Wigan photographer wins coveted national award

"Ice Spikes" by Pete Rowbottom
"Ice Spikes" by Pete Rowbottom

A Wigan's photographer's shot of shards of ice on a bitterly cold morning in Glencoe has scooped the top prize in this year’s Landscape Photographer of the Year Award.

Pete Rowbottom, from Springfield, beat thousands of entries to win the £10,000 top prize in the 12th year of the competition for his “emotionally strong” image of icy water in front of the mountain Buachaille Etive Mor.

The 44-year-old took the winning shot in the Scottish Highlands on a freezing morning in February.

A blizzard on Derbyshire’s High Peak and a dramatic black and white shot of a fisherman on the rocks at Porth Nanven, Cornwall, were among the category winners in the competition.

An aerial view of terraced houses in Bristol and a delicate close-up of holly leaves in Edinburgh also topped their category.

Awards founder and landscape photographer Charlie Waite said: “The numerous strong diagonal lines of the ice fractures in Pete’s image echo the shape of Buachaille Etive Mor in the background and have peaks of their own.

“You can’t take your eyes away from the relationship between the mountain and the ice; it is visually very strong and has a mathematical precision.

“The cold of the mountain and ice together contrast well with the amber of their surroundings.

“This is an image where you can hear and feel the landscape, as well as see it, so it is emotionally strong and involves the viewer on multiple levels.”

Josef FitzGerald-Patrick, 17, from near Land’s End, Cornwall, won the Young Landscape Photographer of the Year title for his picture of a mountain biker in action on the coast.

His shots of the dramatic coast around Land’s End and Porthgwarra also helped him to win two of the four categories for young photographers in addition to scooping the main prize.

Special awards were won by shots of a storm wave, atmospheric woodlands in the morning, an ethereal image of Daymark beacon in Devon and heather blooming above Buttermere in the Lake District.

* A free exhibition of winning entries will be held on the Balcony at London Waterloo station from Monday November 19 for 12 weeks before going on tour to selected stations nationwide.

There will be a full interview with Pete Rowbottom in this week's Wigan Observer