“Eye-catching capture” by Jacki Gordon. Birdlife Shortlist. “I sat with my camera trained on this gannet chick for a very long time, hoping that it would open its beak, and that I would be able to capture the mother behind. Eventually, it obliged, and I was able to relax my weary arms. I felt that my patience paid off, and was thrilled at my very good luck at the eye-catching capture.”
The wealth of photographic talent in the UK is on full display thanks to the British Photography Awards. Over 15,000 photographers submitted their photos, which have been narrowed to a shortlist of 379 images. Across the competition's 19 categories, photographers have shown off their incredible technical and artistic skills.
Standouts include Jacki Gordon's clever composition, which earned her a place on the Birdlife Shortlist. She waited until the perfect moment when a chick opened its beak, giving a glimpse of its mother's brilliant blue eye. Natasha Pszenicki was rewarded in the Fashion category for her compelling photo of a well-dressed man in West London. Beyond the brilliant juxtaposition of warm and cool colors, she also tells a story of how fashion can be used to bring more joy to the world.
But the British Photography Awards isn't only about recognizing creative talent, it's also about giving back. Run as a non-profit, 100% of the proceeds go to their list of 20 UK charity partners. And every photographer selects a charity that they'd like to support with their submission.
“This year has been very special: we have some stellar photography from astoundingly creative photographers,” shares Award Director Hugo Donnithorne-Tait. “The shortlist has stories of hope and hardship from across the world as well as stunning compositions and creative pieces. The team would love to thank everyone that helped us raise so much for our charity partners. The fact that so many people chose to use their photography to help some of Britain’s top causes during such a tumultuous time is incredibly moving.”
We've selected some of our favorites from each category to share, and encourage you to check out the full shortlist. Voting for the People's Choice Award is also open, so you can cast your vote for your favorite image.
The British Photography Awards just announced its shortlist of standout images.
“Camouflage” by Natasha Pszenicki. Fashion Shortlist. “I first spotted Jama sat outside a cafe in West London wearing one of his suits. I couldn't get ideas of how to shoot him out of my head. Months later we made contact through social media and the project of Jama began in earnest. Though commonly presumed to be inspired by the Congolese Sapeurs, Jama actually took his inspiration from an advert on the tube he saw one day; it pictured a man wearing checked trousers, which made him smile… He looked around the carriage at everyone dressed in drab nondescript attire and made a decision to try and bring more joy to people's everyday lives. He is a key worker in a company that finds housing for the underprivileged and mentally ill; he has found his attire to be a certain therapy for these individuals.”
“Henna Hands” by Nasrin Khan. Wedding Shortlist. “Asian bridal details are stunning and it was a joy to share the day with my good friend. This is such a simple shot taken with the intention to capture the small details. We sat together waiting for her to make her grand entrance and took the opportunity under the small restaurant lamp to pick out the smaller things. I loved the symmetry in this and the bokeh from her most intricate outfit.”
“Glaciar wave” by Maja Bet. Landscape Shortlist. “In Iceland, the winter period, from the beginning of November to the end of March, is the season of natural ice caves. The picture was taken in the impressive blue cave in the Vatnajökull glacier. The glossy surface with surreal unusual formations in the ice, peculiar patterns, and even striating colors in the frozen cave walls makes the glacier cave a fantastic place to photograph. The cave is one of the most epic locations where I was able to capture the immense beauty.”
“Carol Rees who sells ice lollies near Saundersfoot after Covid-19 lockdown measures are relaxed in Wales, UK” by Dimitris Legakis. Documentary Shortlist.
“Cooling Off” by Andrew Skinner. Land Animal Shortlist. “A male tiger in Bandhavgarh National Park India was relaxing in a shady pool during the heat of the day where the temperatures in April and May can rise to 45C. The dappled light falling around the tiger created this lovely pattern leading you to the tiger gazing upwards.”
“Junction” by Lynn Hyde. Architecture Shortlist. “View of a road junction below the Burj Khalifa Tower in Dubai.”
“Jaws” by Irina Petrova Adamatzky. Macro Shortlist. “An artistic photo of an exoskeleton of a Brazilian salmon pink bird-eating tarantula Lasiodora parahybana made using three source of light with creative filters.”
“ABYSS” by Dominic Beaven. Fine Art Shortlist. “During lockdown studio photography was prohibited unless for commercial use. As a result remote photography gained a lot of popularity and models from around the world were advertising via various social media platforms. I have previously shot at this location in person so was well aware of the setup and contacted the owner to suggest he started running remote shoots. During the shoot I had full contact with both the studio hand and model so full control of every aspect of the shoot including lighting and full camera control, unfortunately as with all underwater photography there is no means of communication with the model when they actually underwater so once directions are given when they are surfaced it really is a case of just continuously shooting and hoping you get the shot you are after which I did in this shot.”
“Eau de Tulip” by Sienna Anderson. Land Animal Shortlist. “Taken in my garden at home on the Isle of Wight, I have developed a special trust and bond with these beautiful animals. They happily run over to greet me every time I leave the house.”
The awards highlight independent photography in the UK.
“Come to Me” by Faye Dunmall. Pets & Domesticated Animals Shortlist. “Border Collies are best captured in motion in my opinion! Although not easy to capture them running at full speed, when you do it really shows off their athletic bodies. The joy on this dog's face says it all!”
“Queen Elizabeth II's historic Platinum Jubilee Flypast” by Aaron Chown. Event Shortlist. “The Prince of Wales, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Louis holds his ears as he stands next to the Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Charlotte to watch a special flypast from Buckingham Palace balcony following the Queen's Birthday Parade, the Trooping the Colour, as part of Queen Elizabeth II's platinum jubilee celebrations, in London on June 2, 2022.”
“Post Pesto” by John Bowler. Food & Drink Shortlist. “Flat lay of all the ingredients of Pesto.”
“Dior Atelier of Dreams” by Jonathan Knowles. Commercial: Product Shortlist. “The Atelier of Dreams limited edition lipstick, featuring a motif redrawing the architectural lines of the emblematic facade of the House of Dior.”
“Cape Town (high)” by Thomas Watkeys. Self Portrait Shortlist. “High up above Cape Town, with nothing but the wind for company. To the inexperienced, this looks to be an adrenaline filled moment – but in such moments, one finds nothing but a calming, blissful peace.”
“Ashley, James, Elara” by Sujata Setia. Portrait Shortlist. ” Ashley is a successful model and an advocate for families that have a limb different member. Since his accident, James has worked with Japanese gaming giant Konami to personally design and develop his own advanced bionic arm – earning himself the nickname Metal Gear Man. Since then, he's become a speaker, BBC presenter and model. They have the most beautiful 2-year-old daughter Elara, who truly is a ray of sunshine. Their Photoshoot was the very first in my series #changingtheconversation and it was disturbing to realise, how myopic my own horizons of understanding humanity were when I interacted with them. I kept telling them they inspire me. I kept saying that I feel like my life’s woes are nothing in front of theirs and yet they celebrate life more than I ever would. In essence I was using them to alleviate my own life’s misgivings which is just such a questionable way of drawing inspiration from anyone.”
“Open Wide” by Gina Goodman. Water Life Shortlist. “Immersing in a Mackerel school is one of the most mesmerizing experiences, particularly when trying to capture them in an image. Much of your success depends upon you ability to read their feeding pattern and rhythm. To capture this shot I spent a number of hours over the course of a week learning how the school moves and figuring out how to intercept them.”
The public is being asked to cast their vote for the People's Choice Award.
“Coastal Capillaries” by Hugo Healy. Drone Shortlist. “This image represents the vital systems our planet needs to survive. Rivers and streams supply our ecosystems with the water they need to live and thrive. The life blood of our planet. Similar to the capillaries in our own body, complex and entwined systems that support life. Moving the oxygen and vital nutrients we need.”
“On The Dotted Line” by Hugh Rawson. Street Shortlist. “A lone figure in a bar at night is a classic image to me. I love the isolation of the figure in this image which is redolent of Edward Hopper's ‘Nighthawks'.”
“Cathedral Reflections” by Tom McNally. Sports Shortlist. “Home to many classic Lake District rock climbs, Cathedral Quarries are a network of abandoned slate workings, one of these being a huge underground cavern. I'm fascinated by contemporary interactions with these post-industrial spaces and had noticed the potential afforded by the impressive reflections in the pool several years ago. With the assistance of fellow climbers Adam Hocking and Will Jackson it was great to finally create this image, particularly as it also appeared to be an unrecorded (and therefore possibly new) climb.”