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21 January 2021

UK Mountain Photo of the Year Revealed

David Gilligan, who lives and works across Merseyside and climbs mountains in his spare time, made up for lost time after the first coronavirus lockdown by organising a wild camping trip to Snowdonia National Park.

When he reached the summit of Glyder Fach they were treated to perfect clear skies, which is how David captured his self-shot winning image standing atop the rocks of Castell y Gwynt, which translates as ‘Castle of the Winds’.

“We struck gold with the conditions that night. To our left was Comet Neowise and to our right was a crystal-clear Milky Way, so I was spoilt for choice in terms of composition,” said David.

“After making a mental note of where to stand, I manoeuvred up the rocks in the dark and used my remote shutter release to capture this shot. The hardest part was balancing still for 20 seconds while the camera was taking the photo. I live in a big city and most people where I’m from don’t get the chance to witness these scenes, so I’m happy to be able to share it with them.”

UK Mountain Photo of the Year is an annual photography competition run by Trail, the UK’s best-selling hillwalking magazine, with the winner selected by a team of expert judges and a public vote on the website.

The 2020 Mountain Photo of the Year competition attracted over 1000 entries, with thousands more people voting for the winner at  The standard of photography in the final shortlist was as high as in the competition’s seven-year history, with David’s photograph a clear winner in the minds of Trail readers and competition judges.

Nadir Khan, professional adventure photographer, said: “A striking image and beautifully composed. It captures a sense of wonder and why we venture into the mountains – to feel connection again with our planet, and also an awareness of how small we are compared to the galaxies and stars that surround us.”

Chris Upton, Fujifilm ambassador, said: “The image is full of impact. The exposure has been handled very well, with a composition including the key elements of the night sky, the mountain landscape and the walker with the headtorch pointing into the Milky Way all combining to create an excellent image.”

As well as the coveted Mountain Photo pf the Year title, David also wins a Fujifilm X-T4 camera and XF18-55 lens worth £1900. The winning image and the two runners-up (Anthony Robbin and James Roddie) were revealed for the first time in the March issue of Trail magazine, on Thursday January 21st.

A high res versions of the winning image, plus all 15 finalists, can be downloaded here:

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