In a time when the public is increasingly skeptical about the veracity of what they see online, the Natural Landscape Photography Awards is a breath of fresh air. Thanks to a stringent set of requirements, you can rest assured that, in the case of this exceptional landscape photography, what you see is what you get.
Entrants are not allowed to add, remove, or distort significant elements from their images. They also can't combine images taken at different focal lengths or during different times of day. In order to verify the accuracy of the images, judges require that each photographer also submit their RAW files.
Even though the competition is only in its third year, it still received 11,176 entries from professional and amateur landscape photographers in 54 different countries. And the winners clearly demonstrate that heavy editing is not necessary to produce breathtaking images. Canadian landscape and nature photographer Blake Randall was named Photographer of the Year for his exceptional portfolio of work. From snowy rolling hills to detailed photos of the icy environment, Randall's photos rose to the top of the field.
“Since its inception, the NLPA awards have set the gold standard for landscape photography—preserving the authentic experience of capturing our planet’s unaltered natural beauty in contrast to the growing popularity of AI and computer-generated imagery,” Randall shared. “The images presented in the competition reflect the kind of photography I aspire to achieve, making this award extra special and something I will be proud of for the rest of my life.”
Proving that you don't need to be a professional photographer to win an award, Gabriel Stankiewicz‘s image of snow-hugged trees in Norway was named Photograph of the Year. Stankiewicz is a doctoral researcher in computational mechanics by day, and he came across the scene while snowshoeing in Norway.
While winter appears to dominate the top awards, there's also plenty of greenery to be seen across the contest's 10 categories. From stunning star trails to lush moss-covered forests, the winners showed off a wide range of landscapes. The winners shared in a prize pool that included $13,000 in cash prizes, as well as FLM tripods. Scroll down to see more winners and get inspired to know that AI has nothing on these talented photographers.