Dogs, as they say, are man’s best friend, so it’s no wonder so many of us choose to include them in our photography. Like any genre of image-making, the best of the best are recognised in annual competitions and the winners of the Dog Photography Awards have just been announced.
The competition attracted a high standard of entry, with elements of both fine art and action photography weaving together with pet portraiture. Taking first place in the Portrait and Landscape category was this ethereal frame by German photographer, Janine Ulbrich for this moody autumn scene, which includes the River Ruhr.
Second Place in the Portrait and Landscape category was awarded to another German photographer. This time Heike Willers took the prize for a thought-provoking frame captured at the beach. Heike commented; ‘I took this image during a visit of Amrum, one of the Northern Frisian Islands. My friend and her dogs accompanied us. We had a great time with our 4 dogs, exploring this beautiful place.’
Finally in the Portrait and Landscape category, the third place winner was named as Izabela Łysoń. Izabela commented; ‘13th August – sounds like an unlucky day, but not for me. This day I put my dog and myself onto the last plane from Poland to Norway, which was landing without the mandatory 10-day quarantine. I stood on Norwegian soil with tears of happiness in my eyes. It was time to make my dreams come true! Next few days I was traveling with my friend through eastern Norway. Two girls, three dogs, one big adventure. This picture was taken during our trip, while we were hiking on Prest mountain. Unexpectedly the sun came out from behind the clouds, so I threw all my luggage on the ground, took my dog (and my bravest model) Opium and started taking pictures so as not to miss this magical light.’
In the hotly-contested Action category, Chiara Hofmayer took First Place for this airborne image, which was captured using a Nikon Z7 paired with a Nikon 200mm f/2 lens and shows the Border Collie named Nio taking part in an agility class.
Another Border Collie helped Michelle Dawkins from the USA take Second Place in the Action category. The image was shot on a Nikon Z6 II and Michelle commented; ‘This is a photo of my Border Collie, Daisy, flying into the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. I had actually just purchased the Nikon Z6II the day I took this photo back in April. I went out with my dog just to test how precise the new focus was and to figure out some settings. I honestly didn’t want to get into the water because it was 35 degrees out, but I threw my dog’s Frisbee with my left hand and she went flying into the freezing cold water.’
Third place in the Action category went to Canadian photographer Jess Bell for this epic frame that captures a dog’s enjoyment of water set against some beautiful pastel skies.
Taking First Place in the Studio category was this shot by Swiss photographer Franca Lombardo that turns the cuteness up to 11. The image was captured using a Nikon D750 and Franca made use of a mobile studio backdrop.
Patrick Reymer from the Netherlands took Second Place in the Studio category for this distinguished image of his beautiful Beagle. Patrick commented; ‘This photo shows my Beagle, Kayne who passed away on March 18, 2019. The photo was taken exactly one year before his death. The confident demeanor and arrogance in this photo gives him the nickname Don Vito Corleone. His self-portrait on the wall is reminiscent of his father, from whom he learned all his tricks.’
Lastly, Third Place in the Studio category went to Brazilian photographer, Marcus Knoedt for this spectacular lighting masterclass that illuminated the stunning Afghan Hound and made the most of the dog’s long coat. The image was captured with a Nikon D500, paired with a 16-80mm 2.8 lens.