Storm Eunice strikes a lighthouse hard in winning image from Weather POTY 2022!

Weather POTY 2022 winners and finalists
Storm Eunice (Image credit: Christopher Ison / Weather POTY 2022)

It's that time again when the popular photo competition, hosted by The Royal Meteorological Society, seeks to crown the best annual Weather Photographer of the Year, in association with AccuWeather. 

The title prize this year has been awarded to the photographer of a striking image titled Storm Eunice, captured last year in Newhaven, UK, that depicts towering waves imminently crashing into a faint lighthouse. 

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The annual Weather Photographer of the Year competition is the perfect way for photographers to get out there and experience the elements. Whether it's capturing rainbows or the rampage of a hurricane, some of the most mindblowing images can be celebrated in this prestigious competition, and not forgetting the cash prizes and gear that's on offer to be won by the selected winners and finalists. 

Photographer Christopher Ison has been crowned as the 2022 Weather Photographer of the year with his absolutely stunning shot of a delicate-looking lighthouse about to be encapsulated by humungous waves in the wrath of storm Eunice that swept the UK briefly last year. It was captured using his Canon EOS R5, with a 300mm lens, plus an x1.4 converter.

“When the storm was predicted, and it was carrying the first ever red warning for the south coast, I knew I had to find a spot to record it - this was going to be big! I got there reasonably early to find many photographers already drenched in rain and seawater, standing very close to the harbor wall," shares winner, Christopher Ison. 

He continues, "I decided to head to high ground and slightly further away with my back to the weather. I was rewarded with a set of images I’m very proud of.”

Frozen Niagara Falls (Image credit: Zhenhuan Zhou / Weather POTY 2022)

Second place runner-up for the Weather POTY title was Zhenhuan Zhou from Canada, with a striking image titled Frozen, depicting Niagara Falls covered in ice, and captured using a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.

In third place was Emili Vilamala Benito from Barcelona, Spain, with their image titled Ghost Under The Cliff that depicts the cliff of Tavertet in Barcelona, Spain, with the sun low behind and the valley of Sau covered with fog. The image was captured using a Sony A99 camera paired with a Zeiss 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. 

Ghost Under The Cliff (Image credit: Emili Vilamala Benito / Weather POTY 2022)

The title of Young Weather Photographer of the Year was awarded to 17-year-old Eris Pil from Pennsylvania, US, for her image titled Mammatus Sunset, which was captured using a Google Pixel 3 smartphone camera. 

The meteorological phenomenon shows rare Mammatus clouds, and the image was unanimously chosen by the judges as the winning shot and deserving of the young Weather POTY title. 

Mammatus Sunset (Image credit: Eris Pil / Weather POTY 2022)

When asked about his winning image, Eris said: “the sky was completely lit up in a way I had never seen before, like these beautiful backlit watercolor clouds, displaying these spectacular Mammatus clouds overhead. I love Mammatus clouds; this was my first time ever witnessing them. I hope I have the opportunity to see them again, and I’m excited to share what they look like with others”.

The Young Weather POTY runner-up was 14-year-old Shreya Nair from Trivandrum, India. Their image titled Tyndall Effect depicts light passing through a tree canopy in their back garden. Sunlight scattered by small particles in the air, such as dust or smoke particles, is known as The Tyndall effect. The image was taken using a Redmi Note 9 Pro.

Tyndall Effect (Image credit: Shreya Nair / Weather POTY 2022)

Capturing the weather and climate in their most vivid and dangerous forms, these photographers have truly demonstrated their commitment and talent in the process of creating and capturing these images. Entries for this year's edition of Weather POTY were received from 119 different countries, shortlisted, and selected by a panel of esteemed international judges. 

In addition to the overall winner and Young Weather Photographer of the year, there was also a Mobile Phone category winner, as well as a Public Favorite winning image, whereby 22 shortlisted images were put to a public vote. 

With almost 5,500 votes cast for the finalists, representing 15 countries, the public winner was photographer Jamie Russell from the Isle of Wight with an image titled Departing Storm Over Bembridge Lifeboat Station.

Departing Storm Over Bembridge Lifeboat Station. (Image credit: Jamie Russell / Weather POTY 2022)

The Mobile Phone Weather Photographer of the Year was awarded to Aung Chan Thar from Myanmar, with their beautiful image of a sunset. The judges commented that the way the quality of the light affects the atmosphere is just lovely, and the sun disappearing behind the clouds seems to form an interesting planetary relationship with the golden globe structure in the foreground, captured using a Vivo X70 Pro Plus.

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Runner up from the same category was photographer Vince Campbell from Penrith, UK. His image titled Scotch Mist depicts a beautiful misty scene at Tarbet, Loch Lomond, where he was walking his dogs on a very early morning. The image was captured using a Samsung Galaxy J5 smartphone.

Sunset (Image credit: Aung Chan Thar / Weather POTY 2022)

A huge congratulations to the winning photographers, who will receive one year’s free membership to the Royal Meteorological Society, as well as £500 ($571/AU$879 approximately) in cash, a Canon SELPHY CP1300 printer, a copy of Weather-A Force of Nature: Spectacular images from Weather Photographer of the Year, a signed copy of Smart Photos by Jo Bradford for the public vote winners of each category. 

Scotch Mist (Image credit: Vince Campbell / Weather POTY 2022)

You should also take a look at the best waterproof cameras and the best cameras for hiking and backpacking. And don't forget the best waterproof jackets for photographers, as well as the best action cameras

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Beth Nicholls
Staff Writer

A staff writer for Digital Camera World, Beth has an extensive background in various elements of technology with five years of experience working as a tester and sales assistant for CeX. After completing a degree in Music Journalism, followed by obtaining a Master's degree in Photography awarded by the University of Brighton, she spends her time outside of DCW as a freelance photographer specialising in live music events and band press shots under the alias 'bethshootsbands'.