Thursday, 17 December 2009

Landscape Photographer of the Year 2009

Take it from me, even if landscape photography isn't your thing, this show is well worth a visit. Together with Ben Potter & Helen Atkinson, we took a party of photographers to this show as part of our London Photo Walk on 11th December - there are some stunning images and it is a fine source of inspiration.

© Andy Aitchison

Here's the official press release:

The official opening of the ‘Landscape Photographer of the Year 2009’ exhibition
took place last night (10 December) at the National Theatre after an Awards ceremony and private view. Organised by Take a view, this year’s competition was co-sponsored by Natural England and the English National Park Authorities.

On this crisp, winter evening, a selection of incredible photographs from the exhibition was projected on to a massive exterior wall above the National Theatre, lighting up the South Bank in a perfect marriage of rural and urban landscapes.

Evan Davis, from Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme, presented the Landscape Photographer of the Year 2009 award and a £10,000 prize to Parisian-born, Emmanuel Coupe, for his stunning view over the Isle of Skye.

The Young Landscape Photographer of the Year award was won by Jon McGovern for his photo of a wheat field in Derby. His twin brother, James, was also highly commended for his nostalgic black & white image of children playing by the pond in his local park.

Natural England’s special prize, for the best Landscape on your Doorstep, was won by Nigel Hiller for his evocative photograph of Hebden Bridge. Presenting the award to Mr Hillier, Poul Christensen, Chair of Natural England, said: “This fantastic new exhibition shows the huge pleasure that people take from the natural world. Natural England would like to heartily congratulate the winners, all the entrants and the organisers for bringing together this vibrant visual record of our natural riches. Let’s look after our landscapes so others can enjoy taking
photographs of them in years to come.” Nigel Hillier expressed his delight at receiving the award: “I am thrilled to win the Landscape on Your Doorstep prize. I took the shot as a diversion from my day job as a commercial/editorial photographer, so it is great to get recognition for my personal work. I’m delighted that an image of my hometown, Hebden Bridge, won. The town is extremely popular with photographers, so to capture an image that stands out from the rest can be quite a challenge! The photo has since been made into a greetings card and is proving very popular with the local community.”

The English National Parks Award was won by Chris McIlreavy for his dramatic image, taken on Christmas Day, from the summit of Blencathra in the Lake District National Park. Narendra Bajaria, Chair of the English National Park Authorities Association, presented him with an award and commented on the extremely high calibre of all the entries. Narendra said: “The photographs and exhibition are truly inspirational and a real call for people to get out and enjoy National Parks - Britain’s Breathing Spaces. It is fitting that the exhibition should
open in the very month that we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Act that brought us National Parks.” Narendra continued: “These landscapes don’t come about by chance. They are the result of millions of people, over centuries, shaping the land. Today they sustain our mental and physical health and help create jobs and support rural communities. And of course, the UK’s fifteen national parks provide a bounty of very different photographic possibilities.” Charlie Waite, one of Britain’s best-loved landscape photographers and founder of Take a View, said of the evening: “For me, the opening night celebrations embodied the crucial importance of our living British landscape. The images, their meaning and everyone’s huge appreciation of them, resonated out from the National Theatre, across the city of London and far beyond.”

Nicholas Crane, presenter of Coast, who was the special guest at the first year of the Awards, was also in attendance, together with mountaineer, Alan Hinkes, the first British man to climb all 14 mountains in the world exceeding 8000m.

Exhibition details:


Take a view – Landscape Photographer of the Year 2009 Exhibition

In association with Natural England & the English National Park Authorities


With over 100 beautiful landscape images printed on the Epson Stylus Pro 9900, using the latest Epson inkjet technology


Admission free


Dates: 5th December 2009 - 24th January 2010


Times: Open Monday to Saturday, 9.30am to 11pm, all year round (except for Bank Holidays) and on a number of Sundays from noon to 6pm (check NT website

for dates).


Venue: Lyttelton Foyer, National Theatre, South Bank, London SE1 9PX


020 7452 3000

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