infra Red would work well. As soon as I looked through the eyepiece I saw the potential for this image. I short the image handheld. The capture needed very little processing, other than an infra red preset in Silver Efex that I use and a touch of Gaussian blur to soften it.

3rd Place — Special by Andrew Baruffi

Gear & Settings:

  • Canon EOS 6D Mark II
  • 24–70mm F2.8 II Lens
  • 50mm F8 1/8s ISO 100

About the photo: I’ve only been practicing photography for a couple years. In that time I’ve always assumed that subjects, composition, and conditions outweighed the importance of light. In some cases that can still be true for me, but even the littlest amount of light can make a scene truly special. This image spans across two days. In areas of Zion’s east side, patches of ice can be found tucked between the boulders of the washes in the winter months. Those patches tend to fade as more of the water and ice seeps into the sand or simply melts and evaporates on a hotter day. I arrived to a section of the main wash on a chilly day that has the more rare attribute of a pool at a certain bend. The pool was fairly iced over, and the intricacies in the ice patterns were supported by delicate fallen leaves here and there. One leaf in particular caught my eye, a golden oak that bent upwards from the center as the tip and stem were fused into the ice. I sat at that pool for a few hours trying to find the best composition, and eventually found exactly what I wanted. It was such a beautiful scene, I knew that I had to make sure that I got it right before it all vanished.

The next day I arrived to an even colder east side. I returned to the same exact composition to see how it transformed over night. The ice took on a more singular pattern with less variation thanks to the freeze, and the oak leaf still sat frozen in place. Even more special was the morning light creeping into the scene. Golden reflected light from the sandstone opposite me kissed the surface of the oak leaf, and made me realize what I was missing. It wasn’t the composition, conditions, patterns, or subjects that defined the moment; just the simplicity of a tiny bit of light.

4th Place — Fleeting Daydream by Tod Colbert

Gear & Settings:

  • Nikon Z7
  • 70–200mm VRII F2.8
  • 200mm F5 1/100s ISO 200

About the photo: I took this at Lower Yosemite Falls in Yosemite National Park this February. It was shot early in the morning and the sun’s position created the rainbow for no more than a minute or so. There were many shots taken before this one as I waited for the sunlight to stream through the falls. Magical it was.

5th Place — Rolling Fog at Buttermere by Adrian Harrison

Gear & Settings:

  • Nikon D610
  • 20mm F1.8 Lens
  • 20mm F13 69s ISO 50

About the photo: Living only half an hours drive from buttermere in the lake district you could say that i am quite familiar with this location. I cant count how many mornings have been spent here trying to capture something that looked a little different from the images you usually see from here. luckily for me, on this occasion the conditions were simply amazing. fog filtering through the scene, perfectly calm waters and not a breath of wind. all i could hear was the sound of the gravel underfoot. i took several frames here but decided to go with a long exposure so the viewer could see just how the fog was gently moving over the fells behind the infamous pines of buttermere. A morning to remember.

6th Place — Kunkovice´s Green by Radoslav Cernicky

Gear & Settings:

  • Nikon 7200
  • 70–300mm Lens
  • 260mm F11 1/160s ISO 100

About the photo: The photo was taken in the spring during the golden hour using a telephoto lens. It is South Moravia in the Czech Republic near the village Kunkovice. This is an area also known as Moravian Tuscany.

7th Place — Fall Impressions by Jason Flenniken

Gear & Settings:

  • Sony A7R IV
  • 70–200mm F4 Lens
  • 84mm F11 1/20s ISO 200

About the photo: This was an image taken on my first trip to Acadia National Park in October 2019. It was my first time seeing fall color in the northeast, and I was completely blown away. This location is a Tarn right on the side of the road. It was taken mid-morning. For about 30 minutes you get perfect reflections of the hillside colors in the water.

This area was full of small scene compositions, and I was lucky in that some cloud cover created patchy light. It required little editing as does most shots from that time of year in Acada, the colors are almost too vibrant straight from the camera. Shot with a 70–200 f/4 and Sony A7R4, which let me crop in to really narrow down the shapes in the image.

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