Will Davies, Landscape Photographer of the Year 2022

Huge congratulations to Will Davies, who has been awarded Landscape Photographer of the Year 2022.
Oct 22

Congratulations Will on winning Landscape Photographer of the Year! Can you tell us about the day you took your winning photograph 'Brecon in Winter'?

It was around mid-December. I remember setting off early in the dark – it’s not a long hike up to the Pen y Crug hillfort outside Brecon, but I wanted to be there by dawn. The forecast was for the weather to clear, but when I arrived it was still very gloomy and overcast. Fortunately, the cloud started to lift just enough for the sun to peak through right at sunrise. The sunlight was fleeting, as is usually the case with the best light, but in those few moments I was able to get this photo.


It was not a shot I had pre-planned, but when I saw the light hitting the fields with the overcast snowy peaks in the distance, it was a natural composition. I really love the Brecon area in winter. The mountains somehow feel and look so much grander and wilder in the snow. Quite often you can have a whole mountain to yourself, especially if you get up early! It’s also quite near to where I grew up, so I am especially pleased to have won with a photo from “home”.

What was your reaction to the news that you’d won Landscape Photographer of the Year 2022?

I guess overall it was a mix of surprise, shock, and huge satisfaction – I have definitely been walking around on a high for a few weeks! I have followed the competition for many years, and I always enjoy going through the winning images, trying to spot photographers I’ve heard of and places I know. For me, getting my photography to a level where I had a chance of making the collection became a bit of a bucket-list goal. To receive the call from Charlie telling me I’d won the whole thing, it completely blew me away. There are so many fantastic landscape photographers in the UK, to win this award is far beyond my highest hopes.

When did you start taking photographs?

I was lucky to get the opportunity to move to East Africa for work about 15 years ago. I had played around with cameras before then, but it was in Africa that I really got into photography. The landscapes and wildlife in that part of the world are breathtaking, and the photographic opportunities are endless, so it was hard not to quickly become hooked.

That said, over recent years I’ve equally enjoyed applying what I’ve learned back in the UK. I think travel makes you see your home country in a new light, and with a new appreciation. I also find the UK has stunning, but often quite subtle, landscapes. For a photographer I find it’s a great challenge, as you need to use all the elements – the weather, the seasons, the natural patterns – to distill and convey that beauty.


What camera and other kit do you use?

For landscapes, I use a Canon 5DS R with a standard set of zoom lenses from 17mm through to 200mm. This photo was towards the high end of that range. I have a 300mm Sigma lens for wildlife which I sometimes lug around as well, but it weighs a ton!

I have also gotten more into long exposure photography recently, and so I have a mix of Lee and HiTech filters for this. I learned a lot about the art of long exposures thanks to a great day out in Cornwall with Lee Frost a few years back, and I highly recommend his workshops for anyone interested in the subject.

Where’s your favourite place in the UK to photograph?

That’s a tough question! It would have to be somewhere in South Wales, as that’s where I grew up, and where I feel the greatest affinity for the countryside. My favourite spots are either high in the Brecon Beacons in the winter, or on the Pembrokeshire coast, which is wonderful for photography at any time of year.

For anyone planning a trip, I have to mention the South Wales photography guidebook by Drew Buckley. I find photo guides can be hit or miss, but this one is excellent, both in terms of information and the quality of the photography. It's also the reason I found the location for 'Brecon in Winter'.


Why is photography important to you?

When I am out taking photos, I become completely absorbed, nothing else matters. In this sense, I find photography a great way to unwind, to clear my head. I also find it hugely motivating – I will happily get out of bed at 4am on a winter’s morning to be up a mountain for sunrise. There is not much else I’d voluntarily get up at that time for!

And finally, I think there’s something about the thrill of the chase with photography. Whether it’s searching for wildlife or waiting for that tiny break in the cloud on the top of some windswept mountain, I just find the hunt for that elusive perfect photograph is addictive.


How will winning Landscape Photographer of the Year support your photography journey?

Photography is something I pursue in my spare time for the joy of it, not as a career. So, I don’t have a specific journey in mind. I am sure the award will further increase my motivation to explore and experiment.

I hope it also creates new connections with other photographers, as I still have a huge amount to learn. And I hope it will help my images reach a wider audience, and inspire others to get out, to enjoy and conserve our natural environment, which is more important now than it’s ever been. Apart from that, let’s see – I am very open to suggestions!

Will Davies

Will discovered his passion for photography after moving to East Africa in 2007, a region endowed with incredible photo opportunities. Since then, he has spent many a spare hour outdoors with a camera, in particular in his home country of Wales and his adopted homes in the US and Africa.

Congratulations to Will for winning Landscape Photographer of the Year 2022. Along with the prestigious title, Will was awarded £10,000. His photograph is included the LPOTY Collection 15 book, as well as on display in the LPOTY exhibition around the UK in partnership with Network Rail.

Follow Will on Instagram @willdaviesphotography

Visit Will's website:

Discover all the LPOTY 2022 award-winning images.


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