Sunrise shot of Callanish Standing Stones wins Historic Photographer of the Year

History Hit Historic Photographer of the Year 2023
(Image credit: Josh Dury)

History Hit, the acclaimed podcast and content platform founded by historian Dan Snow and recently acquired by digital content studio Little Dot Studios, has unveiled the winners of the 2023 Historic Photographer of the Year competition. This annual event challenges photographers to explore and capture the most captivating historic sites in never-before-seen ways. 

The Historic Photographer of the Year, in partnership with Historic England, is open to amateur and professional photographers over the age of 18 and living in the UK. The overall winner will receive a £250 (approximately $314 / AU$478) cash prize and category winners will be awarded £50 ($63 / AU$96). The Historic England category winners will also receive up to £100 ($125 / $AU191) worth of books from the Historic England imprint.

Windy Post Cross, Dartmoor - Historic England winner (Image credit: Scott Macintyre)

This year's overall winner was Josh Dury from Bath, with his mesmerizing photograph of the Callanish Standing Stones on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland's Outer Hebrides. [Josh is unaffiliated with DCW but is an employee of our parent company, Future plc.] Philip Mowbray described the image as a gorgeous scene with a mythical, otherworldly element, while Melissa Roth highlighted its evocative nature as an ode to ancient human history and a symbol of hope and renewal.

Securing victory in the Historic England category is Dorset photographer Scott Macintyre, for an enchanting, slow shutter capture of Windy Post Cross on Dartmoor, Devon. Claudia Kenyatta, judge and director of regions at Historic England, praised the image for brilliantly capturing the deep connection between the wayside crosses and Dartmoor's historic landscape.

Auschwitz-Birkenau, Poland - World History winner (Image credit: George Anthony Fisk)

George Anthony Fisk, based in Whitstable in Kent, claimed first place in the World History category with a thought-provoking image of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Taken from the perspective of the victims looking back toward the famous Birkenau gates, this image is a stark reminder of the bleak and brutal atrocities faced by European Jews during the Holocaust. Dan Snow describes it as, "A clever shot that makes us think differently about a hauntingly familiar site."

Also on the judging panel was Andrew Hepburn from The Times, Philip Mulbray from Picfair, and Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Marissa Roth. Together they meticulously reviewed over a thousand images, selecting the winners over a three-week period based on originality, composition, technical ability and historical impact.

Little Moreton Hall, Cheshire - shortlisted entry (Image credit: Chris Green)

"The creativity and talent displayed were unparalleled, spanning diverse disciplines from landscapes to urban and aerial photography," reflected Dan Snow. "Witnessing the fusion of past and present through these lens masterpieces has been inspiring."

Alongside the overall and category winners, 34 images were selected for the shortlist showcasing some of Britain's ancient structures. These include Little Moreton Hall, a 16th-Century moated half-timbered manor house; Porthcawl Lighthouse, standing against towering waves; and the dilapidated West Pier in Brighton. All shortlisted images can be viewed on the History Hit website.

Didcot Heritage Railway - shortlisted entry (Image credit: Ron Boon)

Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol - shortlisted entry (Image credit: Matthew Harris)

Why not also check out the best cameras for landscape photography, and the best lenses for landscapes to pair with them. If you're looking for a bargain, make sure to take a look at the best Black Friday camera deals

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.