Landscape Photographer of the Year 2022 shares his winning image

The beauty of National Parks has inspired generations of artists. This year, the natural beauty of the Brecon Beacons National Park inspired photographer Will Davies. For his winning image ‘Brecon in winter’, Will was awarded Landscape Photographer of the Year 2022. We caught up with Will to find out more.

Congratulations Will, can you tell us more about your winning photograph?

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”.

Where’s your favourite place 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.

National Parks are a strong theme in your photographs. What is it about these places that appeals to you?

Yes, absolutely – the vast majority of my images are from National Parks, whether in the UK, US or in Africa.  These are often the only places where our landscapes and wildlife have been left, largely, in their natural state.  So, like any nature photography enthusiast, inevitably these are the places I am drawn to!

With all the pressures nowadays on land and natural resources, I think it’s encouraging to see growing grassroots energy and effort goes into protecting these invaluable environments.  This is especially important in the UK, where the National Parks movement arrived only after our land had been almost entirely converted for human habitation and developed for agriculture.  So, the importance of protecting what we have left is even more important.  At the same time, there is a need to work hand in hand with communities to ensure that National Parks and environmental protection are positive for local economic opportunities, rather than being seen as a barrier to them.

This is what makes the work of organizations like Campaign for National Parks and others so important, and I hope my photography can do a little bit to encourage others to engage and help protect our beautiful countryside.

Where can we see more of your work?

Have a look on my website or follow on Instagram (willdaviesphotography). You can also find out more about the Landscape Photographer of the Year competition.