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Outdoor Photographer of the Year winners revealed

Find out who was crowned 2018’s Outdoor Photographer of the Year and Young Outdoor Photographer of the Year

Image above: At the Water’s Edge – runner-up: Alex Wrigley

Robert Birkby, from the UK, has scooped the overall winning title in the 2018 Outdoor Photographer of the Year awards, as well as winning the Light in the Land category. Detailing his shot (below), near Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, Robert said: “Much of the higher ground in the South Pennines is relatively featureless, but these sheep had found shelter between a snowdrift and dry stone wall. The conditions during this storm were some of the worst I’ve encountered and the gale-force wind was driving snow straight at me. I used my trusty 50mm lens with its small front element, cupping my left hand around it as a makeshift lens hood. It was difficult to hold the camera still in the wind, so I used a fast shutter speed to keep things sharp and capture the falling snowflakes.”

Now in its eighth year, the Outdoor Photographer of the Year enjoyed the highest number of entries since it launched with more than 20,000 hopefuls entering the 2018 competition.
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Competition head judge Steve Watkins, editor of Outdoor Photography magazine, said: “The judges were blown away by the quality of work that we looked at this year. It shows that the world of outdoor photography is thriving like never before, thanks to the hard work, fresh thinking and deep passion brought by the photographers. There were so many outstanding images and it was incredibly tough to boil it all down to the final selection; those photographs just had an extra edge and impact to them, whether in terms of creative or technical expertise, or both. The competition is going from strength to strength, with the quality bar being raised each year.

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Riccardo Marchegiani, from Italy, won the Young Outdoor Photographer of the Year for his shot of the gelada monkeys in Simien Mountains National Park, Ethiopia.

He said: “The gelada monkeys are an endemic species to Ethiopia, living mainly in the Simien Mountains in groups that at night find shelter in caves located on steep slopes – some are more than 800m up. These monkeys are very photogenic both for the colour of their thick manes, which are similar to those of lions, and for their red breasts that look like hearts. Every morning they explore the slopes and then return to the caves at sunset.”

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Anya Burnell, from the UK, took the runner-up spot with her shot of Berry Head, Brixham, Devon.

She said: “I spotted this common blue butterfly perching on some dry wheatgrass ready to roost as the sun was setting. I set up low in the grass and cleared the area surrounding the subject so there were no distractions in front of the butterfly. Timing was crucial as there was only a brief moment when the sun aligned perfectly behind the butterfly. I really enjoy being among nature in the great outdoors, and this has inspired me to take many photographs of butterflies.”

You can see the full list of winners and find out more about the competition at opoty.co.uk 

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