Shortlisted images for the 2021 British Photography Awards

The British Photography Awards (BPA) recently announced their shortlist of 380 images for 2021, spanning 19 categories. The competition, which received over 11,000 submissions, is open to photographers of any nationality that hold British citizenship. Furthermore, 20 UK-based charities will benefit from the money raised by BPA through entry fees and other related events.

‘Photography encourages us to look around and see, it encourages us to notice and appreciate the fine details of life often overlooked. Taking photographs is like an addiction, and if you are a curious person you always want to see what is around the next corner. To have your work validated is a lovely feeling as essentially someone is saying that they like your vision and like your way of seeing,’ Edward Felton, who was nominated in both the Drone and Documentary categories, tells DPReview.

This group is known as the Extinction Rebellion Brigade. Edward Felton’s capture of them at a Greta Thunberg rally is shortlisted in the Documentary category.

Voting for all 380 shortlisted images is open through December. For those who missed entering this competition, there is a free-to-enter COVID-19 Assignment open for entries until January 1st. Organizers claim over 6,500 entries have already been received. All BPA 2021 competition images will be on display at a hybrid gala this March.

Shortlist, Architecture: ‘Beach Huts at Blyth’ by Lesley Martin

Location: Blyth, Northumberland

Gear: Nikon D4s – Nikon 70-200 lens.

Description: I just arrived at Blyth the same time as Storm Abigail hit the North East coast and captured a passer-by struggling against the wind on the sea front.

Shortlist, Documentary: ‘Opera For Her Neighbours-Soprano Julieth Lozano’ by Edmond Terakopian

Location: London

Gear: Lumix S1R and Lumix S Pro 16-35mm f4.0 lens.

Description: Community Minded; Opera for her neighbors during the COVID 19 lockdown. Soprano Julieth Lozano performs outside her home for neighbors and passers-by who are drawn to her singing and stop for her performance. Kensington, London, United Kingdom. June 14, 2020.

Shortlist, Drone: ‘Go’ by Reinold Aryee

Location: Hong Kong

Gear: DJI Mavic Pro

Description: This image was taken on my first trip to Hong Kong. We were exploring the breathtaking culture, sights and architecture Hong Kong has to offer when we came across this playground. I instantly had a vision and invited him to join me in a drone selfie.

Shortlist, Event: ‘Flypast’ by Monika Mazurkiewicz

Location: London

Gear: Canon EOS 5D Mark III + EF70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens.

Description: The Trooping of the Color is a public celebration of the British Monarch’s birthday. The highlight of the celebration is the flypast of the Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows. I escaped the crowds and stood on South Lambeth bridge looking onto The Palace of Westminster. This turned to be ideal view.

I followed nine military planes with my camera as they emerged over the horizon and appeared to be soaring into one of the towers. They carried towards Buckingham Palace leaving red, white and blue vapors behind them.

Shortlist, Landscape: ‘The Caste of Sand’ by Grzegorz Piechowicz

Location: Bardenas Reales de Navarra Natural Park; Spain

Gear: Nikon D800, Nikkor 14-24mm.

Description: Spanish badlands, the kingdom of lights and shadows, gorgeous sand formations and a paradise for landscape photographers. The magic hours around sunrise and sunset reveal the most magnificent colors and hues that cross the landscape.

This is a challenging and chaotic landscape that makes you work hard for your pictures, but when you can figure out a way to make it work, the results can be truly spectacular. I think this is a fantastic place suited to mastering the fundamentals of successful landscape photography.

Shortlist, Macro: ‘Phidippus adumbratus with Prey’ by Lee Frost

Location: Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire

Gear: Nikon D810, Nikon 105mm mm + Raynox DCR 250, Yougnou 560III Flash with Homemade diffuser.

Description: During the winter to keep myself shooting macro and to practice my focus stacking technique. I use my (Phidippus adumbratus) just to do that. She recently moulted her exoskeleton and revealed some wonderful colors, this was a great opportunity to grab the camera and practice. In this particular photo I managed 8 focus stacked images handheld.

Shortlist, Pets & Domesticated Animals: ‘Breagha’ by Grant Anderson

Location: Locharron, Scotland

Gear: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Description: After a particularly rainy night camping – which included pitch black tent pole snapping and misplaced hiking boots – In the morning the weather had cleared and I met up with Colin Murdoch. He manages the deer population at Reraig Forest and is an absolute delight to work with, has an encyclopedic knowledge of the area and the wildlife of the Scottish highlands. He helped me capture what I needed for my assignment and as I was packing up I saw Breagha – Colin’s Patterdale Terrier – standing proud in the Argo.

Shortlist, Food & Drink: ‘Poolside’ by Jason Bailey

Location: Jason Bailey Studio, London

Gear: Canon 5D Mark IV, 2 x Profoto D2 strobes, 3 x Profoto B1 Strobes, Dapple, Blue Vinyl, Colour CTO Gels.

Canon 5D mark iv, 2 x Profoto D2 strobes, 3 x Profoto B1 Strobes, Dapple, Blue Vinyl, Colour CTO Gels

Description: Challenge was to create a summer time vibe for this Mojito shot, bang in the middle of winter in the UK. In order to do this, we built a small scale pool out of blue vinyl, and tiles, and used dappled Profoto lights to create a real life sense of summer sun.

Shortlist, Wedding: ‘Chiaroscuro’ by Ray Sawyer

Location: Hardwick Hall, Sedgefield

Gear: Sony A9 + Sony 35mm 1.8 FE.

Description: Sometimes creativity can be found in the most boring of corridors. The corridor inside the hotel had a sliding wall which could be separated into panels. Immediately the vision of a Chiaroscuro type photo came into my head. Whilst the bride and groom were outside I brought 2 AD200 flash heads into the room behind the sliding doors and pointed the flashes directly at the wall.

I knew by doing this at full power I would blow out the room to white, especially as I had a guest hold a white sheet in the middle to be safe. I then simply crushed all ambient light using an aperture of F16 an ISO of 800 and 1/200. The light hitting the couple is the spill from the other side of the sliding doors which works perfectly and as visioned.

Shortlist, Water Life: ‘Moon and the Forest’ by Mark Kirkland

Location: Scotnish, Loch Sween, Argyll and Bute, Scotland

Gear: Olympus OMD EM5 MKii, Panasonic 8mm Fisheye, 2x YS-110a Strobes

Description: Loch Sween is a long narrow scar on the landscape of rural west Scotland. Scotnish sits in the upper part of the loch and here the sea squeezes through a gap less than 50 meters across creating a powerful tide. I was lucky to catch the moment between high and low tide when the water was perfectly still, allowing me to spend some time floating with this Moon Jellyfish.

I thought the brooding sky and tree-lined banks would put the jellyfish in context and invite the viewer to connect common views of sealochs with a rarer view of what lives in them. It wasn’t long before the tide turned and took my subject on its 8km journey back out to sea.

Shortlist, Self Portrait: ‘Whats Lurks in the Mangroves’ by Grant Thomas

Location: Jardines de la Reina, Cuba

Gear: Canon 5D MKIII with Tokina 10-17mm fisheye in Ikelite water housing and two Ikelite DS 161 strobe lights.

Description: We spent the day patrolling dense Mangroves looking for signs of life anywhere and luckily just as we were about to head home we spotted something. Two eyes floating on the surface of the water, it was exactly what we were after – a large American saltwater crocodile.

I was nervous at first entering the water, I had only ever been told horror stories about people being attacked by crocodiles however, to my amazement, he was very relaxed. I wanted to show people that these animals are not just mindless killers, which is why I chose to use the selfie-style shot.

Shortlist, Sports: ‘Close Up’ by Chris Royle

Location: York Hall, London

Gear: Sony A9

Description: Dec Spelman lands a big shot against Shakan Pitters. 14-09-19 York Hall Bethnal Green, London.

Shortlist, Portrait: ‘Time for Tea’ by Stu McKenzie

Location: Mongolia

Gear: Canon 5D Mk IV, 1/60th Second, f5, 1600 ISO

Description: I had tried to take this image several times during a five day period. I noticed that the Kazakh Eagle Hunters I was with would sit down each evening and drink tea from a mic bowl. Each evening I tried to make the image, however, the light wouldn’t be right or the Hunters would sit opposite each other instead of in a row.

Then on the final evening it all came together and I managed to get the image. They were lit by natural light which was coming through a small iced over window, the steam produced by the hot tea was an added bonus and they sat just as I had imagined.

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