Image copyright Greg Whitton 2015
After a long week of hiking in the southern highlands of Iceland, it was our last night of wild camping. We pitched our tents below a minor peak, and the view from the top was incredible. Thick cloud to the west was all but blocking the sun, however, so, rather dejected, I began to descend to camp after waiting several hours at the top. After about 50 metres of descent across loose vegetation and rock a small gap in the clouds suddenly appeared, and along with the changing azimuth of the sun they combined to gloriously illuminate the landscape. The light lasted no longer than a few minutes, and I was fortunate to find some kind of foreground element to compose the vista against. There was no time for filters, and only just enough time to erect the tripod, compose and fire bracketed exposures all on instinct.
Fuji X-T1 with XF10-24mm lens at 10mm, ISO 200, 1/10sec at f/11, -0.33EV, tripod, post-processing in Lightroom, exposure recovery for foreground, highlight recovery, clarity and curves, post-process linear and select radial grad, minor dodging and burning, sharpening appropriate to Fuji RAF file
Image Copyright Shaun Walby 2015
The river Wharfe has it origin in the upper northern Yorkshire Dales, and it narrows considerably at a place known as ‘the Strid’ on the Bolton Abbey estate. There was a lovely thick fog that particular morning. I got to work quickly as the light and weather conditions were changing rapidly. It was the combination of elements within the scene that raised my interest level as soon as I looked through the viewfinder. Golden autumn leaves on the ground balanced the heavy damp air and foliage, and the central river merging with the fog in the distance provided a sense of depth. I chose a long shutter speed to soften the water movement and to instill a sense of time. The ever-strengthening autumn sun filtered by the fog provided wonderful diffuse light.
Image Copyright Stefan Gerrits 2015
Image Copyright Sandi Bertoncelj 2015
The weather conditions were extraordinary that day on 2104m Vajnež mountain in the Karavanke Alps in Slovenia. When we arrived on skis under the saddle we were confronted with a heavy windstorm. The sunbeams were penetrating through the thin clouds and the spindrift. I wanted to capture the sense of struggle involved as the heavy gusts tried to throw us off balance. After taking the shot, it was just another 500 metres to where there was some shelter from the wind, and from there we decided to continue our expedition to the summit.
Canon EOS 7D with EF 17-40mm f/4 L USM lens at 22mm, ISO 200, 1/800sec at f/20, Converted to black & white and cropped in Lightroom, adjustments to contrast, exposure and highlights
Image Copyright Johannes Klapwijk 2015
I love to photograph insects in the early morning because of the wonderful atmosphere around sunrise. The idea grew in my mind to capture a butterfly opening up to catch the warmth of the first rays of sun. It took some time to find the right location that matched with the pre-visualised image in my head. I visited this particular place multiple times in search of subjects before both the weather conditions and the subject were perfect.
Canon EOS 5D MkII with Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro lens, ISO 100, 1/1250sec at f/2.8, tripod, minor default post-processing including sharpening and subtle contrast enhancement via curves
Image Copyright Craig Parry 2015
I captured this image in Tonga in the South Pacific. Using a small aperture, I was able to keep the sky in focus as well as the humpback whale. I used an Aquatech underwater housing with a fisheye port that enabled me to split the image under and over the water’s surface.
Canon EOS 1DX with Canon fisheye 8-15mm lens at 15mm, ISO 800, 1/250sec at f/18, Aquatech underwater housing, post-processing included minor white balance adjustments, dodging and burning, exposure adjustments, sharpening
Image Copyright Josiah Launstein 2015
Rocky Mountain bighorn rams do battle in the lower slopes of the Rocky Mountains in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada. I love Bighorn Sheep, so I jumped at the chance to go out with my dad and big sister looking for rams to photograph. I was going to follow my dad towards some bigger rams he spotted, when I heard these guys head-butting at the edge of the forest. There wasn't much light left so I had to use a higher ISO to freeze the action, but I'm glad I was able to capture this picture just as they rammed into each other!
Nikon D7100 with Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4D IF-ED lens
with Kirk NC-300 lens collar, ISO 2800, 1/1250sec at f/4.5, Feisol CM-1471
Carbon Fiber Monopod with QRC-50 Quick Release Clamp, converted from Raw using
Phase One Capture One Pro 7, adjustments to tone and contrast in Photoshop CS5,
converted to black & white using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2, cropped to minimise
distraction from third ram in background
Image Copyright David Baker 2015
"I had followed a storm from Southampton to Southbourne. Usually these break up across the Isle of Wight, ensuring interesting weather at Southbourne.
I arrived a little early and the stormy weather can be seen gathering on the extreme left. The good thing about Southbourne is that there are undulations at the shoreline in the sand between the sea groynes, and these can produce absorbing sea trails. It was a case of choosing one of these and ensuring a shutter speed of 0.6 to two seconds to produce a pleasing wave pattern.
Despite the impending storm, I think there’s a sense of calm. The image sums my photographic life as a seascaper - sand, sea, and great light."
Canon EOS 5D MkII with 24mm TSE-II lens, ISO 50, 1.6sec at f/16, Lee Filters 0.9 ProGlass ND, Lee Filters 0.6 ND grad, Gitzo GT3530LS tripod with Really Right Stuff BH-55 ball head and Kirk L bracket
Robert McBride (UK)
Storm over Glencoe, Scotland
Scott Grubb (UK)
Climbing leopard (panthera pardus – captive), South Africa
Björn Billing (Sweden)
Spring flowers, Sweden
David Baker (UK)
Joshua Holko (Australia)
Mountain climbers, Antarctica
Gregory van den Top (Netherlands)
Black darter, Netherlands
2011 saw the return of OPOTY for the second year running, and the competition was fierce. The exhibition was held at the wonderful gallery of theprintspace, one of London's premier photographic printers.
It was a great evening for the opening night of the exhibition, with over 250 people coming along, including many of the category winners and the overall winner, Mark Sisson.
Image Copyright Mark Sisson 2015
"These American bison, ploughing through the deep snow in a heavy blizzard, were photographed during a trip to Yellowstone National Park, in the United States. As the weather worsened, this small group headed towards a hot spring area for a few degrees of extra warmth. They passed by, in their relentless manner, as I crouched on the road near my snow coach."
Canon 1D MkIV with 500mm lens, ISO 400, 1/200sec at f/5, Gitzo tripod and Wimberley head, manual focusing on account of heavy snowfall, black & white conversion in Capture One during Raw processing
Mark Sisson (UK), American bison, Yellowstone National Park, USA
Chris Robbins (UK)
Hornet returning to the nest
Mark Sisson (UK)
Sandhill cranes, Bosque del Apache, New Mexico, USA
Mark Bauer (UK)
The Old Pier, Swanage, England
Steve Ellaway (UK)
Trees in the mist, Denwick Wood, Alnwick, Northumberland
George Sanker (USA)
Pine tree, Grand Teton National Park, USA
Pierpaolo Mittica (Italy)
Cars parked by the tsunami, Fukushima 'No-Go Zone', Japan
David Mould (UK)
Loch Rusky, Scotland
George Karbus (Ireland)
Surfer, west coast of Ireland
Patrick Kearns (UK)
Tiger, Berlin, Germany
Joyce van Dijk (Australia)
Owen Springs Reserve, Northern Territory, Australia
Bertie Gregory (UK; age 18)
Raccoon, Vancouver, Canada
Image Copyright George Karbus 2015
"While sailing in the northern Atlantic, we spotted a large group of fast-moving common dolphins. I quickly attached a fisheye to my camera and got ready to jump into the water. Plunging in, I swam over to find a constantly moving bait ball herded by the dolphins, with Cory's shearwaters jostling to join the feast. I was in the middle of this oceanic banquet for 20 minutes. It was definitely my best experience on the high seas to date."
Nikon D300 with 10.5mm fisheye lens, ISO 200, 1/640sec at f/5, Aquatech housing
Craig Churchill (UK)
Red fox cubs, near Adderbury, Oxfordshire
George Sanker (USA)
Black bear (ursus americanus). Yellowstone National Park
Marijn Heuts (Netherlands)
Mycena species, Oirshot
Georges Karbus (Ireland)
Cory's shearwater, North Atlantic
David Baker (UK)
Hengistbury Head, Dorset
Graham Dunn (UK)
Curbar Edge, Peak District National Park
Duncan Andison (UK)
Mountains of Slovenia, from Triglav
Kerekes Istvan (Hungary)
The boy of Copsa Mica, Romania
Chris Gin (New Zealand)
Sunrise over Rangitoto Island, Auckland
Quintin Lake (UK)
Football and factories, Cubatao, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Senthil Kumaran Rajendran (India)
Bull running in south India
Alessandro Oggioni (Italy, aged 12)
Fox in snow, Italy