It’s no secret that, here at Mpora, we love a good adventure shot. People climbing stuff, people skiing down stuff, people at one with nature; channeled down a camera lens and, somehow (through technological wizardry, and the like) directly into our eyeballs. Yes please, that’ll do nicely thanks.
At the start of 2022, in association with our good mates at Haglöfs, we launched our very own adventure photography competition. With the offer of £1,000 for the winning entry, and three runners-up in line to bag themselves £250 each, it was no real surprise that we soon found ourselves inundated with properly brilliant submissions. You’re a talented bunch. Make no mistake.
“You’re a talented bunch”
After narrowing down our shortlist to 10, we enlisted the help of photography expert Mel Smith to help us make our final decisions. Such was the quality of the entries, it become a real challenge to separate the top four from the rest and ultimately draw a circle around our favourites and say, once and for all, “OK. Yes. This one, right here, is the winner and these three are the runners-up.”
We got there in the end though and, as you can see, they make for an extremely impressive top four. Congratulations to Julia Roger-Veyer, Sam Walker, Gwilym Thomas and Thibaut Lampe. You really did smash it out of the park. These images, and a number of supporting images from the four names here, are set to be on display in Shoreditch, East London, in early April. We’ll keep you posted on that one. These photographs will also be featuring in Issue Two of our print magazine (coming soon).
Also, thanks again to everyone who took part. We’re doing another one of these competitions later this year, so if you weren’t successful this time… fear not. There will be other opportunities.
Location: Chamonix, France
Photographer: Julia Roger-Veyer
Words of Julia Roger-Veyer: “This photo was taken last fall, during two days of exploration on the Mer de Glace, in Chamonix. It’s a shot of Jeff Mercier, one of the best ice climbers in the world. Through this photo, I wanted to transmit both the beauty of this fragile element, the ice, while also capturing the action of the climber and the precarious nature of his position. I chose this image because there is a nice contrast between the colour of the climber’s outfit and the deep blue of the ice. I also like how the power of the action contrasts notably with the softness of the light that comes from above. The vertical lines give a nice geometric effect. This image sums up everything I love about shooting ice climbing.
“When I shoot in the mountains, I am sensitive to the atmosphere, to the lights, to the geometry of the ice and the rock, and to the balance of colours. Ice is my favourite element and I love the variety of colours, shapes and very particular kind of light that I can find inside the glaciers, in the ‘Moulins’. We are the privileged witnesses of nature’s beauty, and must do what we can in order to safeguard it. This is a message I try to transmit through my photos.”
Words of Mel Smith (Head Judge): “This has to be the winner. The image just jumps out at you. It has the absolute wow factor. You can’t help but look at it, and engage with it. The photograph says it all. It’s such a strong and striking composition, full of energy. The bold vertical lines in thirds within the image frame and cocoon the climber. Set against the hardest of extreme conditions and environment, the figure looks majestic; almost poetic. I love the blocks of colour. A truly powerful, punchy, photograph.”
Location: Peak District, England
Photographer: Sam Walker
Mel Smith: “A very quickly grabbed shot but it just works both compositionally and emotionally… I can really feel this photograph.”
Location: Mount Bromo, Indonesia
Photographer: Gwilym Thomas
Mel Smith: “Leaves no doubt in your mind about the sense of wonder, adventure and climb.”
Location: Bregenzerwald, Austria
Photographer: Thibaut Lampe
Mel Smith: “I love the way the rope line draws the eye into the image towards the silhouetted figure in the distance.”
The 10 Finalists
- Angus Rosier
- Gwilym Thomas
- Jethro Kiernan
- John Alexander
- Julia Roger-Veyer
- Nathan Savory
- Ryan Balharry
- Sam Walker
- Thibaut Lampe
- Tom Young