US photographer Alex Noriega has won the third International Landscape Photographer of the Year competition for his portfolio of four images.
Noriega is a landscapes and nature photographer, and previously won the USA Landscape Photographer of the Year competition and the Epson Pano Awards Photographer of the Year. He uses a Nikon D600 with Nikkor 16-35mm f4, 50mm f1.8, and 70-200mm f4 VR lenses.
In terms of post-production, he uses Adobe Camera Raw, Lightroom and Photoshop.
‘I’ve developed my own set of techniques over the years that are completely non-destructive, allowing me to go back and make changes at any step in the process. This allows me to hone the images very precisely,’ he said.
‘Most of the processing, aside from fixing imperfections, is centred around creating or emphasising certain atmospheres, through the use of light and colour. Although I try to finish every image with the care required to make large prints, I do acknowledge that the vast majority of viewers will only ever see them digitally, so I am very mindful of my web output as well.’
Noriega continued: ‘I do not shoot on assignment, I simply pursue the images I want to and teach other photographers how I do it. I want to continue finding my own unique images that represent my love of certain landscapes and moods, and to continue exploring North America. As long as I’m making new images that excite me, business and career advancements will follow.’
The photographer came first in 2394 entries. He will receive a cash prize,a trophy, and will feature in the International Landscape Photographer of the Year Awards 2016 Book.
Coming in second is Australian landscape photographer Kath Salier, followed by Belgium photographer Peter Poppe in third.
The International Landscape Photograph of the Year, chosen for single image, was taken by South African photographer Hougaard Malan.
‘I’m fortunate to have two of the world’s most amazing landscapes on my doorstep; the Namibian Desert and South Africa’s Drakensberg mountain range,’ he said. ‘I try to visit both these iconic areas each year, as well as exploring something new.’
His winning photo was taken in the latter location.
In terms of shooting technique, Hougaard tries not to be too dependent on a wide-angle lens and red skies, as he says this is just an excuse to neglect composition.
‘I’m always searching for striking lines and shapes and when I find them, then I will try to wait for complimentary light. What I really love about the Drakensberg is that you can get as many great shots in midday light as you can at sunrise and sunset.’
The competition chairman of judges, Australian landscape photographer Peter Eastway, said the competition strives to celebrate both forms of the art, alluding to ‘real’ and ‘illustrative’ approaches.
‘Landscape photographers are passionate about their art,’ Eastway said. ‘For some, it’s the time spent in the landscape, waiting for the perfect light or an amazing sky. For others, it’s what they can conjure from their imagination without the restrictions of the natural world.’
The competition was judged by David Burnett, Jim M Goldstein, Luke Austin, Kaye Davis, and Tim Parkin.