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."

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This competition is the first and only competition Max Rive has entered. (Photo: Max Rive/The International Landscape Photographer of the Year)

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 for me."

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Photographer Adam Gibbs from Canada won second place. (Photo: Adam Gibbs/The International Landscape Photographer of the Year)

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.

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Third-place winner Huibo Hou from the U.S. submitted black and white photographs. (Photo: Huibo Hou/The International Landscape Photographer of the Year)

Huibo Hou won third place for his black-and-white photographs showcasing various dessert scenes.

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Max Rive captured this image in Patagonia on the Argentinian side. (Photo: Max Rive/The International Landscape Photographer of the Year)

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.”

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Zsolt Andras Szabo from Romania won second place for his individual photograph. (Photo: Zsolt Andras Szabo/The International Landscape Photographer of the Year)
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Theo Bosboom won third place in the individual photograph category. (Photo: Theo Bosboom/The International Landscape Photographer of the Year)

The competition also held several special awards for categories that focused on different landscape settings. Those winners are listed below.

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Cristiano Xavier from Brazil won the 'The Abstract Aerial Award.' (Photo: Cristiano Xavier/The International Landscape Photographer of the Year)
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Alex Nail from the United Kingdom won 'The Mountainous Award.' (Photo: Alex Nail/The International Landscape Photographer of the Year)
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Marcio Cabral from Brazil won 'The Long Exposure Award.' (Photo: Marcio Cabral/The International Landscape Photographer of the Year)
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Cosmin Stan from Romania won 'The Snow & Ice Award.' (Photo: Cosmin Stan/The International Landscape Photographer of the Year)
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Stephen King from Hong Kong won 'The Exemplary Tree Award.' (Photo: Stephen King/The International Landscape Photographer of the Year)