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N-Photo crowns the best Nikon photographer in annual POTY competition

NPOTY 2021
Elena Paraskeva's winning image of her godson (Image credit: Elena Paraskeva)

N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine’s search for the best Nikon photographer of 2021 is finally over. N-Photo Photographer of the Year 2021 consisted of 12 rounds and garnered over 10,000 entries. The winners of each round were pooled together to create a final shortlist, from which the overall photographer of the year was chosen. We’re therefore very pleased to announce that N-Photo’s Photographer of the Year 2021 is Elena Paraskeva!

A huge congratulations to the 11 other photographers listed below, who edged out hundreds of entries to win their respective rounds. 

The winning image topped the Winter round (N-Photo 132), where we praised its technical excellence and strong narrative. Elena tells us: “My entry is a portrait of my beloved godson. I specialize in portraiture and even though a contest about winter often brings images of grand landscapes, I thought a simple portrait of a child in the midst of a dark snowy night could evoke a different sentiment and really stand out.

"I’m a professional photographer, but when I was starting out, N-Photo was an essential guide for acquiring technical knowledge. So to have been chosen as Photographer of the Year is an honor and further validation. I often enter competitions just so I don’t get too comfortable. Exposing yourself to the criticism of others is grounding and highly constructive."

Congratulations Elena on your very well-deserved win. We hope you enjoy your grand prize, the coveted Nikon Z6 II (opens in new tab) mirrorless camera!

How to enter N-Photo Photographer of the Year 2022

NPOTY 2022 is already underway. 12 competitions will appear throughout 2022, and the overall N-Photo Photographer of the Year 2022 – and winner of the grand prize – will be crowned in the issue that goes on sale in January 2023. You can submit your entries to the current competition category via the link in the latest issue of N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine (opens in new tab). The very last category of the competition will be announced in the November edition (N-Photo 143). Good luck!

Each category winner will receive a £100 WhiteWall (opens in new tab) voucher and N-Photo's Photographer of the Year 2022 will win this year's grand prize, a Nikon Z fc + Z 28mm SE lens!

View the category winners of NPOTY 2021  

Still life category winner: ‘Past Their Prime’ by Candice Schempp Unlike the withering roses, the traditional aesthetic of this composition is timeless, as are the classic props used to complement the subject.  (Image credit: Candice Schempp)
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Portraits category winner: 'Floral Princess' by Wayne Kliewer The set design really pushes this image into the stratosphere. The flowers are beautifully arranged and the dress fits the princess narrative perfectly. (Image credit: Wayne Kliewer)
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Wildlife category winner: 'Humpback Breach' by Dwayne Towles This photograph of a breaching humpback in the Bahía de Banderas is the image everybody wants to come home with when they go whale watching. (Image credit: Dwayne Towles)
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NPOTY 2021

Flowers & plants category winner: 'Flower Beauty' by Dirk Fiers Focus stacking was used when shooting this beautiful flower to mitigate the shallow depth of field produced by the 105mm macro lens.  (Image credit: Dirk Fiers)

Macro category winner: 'Lady in Red' By Mustafa Öztürk The turquoise background complements the deep red ladybird and the soft lighting gently illuminates the insect’s glossy shell without causing any glare. (Image credit: Mustafa Öztürk)
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Urban category winner: 'City in the Fog' by Borisov Evgeny This cityscape has immortalized an incredible moment in time, while the subtle editing and thick fog creates a brooding dystopian atmosphere. (Image credit: Borisov Evgeny)
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Astro category winner: 'Field of Dreams' by garycphotography The night sky is beautifully defined and the Milky Way is centred, hanging above the lone tree in the foreground. Tractor lines in the wheat field lead the eye directly towards the tree, which stands as the only foreground object protruding above the horizon. Truly an image that’s out of this world!  (Image credit: Garycphotography)
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Aviation category winner: 'Mission Over' by Steve James The lighting and composition make this a great shot, but the addition of the pilot climbing out of the cockpit elevates it into something truly special. (Image credit: Steve James)
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Sports category winner: 'The Olympian' by Heinzorais The moment captured really elevates this photograph as Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz composes herself just before lifting the barbell. (Image credit: Heinzorais)
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Autumn category winner: 'Toadstool' by Mike Hudson This toadstool image was created almost entirely in-camera. The dream-like atmosphere pairs perfectly with fungi’s association with folklore. (Image credit: Mike Hudson)
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Abstract winner: 'Fish Patterns' by Sirsendu Gayen This incredible image was captured at a pet and plant market in Kolkata, India. The frame is filled with black and orange fish that contrast against the white background. A relatively slow shutter speed has been used to capture subtle movements, resulting in a watercolour effect. (Image credit: Sirsendu Gayen)
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N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine is a monthly publication that's entirely dedicated to Nikon users. As a 100% independent magazine, you can be assured of unbiased opinion from a trustworthy team of devoted photography experts including editor Adam Waring (opens in new tab) and Technique Editor Mike Harris (opens in new tab)


Aimed at all users, from camera newcomers to working pros, every issue is packed with practical, Nikon-specific advice for taking better photos, in-depth reviews of Nikon-compatible gear, and inspiring projects and exciting video lessons for mastering camera, lens and Photoshop techniques.


Written by Nikon users for Nikon users, N-Photo is your one-stop shop for everything to do with cameras, lenses, tripods, bags, tips, tricks and techniques to get the most out of your photography.