The Royal Meteorological Society has announced the winners of this year’s Standard Chartered Weather Photographer of the Year Competition. Francisco Negroni takes home this year’s Title Prize with his landscape photo capturing two rings of lenticular cloud around the snow-covered summit of Chile’s most active volcano, Villarrica.
The Young Weather Photographer of the Year has been won by 17-year-old Jamie McBean, with a photo capturing unusual mammatus clouds at sunset over a row of beach huts at Herne Bay in Kent. With the Public Vote winning image going to Fernando Braga. See the winning images below…
From The Royal Meteorological Society, 5th October 2023:
The Standard Chartered Weather Photographer of the Year 2023 Title Prize Winner is Francisco Negroni of Chile, with the photo, A Perfect Cloud, which captured two surreal, flying saucer-like rings of lenticular cloud around the snow-covered summit of Chile’s most active Villarrica volcano, illuminated from within by the fiery orange glow of lava.
Negroni wins the £5000 cash prize. The judges were impressed by the contrast of hot-lava glow and white snow in the photo, and by Negroni’s capture of lenticular clouds. The photo also shows the rotation of the earth: the stars appear as streaks, since their position in the sky shifted during the long exposure.
From a shortlist of 25 images received by entrants from 94 countries, the judges’ winners were chosen by a panel of experts from the fields of meteorology, photography and journalism, including members of the UK’s Met Office and ITV Weather team. In addition, the public voted for their favourite on the Royal Meteorological Society website, where the full shortlist can be viewed. The winners’ announcements are taking place on the Royal Meteorological Society’s Instagram channel on 5th October (@rmets_), and will be made by ITV Weather Presenter Emma Jesson, Dan Green, Editor of The Week Junior magazine, Liz Bentley, Chief Executive of the Royal Meteorological Society, and Jo Bradford, photographer and author of Smart Phone Smart Photography.
Standard Chartered Weather Photographer of the Year runner up
Main Title Runner up, Tran Tuan, took a terrifying drone shot of a wildfire destroying a forest in Bac Giang province, Vietnam. Forest Fire Boundary shows a split landscape; half lush and green, the other half engulfed by smoke and flames. While wildfires are often sparked by human activity or lightning strikes, climate change is pouring fuel on the fire, by creating hotter – and in many regions – drier conditions, and more combustible material. This has been linked with fires that can burn longer and spread further.
Smartphone Weather Photographer of the Year winner
The Smartphone Weather Photographer of the Year Winner is Lez Irwig, who captured a surfer in Sydney, Australia, contemplating the heavy convective clouds that announce an impending storm. Irwig wins a cash prize of £2500.
The judges praised the drama and quality of this impressive capture made on a Samsung S23 smartphone, which shows the impact of the weather if you are, like the surfer here, Braving the Storm.
Les Irwig said: “I feel honoured that my image has been selected as the [mobile phone] winner amidst so many marvellous images. Photographs are a way of communicating the deep beauty of our natural world, and fostering the desire and courage to face its challenges. Many of the shortlisted images in the competition convey strong messages about our planet, our climate, and the need for stronger effort by individuals, communities and governments to take action on climate
change. Thank you to RMETS and the sponsors of the competition for creating the platform to allow photographers to convey their multifaceted messages.”
Young Weather Photographer of the Year winner
The Young Weather Photographer of the Year title goes to 17-year-old Jamie McBean, whose winning photo captures a heavy swathe of unusual, bulbous, mammatus clouds at sunset, hanging low over a row of beach huts, following a thunderstorm at Herne Bay in Kent. Jamie’s photo entitled Overhead Mammatus over Beach Huts at Herne Bay wins a cash prize of £750, plus a double page spread in the Week Junior Science+Nature Magazine and a year’s subscription to the magazine.
The Public Vote winner
More than 9,000 members of the public voted for their favourite photo this year, but the clear winner was Divine Power, by Fernando Braga, which captures lightning that frames the world-famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Braga took advantage of storm forecasts and captured a series of long exposures to maximise the chances of capturing lightning around the monument.
Fernando Braga said: “What fantastic news!!! I feel very happy, honored, accomplished and I am immensely grateful to have been chosen by the public! I am passionate about the challenges that photography provides and this achievement is simply very special for me!”
Portuguese translation (provided by Fernando himself)
“Que notícia fantástica! Me sinto muito feliz, honrado, realizado e imensamente grato por ter sido escolhido pelo público! Sou apaixonado pelos desafios que a fotografia proporciona e esta conquista é simplesmente muito especial para mim!”
The 2023 competition saw an increase in entries raising awareness of the impact of climate change on our weather patterns around the world, and the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as floods, droughts and forest fires. Captions written by Climate Science Presenter, Dr Adam Levy, tell the climate change stories behind the photographs. For instance, a warmer planet means the atmosphere holds more water, leading to heavier downpours. As burning fossil fuels continue to heat the planet, the snowy scenes depicted in some shortlist photographs will become rarer in mild climates such as the UK. View the full 2023 shortlist and captions.
Liz Bentley, Chief Executive of the Royal Meteorological Society said: “The judges had tough decisions to make this year, as we had such variety and quality of entries from all over the world. We’re delighted with the results, which show the capacity of the world’s weather for beauty and destruction, tranquility and power. The competition serves as a reminder that we must strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change to keep our heating planet from exacerbating extreme weather events.”
Marisa Drew, Chief Sustainability Officer for Standard Chartered, said: “I’ve been so impressed by the entries to this year’s competition, which have captured remarkable moments of extreme weather and the devastating impact of our changing climate. These images provide further evidence that we are already living with the effects of global warming and illustrate the need to respond to climate change with a sense of urgency. I hope they inspire further action to protect our planet as I extend my congratulations to the winners and runners up of this year’s competition. Thank you to everyone who has taken part.”
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