2018’s Best Outdoor Shots Are A Breath of Fresh Air

It’s time get impressed by the winners of the Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2018 competition. Just like every year, the results are a sweet mix of landscapeswildlife, nature and adventure images, so who wouldn’t want to be part of it?

The contest is now in its eighth year and this round saw a record number of entries – over 20,000 in all, taken by professional and amateur photographers from over 60 countries, including Australia, Canada, Italy, South Africa, Spain, the UK and the USA. Each of the Outdoor Photographer of the Year’s category winners receives a £500 Fjällräven Award, and the Overall OPotY winner bags a £2,000 prize pot.

Is there an Indoor Photographer of the Year contest? If not, why not? While you ponder that, take a look at the winner and category winning images from this year’s OPotY competition below, which range in location from the waters of French Polynesia, to the wetlands of Louisiana and the wrestling pits of Varanasi, India; there are striking images from the face of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, and even the underwater caves of the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico.


© Robert Birkby

This year’s overall winner went to Robert Birkby’s of the UK, whose shot of a herd of sheep huddled in a snowstorm in the South Pennines, Yorkshire, was also the winning image from the ‘Light on the Land’ section. There’s no denying the outdoorsiness of this shot and the photographer who took it. Robert shot it on a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 lens, at 1/500sec, f/8 and ISO 400.


© Stefan Gerrits

This shot from Stefan Gerrits won the ‘Small World’ section and features the mountain apollo (Parnassius apollo) butterfly one of the first species of insects to be protected by law in Finland due to its declining numbers. Stefan shot this with his Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L Macro IS USM lens, with an exposure of 1/80sec, f/7.1 and ISO 100.


© Greg Lecoeur

OPotY’s ‘Live the Adventure’ winner came from France’s Greg Lecoeur, and was shot in Rangiroa, French Polynesia. Greg travels to the different oceans of the planet to photograph marine life, but here he focused on visitors to the seas – surfers. His image of a surfer beneath the waves was shot on a Nikon D7200 with Tokina 10-17mm lens in a Nauticam underwater housing at 1/250sec, f/9, and ISO 200.


© Greg Lecoeur

The ‘Under Exposed’ section of OPotY was also won by Greg Lecoeur, and was shot in the Shetland Islands. His winning image features an otter on the lookout for a crustacean-based lunch. Again Greg used his Nikon D7200 with Tokina 10-17mm in a Nauticam underwater housing, this time firing two Ikelite DS160 underwater strobes. The exposure was 1/250sec, f/9, and ISO 200.


© Salvador Colvée Nebot

The ‘Wildlife Insight’ winner was by Salvador Colvée Nebot of Spain, and features a common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) using dead agave flower plants as a perch from which to access a waterhole. Salvador used a Nikon D500 with Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 lens, shooting at 1/800sec, f/5.6 and ISO 2000.


© Matt Parry

The ‘Spirit of Travel’ award was won by Matt Parry of the UK, for his shot taken in Varanasi, India. The picture features 64-year old SiyaRam hanging from the beams above a wrestling pit, in the middle of doing stomach crunches as part of an intense warm up routine. Matt used a Sony A7 III with 24-70mm f/2.8 GM lens, shooting at 1/100sec, f/2.8 and ISO 100.


© Tom Putt

The ‘View from Above’ winner was from Tom Putt of Australia, and features the sand dunes of the Namib Desert where black minerals are brought to the surface by the heat of the sun, producing stunning colours. Tom used a Pentax 645Z with 75mm lens, shooting at 1/750sec, f/6.7 and ISO 200.


© Roberto Marchegiani

In the ‘At the Water’s Edge’ category, the winner was Roberto Marchegiani of Italy, for his image taken at Lake Martin, Louisiana. Featuring a solitary cypress tree in the mists of the wetlands, he used a Nikon D850 with Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, shooting at 1/320sec, f/7.1 and ISO 160.


© Roberto Marchegiani

Last but not least, the Young OPotY winner also went to Italy’s Riccardo Marchegiani, this time shot in the Simien National Park, Ethiopia. His image features the gelada monkeys which live mainly in the Simien Mountains exploring the slopes every morning and returning to the caves at sunset. For this shot, Riccardo used a Nikon D800E with Nikon 16-35mm f/4 lens, along with a Godox vi860 flash. The exposure was 1/160sec, f/6.3 and ISO 100.

Title image © Alex Wrigley.