The nominees are in for the Societies of Photographers 2017 Photographer Of The Year Awards – and they are breathtaking.
Almost 8,500 images, featuring desperate refugees reaching out for help, stunning wildlife and a rather nail-biting image of a raging bull have been organised into 26 categories for the prestigious awards.
The photographs were captured all over the world, although British photographers did well, especially when it came to animal and wildlife photographer.
Terry Donnelly from Liverpool came second for this dramatic shot of a motorbike crash.
Taken during a race in Cheshire, Donnelly said: ‘The motorcycle shot was from Oulton Park, when a rider had lost control of the motorbike and slid into the run off area and become detached from the motorbike. ‘The rider was unhurt and quickly stood up and walk away, which is a testament to the safety of UK race circuits and their designs.’ (SWNS)
After just losing out on victory in the Sports category, Donnelly wins the Nature category thanks to a hungry barn owl.
Usually a photographer in Sport, PR and architecture, Donnelly said: ‘The barn owl photograph was taken on a local farm close to where I live whilst I was testing the focussing ability of the latest Sony A9 camera. ‘Owls are beautiful animals in flight and although graceful, cover a lot of ground quickly so you need to be fast with the camera.’
Italian-born Kitty Cohen won the travel category with her aerial image of New York, snapped from the 32nd storey of a hotel at 5am on an August morning. The banker who lives in France said: ‘I was trying to catch NY waking up at sunrise with yellow cabs and delivery tracks around St Patrick Cathedral.’ (SWNS)
This close-up monochrome image of a golden eagle just about to touch down on the ground was taken by Norwegian Bjorn Stuedal.
Snapper Bjorn, 51, said: ‘The picture was taken in Dalen, Telemark in Norway. I have spent quite some time in this area, capturing images of eagles. Norway has around 2000 of this large bird, and the Telemark region is one of the best places to photograph it.’ (SWNS)
An image of a hungry pine marten baring its teeth, about to eat a mouse, in Cairngorms National Park earned Scot Lenny Smith the top spot in the Wildlife category. The professional photographer from Morayshire said: “Although my main genre of photography is wedding photography I am passionate about wildlife and nature. ‘I had been trying to get an image of a pine marten for years but never expected to get one as good as this.’ (SWNS)
In the Media and Documentary section, Kiwi snapper Ross Grieve who now lives in Pembrokeshire came second with his picture of a Muslim man walking near Brick Lane in London’s east end. (SWNS)
Photographer Jaime Mezquaida was awarded second place for his dramatic image of a man being flung into the sea by a bull in Denia, Southern Spain.
Jaime, 36, from the town between Valencia and Benidorm, said: ‘We have our local Bulls in the Sea festival. ‘It is held in July in honour of the patron of the city and in memory of the monk Pedro Esteve who according to legend, in 1633 saved the city from the plague’ (SWNS)
A model in other-worldly make-up and body paint, captured by American photographer Erich Caparas came close to winning in the Advertising and Commercial section.
The 58 year old from Florida said: ‘This shot was taken for Scandinavian Makeup Academy in Bangkok. It was a part of the students’ final exam for the academy. ‘My job for this was to properly interpret the concept through lighting, composition, and posing in a way that it showcased the makeup and the model to their very best.’ (SWNS)
This incredibly detailed shot of a Malaysian soldier ant earned photographer Kuttub Uddin, of West Sussex, first place in the Macro and Close Up section of the Society of Photographers end-of-year awards.
This calming image of a fisherman’s hut in Malacca Straits, Malaysia, earned photographer Chan Onn Fong the top of the Landscape category.
The 73-year-old from Kuala Lumpur snapped the shot as a storm was approaching. (SWNS)
Third place in the Media and Documentary section went to Darrin Zammit Lupi for his emotive image of panicked refugees attempting to reach safety after a migrant ship capsized in the Mediterranean.
Darrin, 49, a professional photographer who lives in Malta spent three days with the crew of the rescue boat Phoenix, documenting their battle to save the lives of migrants. He said: ‘Through my lens I saw two people going under. One stretched out a hand towards me from about four metres away. ‘The rescuers jumped in and saved both. I put down my cameras and helped pull some on board.’ (SWNS)