2023 Competition Results & Gallery - Natural Landscape Photography Awards

2023 Competition Results and Gallery

Below are the results of Year 3 of the Natural Landscape Photography Awards!
This gallery showcases the photographs chosen by our judging panel. Each image’s RAW file has been vigorously checked to ensure it meets our unique rules. Pre-order the Year 3 book today!

Photographer of the Year, Winner

Blake Randall

“I am deeply honored to receive the Natural Landscape Photography Award’s Photographer of the Year award. Since its inception, the NLPA awards have set the gold standard for landscape photography – preserving the authentic experience of capturing our planet’s unaltered natural beauty in contrast to the growing popularity of AI and computer-generated imagery. The competition has consistently showcased an exceptional lineup of talented photographers, many of whom I have looked up to and who have been a personal inspiration to me since I started my photography journey. The images presented in the competition reflect the kind of photography I aspire to achieve, making this award extra special and something I will be proud of for the rest of my life.

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the judges and NLPA founders for selecting my work and creating an outstanding competition. Congratulations to all my fellow winners who join in celebrating the true artistry of photography!”

Photographer of the Year, Runner Up

Benjamin Maze

“I’m absolutely honored to be recognized as the runner-up Photographer of the Year. Despite the Natural Landscape Photography Awards only running for its third year, it has quickly risen to the top amongst all other competitions in my regard for its processes, ethos, generosity and trust in their selection of winning photographs.
As someone who enjoys creating images of everything from the grand landscape through to the abstract and intimate scenes in nature, it’s fantastic that the NLPA gives a voice to all reality-based approaches of capturing our natural world. The competition has also unintentionally challenged me to think a little deeper about what I present through my images and how to intertwine my own artistic interpretation with reality, rather than seeing them as mutually exclusive.
Our world’s Creation is very precious to me, and I cherish any chance I get to share it with others. Thank you to the NLPA founders for creating a fantastic space for high-quality natural landscapes, to the judges for their efforts and countless tough decisions, and to those who support me in my photography; and finally, a huge congrats to the winners!”

Photographer of the Year, Third Place

Adam Gibbs

Photographer of the Year, Highly Commended

Xavier Lequarre

Photographer of the Year, Highly Commended

Franka Gabler

Photographer of the Year, Highly Commended

Kenny Muir

Photograph of the Year

Gabriel Stankiewicz

Grand Scenic

Intimate Landscapes

Abstracts and Details

Project Winner, Tiago Mateus

PINUS PINEA – Charcoal series

The Stone Pine or Pinus Pinea is a species of pine native to the old world, more precisely in the Mediterranean region. Portugal has about 9% of the total world’s area of this species, which can also be found in other countries bordering the Mediterranean, such as Spain, France, Italy and Turkey. In Portugal the vast majority are concentrated in the Setúbal peninsula, where I live. In this photographic project I am not interested in portraying Pinus Pinea planted, pruned or straightened, explored in plantations or ornamental. I want to portray the wild Pinus Pinea which is free to grow, survive, break and fall, which has a story to tell us of its legendary strength and tenacity along the Atlantic coast or its relationships with other trees in the coastal pine forests. These trees, known for their resistance to summer drought, grow easily in weak sandy soils, heroically resist strong coastal winds and the salty air. Throughout their life they suffer countless fractures caused by storms or by the weight of their crown, which gives them striking strong personalities and, in most cases, incredible shapes that tell us the story of their lives and their fight against the elements.

Project, Runner Up – Tim Wrate


Devastation is a series of aerial images that explore the devastation of a landscape laid to waste by the impacts of man. What once was a thriving freshwater ecosystem of Melaleuca swampland is now a barren expanse of dead trees and hyper saline water; a graveyard of bleached and stricken tree trunks.

A potent cocktail of rising sea levels, changes to cyclonic and monsoon patterns and the impact of feral buffalo has resulted in pushing saltwater further from the coast into its freshwater river systems. The phenomenon was first documented in the 1950’s but has escalated rapidly since the 1980’s. What was initially thought to be the impact of the hard-hooved feral water buffalo on a fragile ecosystem now appears to be closely linked to climate change.

The project was captured in Australia’s Northern Territory near a chain of freshwater billabongs known as the Mary River, not too far from the western edge of Kakadu National Park. If emissions continue to rise, modelling from 2017 shows that almost half of Kakadu’s freshwater wetlands could meet a similar fate within 50 years. Kakadu is one of the most ecologically important and spiritually important regions in Australia.

Project, Third Place – Nicolas Raspiengeas


This is a series shot on the Apaa peat bogs in Lapland. These peat bogs have the particularity of creating vegetated networks that create structures and formations as surprising as they are immense. The color of certain bodies of water is due to the fact that in some places the vegetation decomposes, giving the water a particular hue.
As these photos were taken at the Ruska time, the surrounding vegetation is also in a state of transformation.

Project, Highly Commended – Adam Gibbs

Vancouver Island’s Disappearing Old Growth Forests

Just over 100 years of logging on British Columbia’s Vancouver Island has significantly affected what is left of the province’s ancient forests. I’ve been documenting some of the forests that have been saved, cut blocks that are still under threat and lastly, some of the second-growth forests that tend to be more of a monoculture. Ancient forests nurture a rich biodiversity of plants that, once logged, are irreplaceable for millennia.

Project, Highly Commended – Himadri Bhuyan

Jing Kieng Jri

The English translation of “Jing Kieng Jri” (in Khasi language) is “Living Root Bridge”. These root bridges are found in the northeast Indian state of Meghalaya and are a feat of bioengineering marvel.
Meghalaya owing to its geology and climate is home to the wettest place on earth and numerous valleys/gorges created by the rainfed streams and rivers that crisscross this region. Add to that the fact that it’s an earthquake-prone region and most of the villages don’t have road connectivity. A visit to the nearest market or town usually requires crossing several streams. It’s fine in the lean season, but in the monsoons, it’s impossible to cross these streams or rivers without a bridge. So, centuries ago, the people of the region came up with the idea of building bridges using the roots of rubber fig trees (Ficus Elastica). Since then people have followed this practice of building bridges that are alive and thrive in their surroundings.
This is an ongoing series that started back in 2013, wherein my attempt has been to understand the bond between the people of this region and nature (particularly the forests) and the importance of these structures in their daily life.

Project, Highly Commended – Jeroen Van Nieuwenhove

The Fagradalsfjall Fires

In 2021 a childhood dream came true. I had always wanted to witness a volcanic eruption and when Fagradalsfjall awoke after a 7000 year slumber, I jumped at the opportunity with both hands. From day one I gazed in wonder how a brand new landscape, a new earth, was growing in front of me. My ambition and inspiration grew together with the lava field. I spent a total of 7 months documenting the 2021 and 2022 eruptions of Fagradalsfjall. ‘The Fagradalsfjall Fires’ is a visual love letter to a series of eruptions that captivated my photography for the past 2,5 years. Time and time again I attempted to challenge myself to find new perspectives and new angles which had not been seen before. With ‘The Fagradalsfjall Fires’ I want to show the structure in the chaos, the creation in the destruction, the beauty in the violence.

Project, Honorary – Mike Curry

Fleeting Reflections

Fleeting Reflections is a study of the buildings in and around Canary Wharf as they relate to the bodies of water that surround them. Initially starting as pure reflections, already abstract in themselves, I sought to extend the abstraction to create something the eye can’t immediately recognise. The resultant images are peaceful and meditative – a stark contrast to the chaos inherent to the buildings from which they are derived.

Special Awards

Common Places


Water Worlds

Black and White





The 3rd annual NLPA was quite competitive! 11,176 photographs were submitted to the competition by 1,023 photographers from 54 countries, including:

  • 3,437 Grand Scenic photographs
  • 3,765 Intimate Landscape photographs
  • 1,829 Abstracts and Details photographs
  • 232 Projects

Of these, 1,989 photographs made it to the RAW verification stage and final judging. From here, the judges narrowed down their top selections to just 157 photographs for the live finals, which lasted 6 hours via Zoom.