It is that time of the year when the results of major annual competitions are announced. There is especially one which many of us aspire to be a part of – Landscape Photographer of the Year. Over the years I was quietly admiring some of the stunning images that the judges selected each year, and never plucked up the courage to enter.
This year I decided to finally give it a try. Sadly I only made it to the shortlist. It did not come as a big surprise, considering the overwhelming amount and extremely high standard of the entries. I feel lucky to have got through to this stage at all. Especially when I found out the facts behind the selection process:
- Over 18,000 entries are reviewed by a pre-judging panel
- That is reduced to approximately 1000 images for an interim panel to judge.
- The interim panel reduce those to a shortlist of only 350 images.
- The final judging reduces the shortlist to 153 images that are included in the book and exhibition.
So I would like to congratulate to everyone whose beautiful images made it to the book and the exhibition. It is a wonderful achievement, and the quality of the chosen few is amazing.
My shortlisted image is one of my favourite seascapes taken on a very stormy day. It represents everything that I love about the sea – its powerful and uncontrollable energy. The deep sound of waves crashing against each other. The constant and monotonous fall of the waves on the shoreline, rolling over the pebbles on the beach. The sea spray blowing in the stormy wind. The fresh scent of the brine and sulfur with a pinch of greens and blues. It is a beautiful and humbling experience at the same time.
The title of my picture comes from one of my favourite poems, written by an English poet John Masefield. The poem itself is a piece of art that uses the beauty of the English language to portray the irresistible, powerful longing for the rolling, wind-blown seas.
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
from Sea Fever by John Masefield