Mike Green's thoughts on landscape photography

‘Zip’: commended in Landscape Photographer of the Year 2011

I’m very pleased, and distinctly surprised, to be able to say that one of my images – ‘Zip’, my first Howgill Fells capture – has been commended in the 2011 Landscape Photographer of the Year competition (LPOTY, to avoid my having to type all that again).


My surprise is due to the fact that everything I’ve read about photography competitions suggests – well, usually states – that they favour rather more obviously appealing subject matter – things like sunshine, warmth and a view; or morning mist. I’m sure I’ve described the origin of ‘Zip’ before on this site: it was supposed to include mist, if not the other three items. Instead, I had a hard frost to work with; yet this turned out to be much more interesting – at least, it was to me, and also, it would seem, to the judges.

Are competitions a good thing?

I have to admit that I was a little reticent about entering in the first place – I’m not entirely convinced that any art can be meaningfully compared in a competitive sense; the process clearly involves a high level of subjectivity. Having said that, I was also sufficiently self-aware, when I was deliberating about making a submission, to know that I’d be very flattered to receive any kind of recognition in the competition. So, I was unashamedly pleased to be short-listed and am delighted to have an image in the 2011 book, displayed at the exhibition at the National Theatre during December and January, and in the Sunday Times magazine feature on 23rd October 2011. I was also reticent as I felt slightly presumptuous, as a relative beginner, in even thinking of submitting an image – fortunately my ‘what the hell’ instinct kicked in there…

One of my motivations – OK, perhaps I should say self-justifications! – for entering LPOTY was that I hoped to be encouraged, if I was fortunate enough to have any degree of success, to make more images. Right now, typing this a couple of days after receiving the email saying that ‘Zip’ was ‘commended’ and would be in both the exhibition and the book, and a few hours after seeing it in the Sunday Times, I’m definitely feeling inspired anew. With autumn here and winter not far off – my favourite times of year, especially for photography – feeling encouraged and inspired can only be a good thing!

It’s easy to be cynical about any competition which necessitates the comparison of any art form – and I assure you I can be pretty cynical about all sorts of things when I want to be – but there’s no denying that they:

  • draw attention to things that most people wouldn’t otherwise hear about, see or read;
  • provide great encouragement to those people who are fortunate enough to meet with the judges’ approval;
  • encourage people to enter the art, whatever it may be; to ‘have a go’.

Without doubt, this success means that I do feel greatly encouraged to try to produce more good work and I’m very happy that I decided to enter!

On the off-chance that any of the judges are reading this: thank you very much!

And to everyone who’s provided constructive critique and encouragement to me on Flickr et al in the past year, many thanks; it’s really very much appreciated and has helped me a great deal.

I’d better stop there!

19 Responses to “‘Zip’: commended in Landscape Photographer of the Year 2011”

  1. Dave Moorhouse

    Hi Mike ,
    Very well done indeed, you deserved it! Thats some achivement to get ‘Zip’ in the book & exhibition.
    Don’t hold back & get yourself out there, it’s really invigorating to get encouragement, on that subject I must also thank you too for your encouraging comments on Flickr.

    • Mike Green

      Thank Dave! I shall certainly be getting out there more I think :-) Rather looking forward to visiting the exhibition too!

  2. gary

    i knew you would do well with your photography… congratulations …
    it is an amazing picture…awesome might be another word….as to wow what happened there. the land seems to flow back and forth with no pattern.
    good job mike.

  3. Ray Fidler

    Congratulations Mike, I follow your blog and images on FlickR with admiration and they help my own meagre development in photography. I wish you every success in future and keep your excellent work both in your blog and with the images you make. Ray

    • Mike Green

      Thank you for the kind words, Ray. Best of luck in your own development too. Oh – and it’s nice to know that people are reading and following this journal/blog too :-)


  4. Rosie

    Congratulations Mike! I love your frosty age.

    I see that we are neighbours in the LPOTY book, so I wanted to stop and say hello!

    • Mike Green

      Thanks, Rosie; and congratulations to you too. I think they make a good, complementary pair, especially texturally :-) Thanks for stopping by.

  5. David (@dmouldphoto)

    Well done Mike, well deserved… i was expecting… “and i would like to thank my dog, cat…. etc…”
    I think you are right, it does encourage people to ‘give it a go’… i had couple of friends do well this year so I am happy for them, and as for myself, well… what do i know… lol… bridesmaid, but never bride… interestingly, and not a little galling… the image that won the overall prize is a group of trees that i have been watching for several years… waiting, as they say, ‘for the light’… typical!

    • Mike Green

      Thanks very much, David,

      Ha ha – yes, I did start to write something [jokingly] along the lines of thanking a great long list of people ;-)

      Yeeessss…… I can see that being decidedly galling re the stand of trees :-\

      I hope to see something of yours in the book next year :-)

  6. Colin Griffiths

    I’d say congratulation are in order! Incidentally, your image motivated me to finally go and walk in the Howgills, something I’ve been promising to do for years and years. So thank you, I had a great day out and will be going back at sometime.

    • Mike Green

      Thank you, Colin. Yes, I saw your ‘killer hens’ blog posting from Sedbergh, so presumably that was when you walked on the Howgills. Great place and much underrated I think. With a bit of luck, I’ll bump into people who’ve been motivated to go there once in a while. Glad you liked the place :-)

  7. ‘White Scar winter hawthorn’ commended in landscape photographer of the year 2012 competition | mikegreenimages

    […] I was going to write some thoughts on photography competitions in general but thought I’d better read what I wrote when my ‘Zip’ image was commended in 2011. I think it’s fair to say that my views haven’t changed much, at least in part since these are the only two competitions I’ve entered. So, for anyone interested, here are my thoughts on LPOTY from 2011. […]

  8. Cool Landscapes images | Perfect Picks.net

    […] Zip Image by Mike.D.Green I’m delighted to say that this image was ‘Commended’ in the Landscape Photographer of the Year 2011 (LPOTY 2011) competition and also featured in the Sunday Times magazine in the results section on 23rd October 2011. Blog article on LPOTY […]

  9. Nice Forecast photos

    […] Zip Image by Mike.D.Green I’m delighted to say that this image was ‘Commended’ in the Landscape Photographer of the Year 2011 (LPOTY 2011) competition and also featured in the Sunday Times magazine in the results section on 23rd October 2011. Blog article on LPOTY […]


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