Entering photography competitions is a great way to focus your work on something, narrow down your best photos and potentially gain recognition from a wider audience – plus, it's fun!
You don't need one of the best professional cameras to do well in contests, but you do need to avoid common mistakes like not reading the rules. It feels like there are more photography competitions popping up every day, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing, as it gives photographers at all levels a chance.
This year, we've seen the landmark contests such as the Sony World Photo Awards and Landscape Photographer of the Year and now Lloyds Bank in the UK has announced the winners of its 2022 photography competition, with the theme The Great British Outdoors. Amateur photographers across the UK were encouraged to submit photographs that showcased the beauty and diversity of Britain’s outdoor spaces and entries could be made via Lloyds Bank’s Facebook and Instagram pages.
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Leo Caldecott was the overall winner, for his photo of the Radical Steps in Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria. It's more unusual for portrait orientation landscapes to do well in competitions, but this could be a marker of how content is now shared across social media and smartphones, in a vertical format.
This was the first time that Leo had entered a photography competition, so he was unsurprisingly thrilled to win. "To consider me in your top five, when entering my first ever photography competition, was a privilege," he says. I stumbled upon [the steps] by chance, when the conditions were in my favour; a slight coating of water on the steps themselves and the lighting made for a perfect opportunity. By dropping the view low, I ensured that the viewer’s eye would be led up the steps into the distance. This fulfills my aim with any of my photography – to engage the audience, tell a captivating story, and create conversation."
Leo only purchased his first camera a year ago and has found a passion for capturing the British countryside. Leo has won a getaway for two nights for two people in the Peak District, and an iPhone 13 Pro.
Second place went to Arron Tucker for his stunning photo of a fishing boat in Corpach, Fort William. Rob Bates took third prize, with his beautiful image of a sunset in the Peak District. Both have won a Sony A6000 Camera and a Jessops photography experience voucher.