Professional and amateur photographers worldwide were invited to enter the 8th International Landscape Photographer of the Year competition for a chance to share in the US$18,000 prize pool, including US$10,000 cash.
From over 4500 entries from around the world, Aytek Çetin from Turkey was crowned the winner of the 8th International Landscape Photographer of the Year (based on a folio submission of at least 4 images). According to Aytek Çetin, Cappadocia in Turkey is a truly magnificent place. And as the 2021 International Landscape Photographer of the Year, no doubt he’s thinking it’s even better now.
Writes Aytek, “The 60-million-year-old story of fairy chimneys and the fact they have been home to different civilizations for tens of thousands of years, makes Cappadocia extremely mysterious for me. If you are lucky, you can visit there during hazy, atmospheric conditions with a soft light pushing through at sunrise or sunset.”
These were exactly the conditions in which Aytek shot his cleverly framed study of the three fairy chimneys at sunrise on a winter morning. “The reason I chose this location is because I love the excitement inside me when the sun first hits the fairy chimneys and how it makes me feel like I’m living in the bronze age.”
Of course, to win the International Landscape Photographer of the Year requires more than one great shot, the award being based on a portfolio of four entries – and the judges agreed that all of Aytek’s photographs have a wonderful excitement and a special mood surrounding them.
Aytek Çetin was born and raised in Ankara, the capital of Turkey. “I graduated from the department of sales management at university and for many years, I worked as a store manager for luxury Italian clothing brands.
“I used to go to the sea for my limited holidays, but after repeating the same kind of trips for years, it was starting to lose its meaning for me. Then I decided to do something different, to dive deeply into nature.
“I started to explore remote, mountainous regions and experiencing the energy of the mightiest entities of nature, left me deeply impressed and awakened a love for nature within. An interest in photography followed as a result and has now turned into a passion!
The winner of the 8th International Landscape Photograph of the Year (awarded for a single image) is Tanmay Sapkal from the USA.
“I strongly believe that art should only be bound by the imagination of its creator. In landscape photography, there’s an ongoing debate about composites verus natural shots. I think there’s a place for all types of art and there’s no point wasting time and energy berating one or the other. The greatest joy comes from your own experience of creating a photograph, whether in the field or while post-processing it. As long as you are open about the creative process, it should be your choice what you want to create.”
Tanmay Sapkal’s common sense approach to photography has no doubt helped him capture the 2021 International Landscape Photograph of the Year award for the best single image.
The winning photograph was taken on Mt. Tamalpais, located in Marin country, just north of San Francisco. “It is quite a special place for photographers as it stands above the local landscape which is engulfed in low coastal fog almost every summer evening. After shooting there tens of times over the last four years, I realised that I really liked the way fog looks when it is lit from underneath. I also realised that the comet would become visible in the north west sky, so I started planning this shot.
“It wasn’t possible to line up the comet exactly above the foreground I wanted, so I decided to take two separate exposures. It took a couple of visits to get just the right amount of fog on the hills to create the dreamy setting and then I waited patiently for some cars to drive by and create a blanket of light under the fog.
“After shooting for more than a few hours that night, my friend and I hurried back down to the car. Little did we know that parking on the mountain after sunset meant getting a parking ticket! But now, in my opinion, it’s the best $80 I have ever spent on parking! Ha ha!”
Tanmay describes himself as a 29-year-old amateur landscape photographer, working as a hardware design engineer for Apple. However, he spends most of his free time exploring the landscape of western United States and beyond.
For all the details and winners, and the top 101 images, visit www.internationallandscapephotographer.com
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