It was a real honor to find out my image from the Dead Sea won the Rivers, Waterfalls and Lakes category in the Natural Landscape Photography Awards.
NLPA is a young contest, but it's lead by some acclaimed landscape photographers. When I came across it last year, I could sense it's going to be a different contest. The fact that keeping post-processing within reasonable limits was a part of this contest's rules, made me feel like the organizers are trying to make a statement - to which I could totally relate. As Tim, Matt, Rajesh and Alex wrote in the about page of the NLPA website: the contest was set up to create a platform for photographers depicting the landscape in a natural way.
To my disappointment, I missed the deadline of year #1. A sad result of postponing too much, being too busy with everyday life. And when I saw the results, I was totally in awe of the inspiring work of the awarded photographers. I have no doubt that these works also reflect the character the organizers and judges wished to give this contest. I was so impressed, that I decided to order the contest's book, even though I did not take part in it.
I guess you can probably understand why it was such a pleasure to find my image in the awarded list this year. Israel has some beautiful, diverse landscape, but compared to other places it sometimes seems relatively modest - and more challenging to photograph. So while I have quite a few images from other places, getting an award for an image taken in my home court is always more satisfying.
It's probably a good place to say a huge thank you to the judges and to the organizers - Tim Parkin, Matt Payne, Rajesh Jyothiswaran and Alex Nail - for whom this really seems like a passion project.
Finally, it will be unfair to finish this post without referring to the amazing work of the awarded photographers this year. This is probably some of the best landscape photography I've seen, and knowing I can rely on these images to depict the natural scene in which they were taken - adds to my appreciation of the photographers and images. You can see the finalists on the NLPA website.