With 2016 ending, we decided to launch a photo competition across Facebook and Twitter and invited photographers to send us photos that summed up their 2016. As the year has drawn to a close many of us look back at what the year brought us, what were our highlights, and what could we improve going into this year; so we thought it would be a great idea to find a photo that best sums up 2016.
We had a fantastic response, receiving numerous entries and the level of photography was phenomenally high. Choosing the best image was not easy so we decided to feature not only the winning image, but also the 4 runners-up!
The majority of the submitted photos focused on wildlife, architecture and landscape photography.
After some intense debating, the team came to a unanimous decision – a stunning image of a stag captured amidst a fog clearing in the early morning sunlight, by Max Ellis.
“I often refer to mornings like this as being better than Christmas as a kid. I get the same prickle of excitement when I see the frost and the mist filling the air as I used to do when I was looking at the presents under the tree. Rarely do the elements and wildlife combine in such perfect harmony as they did on this dawn.
It often takes quite a lot of manoeuvring to get you into the perfect position without spooking the stag and I was lucky that I seemed to be holding his attention here.
The light levels were perfect as the mist and tree line knocked the sunlight back enough to allow me to get so much detail in the foreground without having to pull the shot around. The sun rays coming through the mist just framed the animal perfectly. I went home very happy.”
Equipment: Nikon D4* , 70-200mm VR2
(*Please note: the Nikon D4 is no longer available and was succeeded in January 2016 by the Nikon D5)
“Wells is a fantastic place to photograph, from the cobbled streets to the amazing architecture. Vicars’ Close is quintessentially British and the oldest continually occupied street in It has remained unchanged for over 700 years! Because of this, the street is a popular destination for people visiting Wells, and it took a while before the crowds cleared (the start of some light rain helped) so I could take a photo in all its glory. I used the widest lens I had to be able to fit as many of the fantastic buildings in as possible and give an immersive sense to the photo that draws the viewer in.”
Eltz Castle, Germany:
“A passion of mine aside from photography is motorsport. For the last few years a group of friends and I have made the trip to the Nürburgring in Germany for a long weekend. I’ve seen photos of Eltz Castle, and knew it was in Germany but never looked into the exact location.
On the last trip, I decided to look up the Eltz Castle which happened to be a half hour drive from where we were staying! I convinced a friend to make the early morning trip and we arrived just after sunrise. The location is even more stunning in person than I was expecting! The sunlight came in through the trees and lit the castle perfectly. We managed to arrive before the Castle opened to the public so I could get a clear, tourist free photo.”
Equipment: Nikon D7000* , Sigma 10-20mm for Nikon
(*Please note: We now retail the Nikon D7100 as a successor to the Nikon D7000)
“I managed to venture out a lot more with my camera in the search for British wildlife, and these two were photographed together at Richmond Park.
The photo was taken on my Canon EOS 6D, at f5.6, 1/320 shutter speed and ISO 200.
It was my first time photographing the red deer of Richmond Park. It was also during the rutting season which made me a bit wary of the charging and bellowing stags coming from all directions.
Being stuck under a tree for a while, as it was raining, I was looking out at one particular stag and his harem. He had been bellowing since I arrived so this was the only time where he was resting and checking on his females. It was one female in particular where he showed his caring side which I believed to be quite a rare sight during such an intense time! It wasn’t long after I took this shot that he went back to charging at other stags getting too close to his harem so it was nice that I could capture an intimate moment between this stag and a doe that would normally be bypassed during the most active time of the rut season.”
“I took this image of the Milky Way over the Christmas break whilst on holiday in South Wales, UK. I arrived at the Green Bridge Cliffs around 8pm and set up for the shot. I already knew of the church and wanted to see if I could capture the Milky Way appearing over the building. The stars were amazing that night, just perfect for this shot. The settings I used to capture the stars were: 10 sec shutter speed, F2.8-70 at 24mm lens, ISO 2500. The church was in complete darkness so I used an LED torch to paint the building during the last 5 seconds of shutter time.”