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Stunning Outdoor Photographer Of The Year 2014 Winners

Stunning Outdoor Photographer Of The Year 2014 Winners

Stunning Outdoor Photographer Of The Year 2014 Winners

You know that nice shot you took on one of your rare trips into the great outdoors? Delete it. Put it out of its misery before you compare it to the category winners of 2014's Outdoor Photographer of the Year competition.

Whittled down from over 10,000 entries from around the world, the esteemed judging panel has selected winners for each of the competition's seven categories. The winning photographers come a variety of backgrounds, from Canada to Australia, each with a unique story behind their images. 

With the overall winner to be announced on 15 February at the Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show, you'll have to pick your own favourite from the following shots.

Craig Parry (Australia) - Humpback Whale, Tonga

Underexposed winner

"I captured this image in Tonga in the South Pacific. Using a small aperture, I was able to keep the sky in focus as well as the humpback whale. I used an Aquatech underwater housing with a fisheye port that enabled me to split the image under and over the water’s surface."

Greg Whitton (UK) - Southern Highlands, Iceland

Light on the land winner

"After a long week of hiking in the southern highlands of Iceland, it was our last night of wild camping. We pitched our tents below a minor peak, and the view from the top was incredible. Thick cloud to the west was all but blocking the sun, however, so, rather dejected, I began to descend to camp after waiting several hours at the top. After about 50 metres of descent across loose vegetation and rock a small gap in the clouds suddenly appeared, and along with the changing azimuth of the sun they combined to gloriously illuminate the landscape. The light lasted no longer than a few minutes, and I was fortunate to find some kind of foreground element to compose the vista against. There was no time for filters, and only just enough time to erect the tripod, compose and fire bracketed exposures all on instinct."

Johannes Klapwijk (Netherlands) - Butterfly at Sunrise, Netherlands

Small world winner

"I love to photograph insects in the early morning because of the wonderful atmosphere around sunrise. The idea grew in my mind to capture a butterfly opening up to catch the warmth of the first rays of sun. It took some time to find the right location that matched with the pre-visualised image in my head. I visited this particular place multiple times in search of subjects before both the weather conditions and the subject were perfect."

Josiah Launstein (Canada) Age 10 - Bighorn Sheep, Alberta, Canada

Young Outdoor Photographer of the year

"Rocky Mountain bighorn rams do battle in the lower slopes of the Rocky Mountains in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada. I love Bighorn Sheep, so I jumped at the chance to go out with my dad and big sister looking for rams to photograph. I was going to follow my dad towards some bigger rams he spotted, when I heard these guys head-butting at the edge of the forest. There wasn't much light left so I had to use a higher ISO to freeze the action, but I'm glad I was able to capture this picture just as they rammed into each other!"

Sandi Bertoncelj (Slovenia) - Ski Touring, Slovenia

Live the adventure winner

"The weather conditions were extraordinary that day on 2104m Vajnež mountain in the Karavanke Alps in Slovenia. When we arrived on skis under the saddle we were confronted with a heavy windstorm. The sunbeams were penetrating through the thin clouds and the spindrift. I wanted to capture the sense of struggle involved as the heavy gusts tried to throw us off balance. After taking the shot, it was just another 500 metres to where there was some shelter from the wind, and from there we decided to continue our expedition to the summit."

Shaun Walby (UK) - River Wharfe, Yorkshire Dales

At the water's edge winner

"The river Wharfe has it origin in the upper northern Yorkshire Dales, and it narrows considerably at a place known as ‘the Strid’ on the Bolton Abbey estate. There was a lovely thick fog that particular morning. I got to work quickly as the light and weather conditions were changing rapidly. It was the combination of elements within the scene that raised my interest level as soon as I looked through the viewfinder. Golden autumn leaves on the ground balanced the heavy damp air and foliage, and the central river merging with the fog in the distance provided a sense of depth. I chose a long shutter speed to soften the water movement and to instill a sense of time. The ever-strengthening autumn sun filtered by the fog provided wonderful diffuse light."

Stefan Gerrits (Netherlands) - Arabian oryx, United Arab Emirates

Wildlife insight winner

"Unlike the story of so many other species, the reintroduction of the Arabian oryx into the wild, after the species went extinct in the wild in the 1970s, is a success. There are now over 1,000 individuals living in the wild. I have been living in the United Arab Emirates for some years, and been into the desert many times to find and photograph the elusive Arabian oryx. On this particular day, I witnessed a scene I had been dreaming of. I drove the 4x4 carefully into position and placed the oryx at the edge of the viewfinder to reflect the sense of emptiness in the desert. I converted the image to black & white to convey the beauty of this desert dweller in the most optimal and simple way."

(Images: used with permission from Outdoor Photography of the Year 2014)