From over 4,500 entries, 100 images were selected for their quality in the 2021 International Landscape Photographer of the Year awards. This annual contest has been going strong for eight years; and this year, an incredible photo of the Comet Neowise as well as a portfolio of images from Cappadocia, Turkey, took home the top awards.
Tanmay Sapkal’s photograph of the comet falling down over Mount Tamalpais just north of San Francisco was singled out as the International Landscape Photograph of the Year. In the image, the fog rolls over the hills and creates the perfect atmosphere to take in the breathtaking shooting star. For Sapkal, landscape photography is a creative outlet that allows him to explore the world in his free time away from work as a hardware design engineer for Apple. His win proves that you don’t need to be a professional to take award-winning photographs.
The other top prize of International Landscape Photographer of the Year went to Aytek Çetin of Turkey. His portfolio of work was judged as superior by an expert panel of judges. Many of his dramatic images highlight the beauty of Cappadocia in central Turkey. “The 60-million-year-old story of fairy chimneys and the fact they have been home to different civilizations for tens of thousands of years makes Cappadocia extremely mysterious for me,” he shared. “If you are lucky, you can visit there during hazy, atmospheric conditions with a soft light pushing through at sunrise or sunset.”
Çetin found his passion for landscape photography after deciding to switch from his usual seaside vacations and explore the mountains. This change allowed him to fall in love with nature and his affection for the natural world clearly comes through in his photographs.
Aside from the top award winners, there are plenty of excellent photographs to view. From explosive volcanos in Iceland to wintery views of the forest, these images highlight the wide variety of landscapes around the globe. “I find it quite compelling that what drives one landscape photographer can be so different to another,” shares Chairman of Judges Peter Eastway. “For some, the capture of nature at its most wonderful is reward enough. In fact, these are the moments photographers live for, and being out in the landscape is often as enjoyable as capturing it with a camera.”