Aldeyjarfoss, Northern Highlands, Iceland (Markus van Hauten)
List 30 January 2019

The finalists: 10 incredible landscapes from this year's Photo of the Year finalists

Ahead of the results being announced on Friday, we take a look at the top 10 photos from the Landscape category of this year's Wanderlust Photo of the Year competition...

When East meets West, Central district, Hong Kong Island (Joe B N Leung)

When East meets West, Central district, Hong Kong Island (Joe B N Leung)

Hong Kong is very much influenced by both Western and Asian cultures. However, the Chinese people there still retain their customs in giving out blessings and greetings during Chinese New Year in the form of calligraphy and symbols, as demonstrated in these incredible posters.

 

 

 

 

In the clouds, Mourne Mountains, Northern Ireland (Brian McCready)

In the clouds, Mourne Mountains, Northern Ireland (Brian McCready)

I set off in the middle of the night to hike to the summit of Slieve Binnian, hoping to witness a sunrise to remember. However, the mountaintops were shrouded in a layer of low cloud that blocked out any chance of seeing the sun climb above the horizon. Yet within an hour, the clouds began to clear and I could see the landscape below me come to life in the early morning light.
The Aletsch Glacier in Switzerland is the biggest in the Alps. When I saw people walking on it, I quickly grabbed my lens and took a picture. Walking over the ice can make you feel small and powerless, but the will of man to dominate nature stands in contrast with humans being small specks of dust in contrast to our environmental surroundings. I hope this image inspires a moment of reflection.

 

 

 

 

Walking on ice, Aletsch Glacier, Switzerland (Daan Annemans)

Walking on ice, Aletsch Glacier, Switzerland (Daan Annemans)

Vestrahorn, Höfn, Iceland (Lucas de Araujo Silva Guerra)

Vestrahorn, Höfn, Iceland (Lucas de Araujo Silva Guerra)

Iceland is full of mysterious places. We drove the whole country searching for natural wonders and arrived at this place just before the sunset, whereupon I mounted my tripod, found the perfect spot and waited for the right moment. When the sun was almost hitting the horizon, its rays penetrated the clouds and lightened the foreground. Vestrahorn is truly an otherworldly mountain.

 

 

 

 

Fisherman and nets, Xiapu, Fujian Province, China (Alex Harford)

Fisherman and nets, Xiapu, Fujian Province, China (Alex Harford)

This was taken on an overcast morning near the city of Fuding, China, standing on the windy rooftop of a building where the owner charges a small fee to photographers. The nets are used to farm crabs and lobsters, and the sticks are to hang and dry seaweed. The conditions created perfect reflections, making the scene reminiscent of a Chinese ink painting.
After five days of hiking, we reached the heart of Sweden’s Sarek National Park and, gazing up over the Rapadalen River, were treated to an incredible display by one of nature’s finest phenomena, the northern lights. The use of headtorches created beams of light, drawing the eye into the photograph and further placing these three human figures in perfect perspective within the vast environment.

 

 

 

 

Nature’s light show, Sarek National Park, Swedish Lapland (James Hamer)

Nature’s light show, Sarek National Park, Swedish Lapland (James Hamer)

Feeding on salt, Lake Retba, Senegal (Paul-Vlad Epure)

Feeding on salt, Lake Retba, Senegal (Paul-Vlad Epure)

Lake Retba, or Lac Rose (Pink Lake), used to be the finishing point of the Paris-Dakar Rally until it moved to South America in 2009. Located north-east of Senegal’s capital city, Dakar, the lake took its name from the pink/red waters, caused by Dunaliella salina algae, and is known for its exceptionally high salt content – up to 40% in some areas.

 

 

 

 

 

Good morning, Antarctica! Antarctic Peninsula (Martin Miskowicz)

Good morning, Antarctica! Antarctic Peninsula (Martin Miskowicz)

I took this image on the final day of my cruise to Antarctica. It was early in the morning, a clear blue sky and the wind was almost still. While everyone was preparing for their day activities, I decided to take a few photos from the top deck of our ship. One of our guides was preparing the sea kayaks for an excursion and I was lucky enough to capture this interesting composition. It’s still nowhere near as beautiful as how it felt just standing there.
We were staying at a hotel next to the river, and just around the corner was this view. On the day I took the shot, the clouds and wind seemed to be in unison, so I set up my tripod, fitted a filter and varied the exposure times. This was the shot that I found the most photogenic. It was challenging, as the scene changed constantly, but I loved the power of the landscape, bursting with the energy of nature.

 

 

 

 

 

Winds of the Matterhorn, Zermatt, Switzerland (Ron Tear)

Winds of the Matterhorn, Zermatt, Switzerland (Ron Tear)

Aldeyjarfoss, Northern Highlands, Iceland (Markus van Hauten)

Aldeyjarfoss, Northern Highlands, Iceland (Markus van Hauten)

It was not easy to get this picture. Aldeyjarfoss is located in the Northern Highlands of Iceland, and to get there under winter conditions can sometimes be difficult. You need a Super Jeep and time. On our way, there were a lot of snowdrifts and the driver had to flatten the tyres to their minimum. But we did finally arrive, 30 minutes before sunrise, and found these beautiful conditions.

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