20 award-winning landscape photos that capture natural beauty around the world

Oleg Ershov/The International Landscape Photographer of the YearOleg Ershov won Photographer of the Year for his set of four photos.


“Fleswick Bay, England” by Oleg Ershov

Oleg Ershov/International Landscape Photographer of the YearThe International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2019 — First Place.

Russian photographer Oleg Ershov won the first place prize for Landscape Photographer of the Year.

To be considered for this category, entrants had to include at least four different shots in their submission. The first image in his set features a photo of a stone in the sand, taken in Fleswick Bay, England.

“My passion for landscape photography is based on a love of nature, especially in places where human intervention is not yet visible,” Ershov said in a statement to the awards committee. “Just being in a location at dawn and watching the start of a new day gives me tremendous vitality.”


“Bláfellsá, Iceland,” by Oleg Ershov

Oleg Ershov/The International Landscape Photographer of the YearThe International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2019 — First Place.

Another one of Ershov’s photos captured the textured sand patterns that formed on a glacier river in Iceland.

“My interest in photography began in 2007 when I bought my first DSLR camera and signed up for a photo tour to the Southwestern United States,” Ershov said. “I was struck by the tremendous variety of landscapes, colours, and textures found in nature. Since then, I spend all my free time improving my skills and knowledge in landscape photography. I usually spend six weeks to a year on photo trips – sometimes in groups, often on my own.”


“Kerlingarfjoll, Iceland” by Oleg Ershov

Oleg Ershov/The International Landscape Photographer of the YearThe International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2019 — First Place.

The following photo in Ershov’s series shows an aerial view of a mountaintop in Iceland shrouded in mist. The photographer said that some of his favourite locations for capturing landscape shots include Iceland, Scotland, and parts of the Southwestern United States.

“I always return to my favourite places because this allows me to get to know the country better and to find new scenes and places to shoot,” he said. “When I immerse myself in a familiar environment and slow down the pace, my productivity increases many times over.”

“For example, I have been to Iceland 15 times and it took me 10 years to make my first photo book, but the second book only required two visits in 2019 and it turned out even better than the first,” Ershov added.


“Haifoss, Iceland” by Oleg Ershov

Oleg Ershov/The International Landscape Photographer of the YearThe International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2019 — First Place.

This photo, which was also included as part of his series, is a vertical shot of the Háifoss waterfall in southern Iceland.

Ershov believes that a photo is only good when it’s hung on a wall, so he focuses on creating images that would look exceptional as large prints.

“I make the prints myself on an Epson SC-7000, so megapixels and attention to details are important to me,” he said.


“Badain Jaran Desert, China” by Yang Guang

Yang Guang/The International Landscape Photographer of the YearThe International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2019 — Second Place.

Chinese photographer Yang Guang won second place in the Landscape Photographer of the Year category for his four photos that were taken in the Badain Jaran Desert in China.

The first landscape photo in the collection shows a white blanket of snow that partially covers the dark desert sand. You can also see a wilted tree in the distance.


“Badain Jaran Desert, China” by Yang Guang

Yang Guang/The International Landscape Photographer of the YearThe International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2019 — Second Place.

This photo in Guang’s set captured the blue and green colours of a starry night sky with a few scattered clouds above the desert. The photo also focuses on the ripple texture of the desert’s sand.


“Badain Jaran Desert, China” by Yang Guang

Yang Guang/The International Landscape Photographer of the YearThe International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2019 — Second Place.

In another variation of Guang’s desert photos, a single fluffy white cloud is the focal point.


“Badain Jaran Desert, China” by Yang Guang

Yang Guang/The International Landscape Photographer of the YearThe International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2019 — Second Place.

For the last photo in his series, Guang photographed a stunning scene of a snow-covered desert. White clouds stand out against a blue sky in the middle of the image.


“Hoh Rainforest, Washington, USA” by Blake Randall

Blake Randall/The International Landscape Photographer of the YearThe International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2019 — Third Place.

Canadian photographer Blake Randall won third place in the International Landscape Photographer of the Year category for his versatile collection of photos.

In the first one, Randall travelled to the Hoh Rainforest in Washington state to capture an impressive image of trees covered in overgrown moss.


“Stanley Park, BC, Canada” by Blake Randall

Blake Randall/The International Landscape Photographer of the YearThe International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2019 — Third Place.

In Stanley Park, located in British Columbia, Canada, Randall captured a fairytale-like image of a uniquely curved tree in a forest.


“Bella Coola, BC, Canada” by Blake Randall

Blake Randall/The International Landscape Photographer of the YearThe International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2019 — Third Place.

Randall captured this photo on a mountaintop in Bella Coola, located in British Columbia, Canada. It shows a view of a waterfall and snowy mountains that are set against a golden sky.


“Grizzly Lake, Yukon, Canada” by Blake Randall

Blake Randall/The International Landscape Photographer of the YearThe International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2019 — Third Place.

For this image, Randall travelled to Grizzly Lake in Yukon, Canada, where he photographed a dark scene of the area’s valleys and mountains. The light illuminates the blue lake seen at the bottom of the picture.


“The Harvest of Road Salt” by Magali Chesnel

Magali Chesnel/The International Landscape Photographer of the YearThe International Landscape Photograph of the Year 2019 — First Place.

French photographer Magali Chesnel won first place in the International Landscape Photograph of the Year category with her single picture of the Salin de lîle Saint Martin, a salt marsh in Gruissan, France. On Instagram, the photographer said she used a drone to capture the award-winning photo.

“I thought it would create an amazing abstract aerial photo, with the white of the salt contrasting against the bright pink colours, thanks to the proliferation of a red alga, the Dunaliella salina,” Chesnel said in a statement. “From the ground, this scene doesn’t look glamorous at all, but from a bird’s eye view, it becomes unexpected, beautiful, and like a painting.”


“Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean” by Sander Grefte

Sander Grefte/The International Landscape Photographer of the YearThe International Landscape Photograph of the Year 2019 — Second Place.

Grefte took this image while in Bonaire, a small island off the coast of Venezuela. The surreal landscape shows a vibrant pink salt lake contrasted against several white pyramids made entirely of salt.


“Sharqiya Sands Desert, Oman” by Peter Adam Hoszang

Peter Adam Hoszang/The International Landscape Photographer of the YearThe International Landscape Photograph of the Year 2019 — Third Place.

Hoszang journeyed through the Sharqiya Sands Desert in Oman to capture this photo of the sand dunes at night.

In an Instagram post, Hoszang said he “woke up at 3 a.m. every night to go out and shoot the rising Milky Way” that’s seen in the photo. He also noted that while the scene looks innocent, the desert was actually a challenging landscape that required him to “climb nearly 100 meters high and very steep dunes in the pitch dark at night.”


“West Mongolia” by Ricardo Da Cunha

Australian photographer Ricardo Da Cunha received the Wildlife in Landscape Award for his photo that captures a passing snowstorm in the mountains of far west Mongolia. The category is part of a group of special awards, which was a unique addition to this year’s competition.


“Erotic Flower” by Ignacio Palacios

Palacios’ photo was taken in Brazil’s Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, according to a post on the photographer’s Instagram page.


“Central Balkan, Bulgaria” by Veselin Atanasov

Atanasov captured this image in the Central Balkan National Park in Bulgaria. The image, which won the Snow and Ice Award, features tall trees surrounded by snow.


“Madeira, Portugal” by Anke Butawitsch

This photo, taken by Butawitsch, focuses on a single tree in Madeira, Portugal.


“SpaceX rocket exhaust plume, Sierra Nevada, California, USA” by Brandon Yoshizawa

Yoshizawa captured a SpaceX rocket launch, photographing its exhaust plume over the Sierra Nevada mountains in California. His efforts earned him the Heavenly Cloud Award.

According to an Instagram post from the photographer, this photo was a “once-in-a-lifetime shot” that became one of his favourites from the launch. In the post, Yoshizawa said that the plume resembled a flower.

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