The 7th International Landscape Photographer of the year 2020

WORDS: Peter Eastway PHOTOGRAPHY Supplied

Professional and amateur photographers worldwide were invited to enter the seventh International Landscape Photographer of the Year competition for a chance to share in the prize pool, including US$10,000 cash. From over 3800 entries from around the world, the winner of the seventh International Landscape Photographer of the Year (based on a folio submission of at least 4 images) is Kelvin Yuen from Hong Kong.

Kelvin Yuen is a landscape photographer based in Hong Kong. “I’m 24 years old and I’ve been taking photos for six years since borrowing my cousin’s camera for a hiking day trip to Lion Rock Peak. “There was no particular reason for going, Lion Rock Peak is just a mountain in my backyard and I’d never visited it. This was also my very first time hiking above the clouds and the view from the peak really inspired me. I fell in love with nature. “For a person like me, who grew up in a city (Hong Kong), this walk opened a whole new world to me.

Since then, I have spent most of my free time in the mountains, exploring the spectacular views of nature. And after graduating from university in 2018, I have been able to travel around the world and have become a full-time professional landscape photographer.”


Kelvin uses a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV camera for his landscape photography. “It can deal with harsh shooting conditions such as extremely low temperature and heavy rain. “Most of my wide-angle images are taken with a Laowa 12mm f2.8 lens and I love the distorted perspective it creates. I also use Sigma’s 14mm f1.8 for night photography, plus there’s a Tamron 15-30mm f2.8 and Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 which cover most of my requirements. I find the image stabilization of both lenses provides a lot of flexibility when shooting in conditions where it is hard to set up a tripod. “However, most of the time I am using a tripod to ensure I get the best image quality.” For longer shots, Kelvin takes along Tamron’s 70-200mm f4 zoom, which is lighter and smaller than an f2.8 lens of the same focal range, reducing the weight he’s carrying when hiking. “I also shoot aerials with a DJI Mavic 2 Pro. Its CMOS sensor produces high-quality files, even in low light conditions. It can also deal with most weather conditions, including light rain and low temperatures.” When shooting long exposures to capture the motion of water or clouds, Kelvin uses H&Y neutral density filters (ND 8/64/1000) and he carries his camera and camping gear in a 35 litre hiking backpack. “I love the high capacity and flexibility of the hiking backpack, which allows me to pack up all my stuff in a short time.”

Kelvin says that over the years, he has developed a personal post-production workflow for colour control and atmosphere creation. “I use Adobe Camera Raw to adjust the main aspects of my file, such as tone and colour. Then after this rough adjustment, I drag the photo into Adobe Photoshop to manage the details. I always use dodging and burning to highlight the foreground or the main subject, to enhance the attraction of what I want to present in the photo. Also, vertical panoramas are one of my favourite techniques, as some perspectives cannot be captured with a single shot”. “What I like the most about landscape photography is that it gives me a chance to understand myself.

Working outdoors, I need to deal with many uncertain conditions – for example, shooting without sleeping, shooting inside a storm, exploring areas without a path and even dealing with a car that gets stuck! These challenges have improved my problem- solving skills and give me an opportunity to reach a place I never expected I could in my life. “In the future, I will continue creating a my different perspectives, both around the world and here at home in Hong Kong. I want to use my personal style to show the nature side of Hong Kong, because it’s not just a city.

“For photo competitions, the International Landscape Photographer of the Year award has been my only focus for the past four years. I’ve studied the past winners’ works and I believe ILPOTY presents the highest standard of landscape photography in the world. It fits with
what I am doing – and I also want to know how my work stacks up under its high standard judging panel.”

The top 101 is the result of expert opinions collaborating to curate a wonderful exhibit of the world’s best contemporary landscape photography. Our thanks go to:
-David Burnett, co-founder Contact Press Images, USA
-Tim Parkin, ON LANDSCAPE Magazine Editor
-Oleg Ershov, 2019 International Landscape Photographer of the Year
-Kaye Davis, NZIPP Grand Master of Photography
-Jim M Goldstein, Fine Art Photographer and Author, USA

Chairman of Judges, Peter Eastway says;
“As our annual award grows with over 3800 entries this year, so does the range and diversity of subjects, locations and styles. Landscape photography is a powerful medium, even more so when we acknowledge the impact of climate change and our footprint on this Earth.
“So, should landscape photography highlight the global challenges that lie ahead if we don’t change our ways, or is it an opportunity to create a landscape of the imagination, perhaps a better place to be?
“Fortunately, there isn’t a single answer to this and similar questions and each photographer is entitled to follow their own path. All we’re looking for is an engaging image – and images that communicate something seem to gain more attention.
“The International Landscape Photographer of the Year Award 2020 again presents 101 incredible landscape photographs with a truly international flavour, representing photographers and locations from all around the world.
“The Award has two main prizes. The Photograph of the Year is awarded to the best single landscape photograph, while to be named International Landscape PhotographER of the Year requires a set of four amazing images. The latter is our main prize, acknowledging the
additional skill and artistry required to produce a portfolio of landscape photographs.
“While our prizes are attractive, of initial importance for most entrants is to earn a place in the book, to present one of the top 101 landscape photographs of the year.
“We’re sure you’re about to enjoy the seventh edition of our annual award – and the best international landscape photographs of 2020.”

For all the details and winners, and the top 101 images, please visit the website and

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