I'm thrilled to be able to say that I have had two images make the final gallery in this years Outdoor Photographer of the Year competition, both in the "At Waters Edge" category.
The below image from Reynisfjara Beach in Vik, Iceland has been commended, and also features in this months Outdoor Photography Magazine showcase of the competition.
Many congratulations to the 35 photographers who had their images featured in the magazine showcase, there is some truly inspirational work throughout each category. Huge congratulations to Robert Birkby, the overall winner of the competition, what a fantastic image! I think it covers everything about Outdoor Photography that we all love and stride to achieve - getting outside with the camera and capturing a unique moment during extremely challenging conditions.
Let's just go back to that number one more time - 35 images - from 20,000 entries across the world. Wow! That really just shows what an honour it is for my work to be included, the initial shortlist was so strong that I had no real expectation of making the final cut.
For me also it is especially satisfying, as much of my work has a distinctly "abstract" approach, and I worry that my images don't always have that intitial "wow" factor - they concentrate on finer details, so for the judges to appreciate my work really gives me that confidence boost to continue shooting these types of images.
The second image that made the final gallery is the below image, which makes up part of my "Fathom" project, and also was one of the 15 images in my succesful Royal Photographic Society ARPS distinction panel.
The project focuses on using "Intentional Camera Movement" to create ethereal seascape images, from my personal favourite corner of the U.K, Cornwall.
Before I end, I would like to just say a few words about photography, the community (especially on Twitter) and the past year. Worming my way into the fringes of the Twitter photography community was one of the best things I have done to improve my photography in the past year. I have found such a large community of talented photographers who inspire me every day, and challenge me to produce better work.
The past year has been particulary challenging for my own mental health, for reasons I may touch upon in a future post, and having photography as a hobby and passion has helped me to get through to the other side, so to have success in a competition of this stature is the icing on the cake.