Across the thousands of entries we saw throughout our Autumn themed Instagram competition, one thing was for certain – the theme was encapsulated through warm golden sunlight and vivid amber colours. We saw your Autumnal views from every corner of Europe. It was fascinating to see how different photographers, shooting in various genres, tackled the season that marks the end of summer and the start of the colder months to follow.
The overall winning shot by Alan Ranger, celebrates the dramatic colour of the changing landscape that comes with Autumn.
Alan took the image whilst on a walk with his three children.
I came across an area of trees that still had the remnants of a canopy of colour, followed by the network of tree trunks and then the carpet of leaves on the ground. Those three layers immediately struck me as being photogenic, so I framed several shots without hesitation, hand-holding the camera and switching between several compositions.”
The story of the image is in Alan's usual style of photography, which is one of exploration and discovery; “I go out with my camera with the mindset of not having a pre-determined idea of what I will find. I believe it's better to go out with the idea of a blank canvas and then create based on what you discover rather than trying to fit a view into the experience.”
After some brightening and editing, Alan created his vivid image. “I set about creating something based on my imagination rather than a literal interpretation of how my eyes and camera had seen the scene” says Alan.
Alan has always used Sony in his kit, with his winning image being captured on a Sony Alpha 700, and is looking forward to using his prize, a Sony Alpha 7 IV.
“I will continue with my love of the outdoors and landscape photography in all its forms. I'm looking forward to putting the Sony Alpha 7 IV through its paces and comparing the image quality and functionality to the camera I have loved using for the last few years.”
Picking two runners-up from the thousands of entries was just as tricky as choosing the winner. However, we decided that Agnieszka Nowaczyk's beautiful portrait image was our runner-up.
“The portrait is of my little muse, Izabella, who is very precious to me. She is full of emotions, which combined with my vision, created this mysterious Autumnal portrait.”
Agnieszka loves taking her portraits on location, and Autumn is one of her favourite times to be outside shooting.
“I'm always observing the change of nature. It helps me to slow down and breathe deeper while looking for inspiration all around me. When I saw this field of ferns, I immediately wanted to put Izabella in the middle. I took the shot with my Sony Alpha 7R III and my FE 55mm f1.8 ZA lens.”
To create a less traditional portrait, I asked her to cover part of her face and one eye with the fern leaf. This added impact to the portrait and I'm so happy I didn't miss the perfect moment; I could see the depth of emotions in Izabella's eye.”
In third place was Fabian Pfeifhofer's beautiful image of a Long Eared Owl.
I discovered this male long-eared owl by accident in a cemetery close to home while checking out a wild hamster population living there. After several weeks and many visits later, I found him staring at me curiously behind a tree. I took the image with my Sony Alpha 7R III and a Sony FE 200-600mm lens that I borrowed from a friend."
“After capturing this photo, I stepped back, checked the result and was thrilled. I just fell in love with the face of the owl as it was looking back at me.”
Like our other winners, Fabian loves shooting in the Autumn months. “The metamorphoses happening in Autumn create a magical atmosphere. Autumn delivers fast-changing shooting opportunities, and every year keeps me busy, forcing me to go out as often as possible.”
As third place, Fabian has won a Sony FE 40mm f/2.5 G lens, which he is looking forward to using for street and astrophotography in the upcoming months.
Thank you to the winners and to everyone who entered the competition. Don't forget to follow our Sony Alpha Universe EU Instagram account to ensure you are ready to join our next completion.