Landscape Photographer of the Year 2015

Every year I enter Take a View’s Landscape Photographer of the Year competition. This year, I was lucky enough to have one image short-listed – that meant I had to send off the full-resolution file along with RAW files for inspection to make sure it adhered to the competition rules. A couple of days ago I had an email to tell me my short-listed photo had been commended by the judges and had won a place in the book AND in the exhibition that will be held in Waterloo Station in London! Whilst I didn’t win the competition or category, I am totally over the moon with this result. Thousands and thousands of photos are entered into the competition so to get shortlisted and then win a place in the book is a huge thing! This is the photo that won a place in the book:

From Merthyr to Brecon with the Milky Way, the Plough, the Andromeda Galaxy and 'airglow'

From Merthyr to Brecon with the Milky Way, the Plough, the Andromeda Galaxy and ‘airglow’

I took this photo a couple of years ago. I walked up to the slopes of Fan y Big from the path above Neuadd Reservoir and pitched my tent at this location so I had somewhere to shelter out of the weather as it gets cold at night waiting around. I watched with disappointment as the mist rolled up the valley thinking it would cover me and the peaks and ruin my planned evening. However, it got to the level in the photo and stayed there for an hour before going away again. I put my 14mm lens into portrait orientation and shot several photos to cover a view much wider than 180 degrees. After staying up there for another couple of hours and seeing moonrise, I headed back to the car and bed. The next day I stitched the panorama – not an easy feat given the amount of stars and that the software wouldn’t do it automatically.

This is one of my proudest photos, perhaps the proudest. Not only is it technically difficult to stitch a night-time panorama, I also captured so many things: the Milky Way over Merthyr, the Plough asterism, the Andromeda Galaxy in the top right, the other part of the Milky Way on the right hand side, the sun had set behind the peaks so it was brighter and made them stand out, the mist in the valley below and the green tinge over Brecon on the right which is ‘airglow’ (excitation of oxygen atoms in the atmosphere).

This photo looks absolutely stunning printed out and I have sold several copies in the 100x40cm size. You can order online on my website and collect from me in our shop in Swansea Market or I can deliver locally free of charge.

Me with the 100x40cm photo printed out

Me with the 100x40cm photo printed out

I also run astrophotography workshops where you can learn how to shoot photos at night, see my workshops page for more information.

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