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The International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2020 - Second Place Joshua Snow, USA
The International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2020 - Second Place Joshua Snow, USA (Image credit: Joshua Snow, The International Landscape Photographer of the Year)

Kelvin Yuen from Hong Kong has won the seventh International Landscape Photographer of the Year contest – plus a prize of US$10,000 cash.

Professional and amateur photographers from around the were invited to enter the 2020 competition for a chance to share in the prize pool. From over 3800 entries, it was Kelvin who wowed the judges with his folio submission.

Kelvin started taking photos at 18 when he borrowed his cousin's camera for a hiking trip. He soon fell in love with nature, and has been capturing landscape photos for the last six years. He became a full-time pro after graduating in 2018.

Kelvin wanted his submission to show the natural side of Hong Kong. Winning the competition was no lucky strike, either. "The International Landscape Photographer of the Year award has been my only focus for the past four years. I’ve studied the past winners’ works and I believe ILPOTY presents the highest standard of landscape photography in the world.” 

Mars,. Utah, Captiol Reef NP (Image credit: Kelvin Yuen, The International Landscape Photographer of the Year)

Magical Night, Norway, Tromsø (Image credit: Kelvin Yuen, The International Landscape Photographer of the Year)

Flow, Scotland (Image credit: Kelvin Yuen, The International Landscape Photographer of the Year)

Alien Landscape, Dolomites, Italy (Image credit: Kelvin Yuen, The International Landscape Photographer of the Year)

Kelvin's winning kitbag

Kelvin uses a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV camera for his landscape photography. “It can deal with harsh shooting conditions such as extremely low temperature and heavy rain. 

"Most of my wide-angle images are taken with a Laowa 12mm f/2.8 lens and I love the distorted perspective it creates. I also use Sigma’s 14mm f1.8 for night photography, plus there’s a Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 and Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 which cover most of my requirements. I find the image stabilization of both lenses provides a lot of flexibility when shooting in conditions where it is hard to set up a tripod."

For longer shots, Kelvin takes along Tamron’s 70-200mm f/4 zoom, which is lighter and smaller than an f/2.8 lens of the same focal range, reducing the weight he’s carrying when hiking. 

“I also shoot aerials with a DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone. Its CMOS sensor produces high-quality files, even in low light conditions. It can also deal with most weather conditions, including light rain and low temperatures.” 

When shooting long exposures to capture the motion of water or clouds, Kelvin uses H&Y neutral density filters (ND 8/64/1000) and he carries his camera and camping gear in a 35 litre hiking backpack.

Kelvin has developed a personal post-production workflow for color control and atmosphere creation. “I use Adobe Camera Raw to adjust the main aspects of my file, such as tone and color. Then after this rough adjustment, I drag the photo into Adobe Photoshop to manage the details."

Other winners

Beyond, Mount Ranier National Park, Washington. Joshua Snow, USA, second place winner (Image credit: Joshua Snow, The International Landscape Photographer of the Year)

The roots of Eternity, Matterhorn seen from Grindjisee, Zermatt, Valais, Switzerland. Isabella Tabacchi, Italy, Third Place winner (Image credit: Isabella Tabacchi, The International Landscape Photographer of the Year)

International Landscape Photograph of the Year

This is the second major prize, representing a single best image

Life Stream, Highlands, Iceland.  (Image credit: Kai Hornung)

Coexistence, Near Lomangnupur Mountain, Southern Iceland (Image credit: Dipanjan Pal)

Hanksville Utah Sunset, Hanksville, Utah (Image credit: Chance Allred)

See the top 101 landscape photographs

The overall objective of the International Landscape of the Year competition is to have your photograph feature in the final book – just 101 of the nearly 4000 entries are rewarded with this honour.

Find more information on the competition and see the rest of the images on the official website.

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