It's that time of year again where photographers from all over the world are recognized for their outstanding imagery.
The International Photographer of the Year honors professional photographers who have years of experience. The organization chooses to award these photographers as opposed to amateur photographers who may have gotten lucky with a "killer image." Photographers must submit at least four photos to demonstrate their skill and versatility.
This year's overall winner is Max Rive from the Netherlands. Rive began taking photos in 2008 while hiking during a mountain trip. From that excursion, his passion for photography was born.
"I gradually became more serious as a real landscape photographer when I started sharing photos on the internet and became inspired by the work of others," Rive said in his submission. "and by 'real' landscape photographer, I mean using tripods, filters, bigger cameras and waiting for days at a spot to get the shot."
Rive said the greatest influence on his photos is light. "I try to take away that distraction by making the overall image very dark, but keeping the more important compositional elements of the image bright. However, using this approach, it is important to maintain shadow detail in the darkest parts of the image."
Rive said photography gives him an added sense of purpose when he goes hiking in the mountains.
"With photography, you take home something more than just memories. I think it is the
combination of traveling, experiencing new things and being in the outdoors on the one
hand, while working on something and leaving a part of your spirit and vision behind in the
form of art on the other hand, that makes landscape photography the perfect combination
The overall second place winner was Adam Gibbs. He submitted this beautiful snowy landscape photo. He also entered several other photos with different settings from a lake by a mountain to inside a glacier.
Huibo Hou won third place for his black-and-white photographs showcasing various dessert scenes.
Rive is the first photographer to win first place in the International Photographer of the Year and International Photograph of the Year competition.
His winning individual photograph (seen above) was taken in Patagonia towards the end of a six-week trip.
"The trip to Patagonia allowed me to have my mind focused on other things. I lived in my own world, with no ‘nowaday distractions’, only the mountains and nature around me. It was a time when I could let my visions, ideas and ambitions grow inside my head.”
The competition also held several special awards for categories that focused on different landscape settings. Those winners are listed below.