My entry The Valley Of Death was awarded 1st Prize in the Nature-Trees category at this year’s edition of the competition, and it was chosen as the overall winner of the Nature category. The winning series consists of five landscape photographs that I shot in my favorite country, Namibia.
When we first visited Namibia many years ago, few people had heard of the country, let alone seen pictures of it. Countless times I've heard comments like 'is this for real?' or 'that must have been photoshopped' every time I showed the pictures that I had shot of the surreal Namibian landscapes.
But things change. Over the past decade, Namibia has become a popular destination amongst landscape photographers from all over the world. As a result, there is a steady growth of images of this stunning country, and each year I visit Namibia it's getting more and more difficult to return with original shots.
And that's a good thing.
It has pushed me to try harder, to find new viewpoints, new perspectives, and to experiment with different techniques. This winning series is the result of that hard work, and I am extremely happy that it all paid off. I consider the IPA to be the most inspiring photographic competition on this planet, and I am honored to see my name amongst those of many great artists who have all raised the artistic bar with their photography.
This is one of the images from the series The Valley Of Death, featuring dead camelthorn trees in Deadvlei, shot on a rare foggy morning. The other four images from this series I've already posted here before, so you can see them in my 500px gallery.
I also won 1st Prize in the Nature-Other category with my entry Dwarfed, a series of landscape photographs shot at various locations, featuring small human figures in awe-inspiring scenery. And I won 2nd Prize with my entry Iceland in the Travel category, and 3rd Prize with my entry Close Encounters in the Wildlife category. More information on can be found on my blog.
As one of the eight category winners, I am still in the race to win the title International Photographer Of The Year. During the 10th Annual Lucie Awards ceremony on October 8, one of the finalists will be crowned overall winner, earning one of the coveted Lucie statues and a cheque for 10,000 USD. Unfortunately, I won't be able to attend the event as I will be in Zambia hosting our Beyond The Great Rivers tour, but please wish me luck!
If you would like to join me on our next Namibia workshop and learn how to take shots like this, please check out my website for more information, pictures and tour impression video clips:
Hope to see you there!
©2012 Marsel van Oosten, All Rights Reserved. This image is not available for use on websites, blogs or other media without the explicit written permission of the photographer.