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Win Historic Photographer of the Year and turn a great archive shot into $685/£500 in cash!

Historic PotY 2021 launch listing image
Two shortlisted images from 2020 Historic Photographer of the Year: ‘Taj Mahal’ by Farhan Khan, and ‘Avebury’ by Mathew Browne (Image credit: © Farhan Khan; Mathew Browne/Historic Photographer of the Year)

The 2021 Historic Photographer of the Year Awards is open now – enter your best archive photos to be in with a chance of winning a $685/£500 cash prize. 

Open to amateur and professional photographers around the world, the competition runs until 19 October 2021, at 23:59 GMT [19:59 EDT/18.59 CDT/16.59 PDT]. 

Historic Photographer of the Year celebrates the very best historic places and cultural sites across the globe, from obscure little-known gems to the most popular national treasures. 

And with varying travel restrictions in place across the world, the competition organisers are calling for entries already captured – rather than asking entrants to head out and explore anew. 

Historic PotY 2021 launch image 2

‘The Brighton Palace Pier’ by Michael Marsh, overall winner in 2020 (Image credit: © Michael Marsh/Historic Photographer of the Year )

Images can be entered in two categories: Historic England; and Where History Happened, in association with Sky History. 

As the name suggests, Historic England is limited to images of that country. 

Entries should be “… inspired by the beauty, breadth, and brilliance of England’s history,” states the competition website, “… real rare and rousing sights which best describe who the English people are and where they have come from.” 

In contrast, Where History Happened is a global category, and the judges will be looking for “sensational shots of locations that have witnessed fascinating moments from history.” 

“It need not be a moment that changed the world; it could equally be something that had an important impact on local or social change.” 

Click here to enter Historic Photographer of the Year now! 

‘Palmyra, Syria’ by Martin Chamberlain, winner of the Where History Happened category in 2020 (Image credit: © Martin Chamberlain/Historic Photographer of the Year)

Official partners for the 2021 awards include History Hit TV, a multi-channel history network led by historian and broadcaster Dan Snow; the leading broadcaster Sky History; the Association For Historical And Fine Art Photography; and Historic England. 

The overall winner of Historic Photographer of the Year will receive £500/$685 in cash, and have their work showcased on the official competition website. 

Each category winner will also receive their own “unique money-can’t buy experience.” 

Entries will be judged on originality, composition and technical proficiency, alongside the story behind the submission and its historical impact. 

‘St Basil's Cathedral, Red Square, Moscow’ by Dmitry Bogdanov, shortlisted in 2020 (Image credit: © Dmitry Bogdanov/Historic Photographer of the Year)

Meet the 2021 Historic PotY judging panel

  • Dan Snow, the broadcaster and historian;
  • John Hanke, CEO of Niantic Inc and co-founder of Google Earth
  • Claudia Kenyatta, director of regions for Historic England
  • Dan Korn, VP of programming at Sky History
  • Matt Emmett, award-winning heritage photographer
  • Marina Amaral, author and leading historic digital colourist; and 
  • Kira Zumkley, chair of The Association for Historical and Fine Art Photography

Overall winner of the 2017 awards, Matt Emmett, said: “With photographers combing through their archives, last year saw a fantastic array of entries covering everything from ancient Roman cities to Victorian piers and picturesque medieval churches. 

“We’re now laying down the gauntlet for this year’s awards to challenge entrants to match and even better those astonishing images. 

“Historic Photographer of the Year shines a light on the history that exists all around us, opening our eyes to the wonders that sit on our doorstep, and we want people to tell the story of these fascinating landmarks through their sensational photography.”

Enter Historic Photographer of the Year today!

‘Tillya-Kari Madrassa, Samarkand, Uzbekistan’ by Jean-Claude Thelen, shortlisted in 2020 (Image credit: © Jean-Claude Thelen/Historic Photographer of the Year)

Submitting images to the 2021 Historic Photographer of the Year Awards is free.

Click here to enter Historic Photographer of the Year now!

Entrants will need to provide a short commentary in the “Tell us about your photo” section. They may also select which – if any – of the categories they may wish to enter. 

For full terms and conditions, see the competition website

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Niall Hampton

Niall is the editor of Digital Camera magazine and has been shooting on interchangeable lens cameras for two decades, and on various point-and-shoot models for years before that. 


Working alongside professional photographers for many years as a jobbing journalist gave Niall the curiosity to also start working on the other side of the lens, and these days his favored shooting subjects include wildlife, travel and street photography, plus dabbling with studio still life.