A picture of one of the most picturesque sights in Wales has been chosen as the winner of an illustrious award. Will Davies decided to enter a beautiful picture entitled ‘Brecon in Winter’ into the Landscape Photographer of the Year awards, which was founded in 2006, and considered one of the highest accolades to be had in the field.
The 42-year-old grew up in Usk, but moved to study and work overseas including a ten-year spell in Africa, and he now lives in Washington DC pursuing a career in international development. But Mr Davies tries to get home as much as he can, and during 2019, managed to take a stunning photo of Brecon which he decided to enter into the awards.
And he admitted he was stunned when he received a phone call to say that not only had his photograph been chosen to feature within the Landscape Photographer of the Year collection book, but he had won the competition outright to be crowned Landscape Photographer of the Year and receive a £10,000 cash prize.
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Mr Davies explained: “The competition is something I’ve followed for a number of years as I have been interested in landscape photography. I never thought I’d have any chance of winning it. I’ve been based overseas a lot for work, but I spent just over a year back in Wales in 2019, then 2020, 2021, and I was able to get a decent number of photos together and I thought I’d might as well have a go. For me, a great result would have been to just get in the collection, because it’s quite prestigious, and just getting a photo in the book would have been an achievement.
“To then find out that the photo I took of Brecon actually won the whole thing was amazing. I was pretty shocked. I think it is the first time a Welsh photo has ever won the overall category. My dad used to take me up the Brecon Beacons pretty often walking and fishing and that kind of thing. I was so pleased the winning picture was one from close to home. I’m trying to spend more and more time back in Wales and I think this has motivated me even more to get over as much as I can.
“I have played around with cameras since I was a kid, but it was probably travel which brought it out for me. Spending time in Africa really first got me obsessed with the landscapes, and the wildlife and everything else. What’s been nice is when you come back home you realise how beautiful your own country is, and taking these amazing photos almost on your doorstep back home has been really nice.
“We’re doing a renovation in the house at the moment and the trophy is in a box, but I’ll have to find a mantlepiece to put it on! My mum has been buying up copies of the book and handing them out, and I’ve been getting prints of the photo as well so it makes nice Christmas presents. I’ve spent a lot more printing them for friends and family than I have made out of selling them that’s for sure! I’m hoping to get back for Christmas, hopefully we’ll have some snow over Brecon Beacons and I can take some more to enter for next year.”