The judges awarded the overall Weather Photographer of the Year 2016 title to Tim Moxon for his photo Tornado on Show. Tim Rudman, internationally known fine art and landscape photographer, said “Tim Moxon’s dramatic photograph fulfils all the requested criteria supremely well. It captures in a moment, and at close quarters, an intensely dramatic weather event, showing both the formation and impact of the tornado. The inclusion of the storm chasers adds scale and a human element, which irresistibly engages the viewer. The exposure is spot on and the composition compelling.”
Tornado on Show
Overall Weather Photographer of the Year 2016 – Tim Moxon, United Kingdom / Tornado on Show: “
A classic severe weather setup in the high plains of Colorado near the town of Wray yielded one of the most photogenic tornadoes of the year. We were just ahead of the storm as the tornado started and tracked with it as it grew from a fine funnel to a sizeable cone tornado. At this moment the twister was at its most photogenic while it’s parent supercell continued to be manageable. We were among a number of people, including those you see in the shot, nervously enjoying the epic display nature put on for us. Taken on a Canon 5DS-R with a Canon 24-105mm f/4 IS lens, 1/160, F5.6, 24mm, ISO400, 4 May 2016.”
This sprite lightning photograph was awarded first place in the 17 and over category. One of the judges, Michael Pritchard, said “Ben Cherry has made the most of circumstance and serendipity to capture a very rare form of lightning. Showing this as part of the wider night sky and Milky Way has created a very beautiful and ethereal image that stood out immediately to the selectors.
First place, over 16s – Ben Cherry, United Kingdom / Sprite Lightning: “The image was taken in Punta Banco, a small village on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. I was based out there for six months last year as a scarlet macaw researcher for the Wild Macaw Association. It shows a very rare type of lightning called a sprite. The storm was far out at sea during a new moon, so there was very little light and as a result the stars were spectacular! I set up the frame to include the pulsing storm and the milky way as I liked the contrast. Just after I started the 30 second exposure this sprite strike illuminated the sky, shooting up into the atmosphere, my jaw dropped and I assumed that it would have blown out the image but I was thrilled to witness it. But as I checked the camera, the exposure was all correct as the strike was so far out at sea. This is the only sprite lightning strike I have ever witnessed. Taken with a Fujifilm X-T1 and XF16mm f1.4 30 seconds, ISO 1600
Second place in the 17 and over category was awarded to Camelia Czuchnicki for the striking picture Clash of the Storms.
Second place – Camelia Czuchnicki, United Kingdom / Clash of the Storms: “A clash between two storm cells in New Mexico, US in June 2014, each with its own rotating updraft. It appeared as though one updraft was anticyclonic, resulting in a very turbulent scene. The curved striations of the oldest noticeable against the new bubbling convection of the newer. It was a fantastic sight to watch and it’s the rarity of such scenes that keep drawing me back to the US Plains each year. Taken a Nikon D610 and Nikon 14-24mm lens, with an exposure time of 1/160 seconds at f5.6 and ISO-100
James Bailey, who won first place in the 16 and under category, has won an Olympus DSLR camera for his photograph of a ‘Hailstorm and rainbow over the seas of Covehithe’. After contacting James, and the third place winner in the over 17s category, Andrew Bailey, the organisers discovered that they are actually father and son.
16 and under winner – James Bailey, United Kingdom / Hailstorm and rainbow over the seas of Covehithe: “
The family and I went for a walk at Covehithe, Suffolk, in an attempt to capture such a photo, as we’d seen the forecast was stormy and had thought Covehithe as being a suitable location to shoot in in such conditions. There were similarly good photos everywhere I looked, but this one really stood out: the rainbow, the hail lines, the storm front, and nice light on the clouds. In case you’re not acquainted with it, Taken on a Nikon D7000, with an 18-105mm lens, f22, ISO 100, 1/40 second.”
Freezing Fog and Hoar Frost
Third place – Andrew Bailey, United Kingdom / Freezing Fog and Hoar Frost: “The image was taken at half term (16 February 2016), during a cold spell of weather. Based on the forecast from the night before, my son James and I left home at 4:30am to travel up to north Suffolk to Herringfleet Mill, a location we had not visited before. When we arrived at the mill, the temperature was –4C with freezing fog making for very atmospheric conditions. There were pictures everywhere, but I particularly like the way this photo captures the sun burning through the mist, with the reed beds covered in white hoar frost and the mill shrouded in mist. The conditions and location give the image a real sense of an East Anglian winter. Taken on a Nikon D3s, at f18 at 1/100 second, ISO 800, exposure compensation 0.33, using a 24-85mm Nikon zoom lens.”
More than 2,500 members of the public voted for their favourite image, with Paul Kingston’s ‘Storms Cumbria’ image winning the accolade.
Public vote winner – Paul Kingston, United Kingdom / Storms Cumbria: “The image I captured shows the inner harbour wall at Whitehaven, Cumbria being hit by a monstrous wave, dwarfing the surrounding man-made structures. This occurred on the day I travelled from County Durham to the west coast of Cumbria to photograph a winter storm as the UK was currently being hit by a series of Atlantic storms sending tidal surges and strong gale-force westerly winds, which made for ideal conditions for large swells at Whitehaven.”
Oil Tanker Guanabarra takes a hit
Graham Newman, Australia / Oil Tanker Guanabarra takes a hit
: “The Guanabra is a 240m long super tanker and was loaded with crude oil from the Australian North West offshore oil fields at Barrow Island. I was able to photograph the ship later when it docked and I was invited on board to meet the Captain and the crew who were ‘on watch’ when the ship was hit. One crewman had been fishing off the port side and had only just returned inside when the ship was hit. The ship was approximately 5km from the camera when I took the shot at 03:10hrs on 29 January 2015. Shortly after taking the shot, the lightning cell closed on my position on the beach and I grabbed up my equipment and ran for my life. I had just closed the car door when the lightning hit close by and took out all the lights in the area. Taken with a PhaseOne 645 medium format camera, a Leaf Credo 80Mpx sensor and a Schneider Kreuznach 55mm Prime lens.”
Sun halo over Halley
Michal Krzysztofowicz, Antarctica / Sun halo over Halley: “I work for British Antarctic Survey at the Halley Research Station in Antarctica and I’m a member of the four people Science Team. Some of the most important research conducted at Halley is the Meteorological and Ozone observations programme, and part of my role is to participate in the Met Observations. On this particular day, I was on Met Duty and we saw the Sun Halo for most of the day. This was caused by diamond dust, a phenomenon where ice particles of specific shape are being carried by the light breeze in the air, causing the light to refract into a halo. The amount of diamond dust varied throughout the day, but at one time, just after lunch, it intensified dramatically, creating one of the most beautiful solar halos I’ve seen.”
Cloud tunnel, Carneddau, north Wales
Steve M Smith, United Kingdom / Cloud tunnel, Carneddau, north Wales: “Mid May. Barometric pressure was high, clear weather was forecast. On the hills we were shrouded until late morning when a clear way emerged along the ridge towards Foel Fras in the Carneddau.”
Stephen Lansdell, United Kingdom / Mama Factory
: “I have been chasing storms since 1989. I first chased in the USA in 2000 and 2013 was my 12th trip and also my most memorable: eight tornados including Moore and El Reno. This storm in Nebraska was so beautiful taking on many forms during its life ending with one of the most spectacular shows I have ever witnessed and had the pleasure to photograph. It shows a ‘Barber Pole’ structure corkscrew updraft into this supercell during its end cycle still spitting lighting and growling in the dark, a truly wonderful sight and experience I will never forget.”
Ice Sculpture on Plynlimon
Allan Macdougall, United Kingdom / Ice Sculpture on Plynlimon: “
Plynlimon (752 metres/2,467 feet) is a beautiful hill massif in Northern Ceredigion, Mid Wales, north of the A44 between Llangurig and Aberystwyth. I walk this hill regularly in all seasons, and winter is my favourite time of year here. The otherwise benign summit plateau can be transformed into raw arctic tundra-like conditions, which presents challenges even for well-equipped walkers. Days of blown snow and spindrift from powerful and freezing North Easterly winds had accumulated on every windward vertical surface into bizarrely shaped natural sculptures. This stile and wire fence became a thing of beauty, with the glowing translucent fluting of the ice emphasised by the sun’s backlighting. Taken with a Panasonic LX3 1/400sec @ f11, ISO 100.”
Tomasz Janicki, United Kingdom, under-16 / First Light
: “The picture was taken last winter in Snowdonia, Wales. As we were gifted with a beautiful winter weather the idea was to climb a mountain at night from 2.00am to catch the Tryfan summit at first ligit , however it proven impossible for me to get before sunrise, too high snow, therefore I have decided to take a photo of the Snowdon in the first sunrise Winter light. It was a lucky shoot, completely unexpected on my way to Glyders summit.”
The Weather Photographer of the Year exhibition will go on tour around the UK later this year and in 2017 with each image supported by captions from both the photographer and meteorologists. Tim Rudman really recommends people make sure they are able to visit, stating “The result is a superb exhibition, which I’m sure will grow year on year and I urge anyone with an interest in weather or photography to come and see it and to consider entering next year.”
See the website to find out more.