The breathtaking 2022 Historic Photographer of the Year winners

From idyllic islands to awe-inspiring abbeys: The breathtaking shortlisted and winning images for the 2022 Historic Photographer of the Year contest

  • The contest calls on photographers to ‘capture the very best historic sites that the world has to offer’ 
  • The judges studied 1,200 entries, looking for ‘originality, composition and technical proficiency’
  • Scroll down for MailOnline Travel’s pick of the commended and winning entries… 

It’s quite a combination – some of the best photographers in the world capturing some of the planet’s most fascinating historic sites.

The upshot? Difficult decisions to be made by the judges of the 2022 Historic Photographer of the Year competition.

But the verdicts are in and the shortlisted and winning entries – from 1,200 that were submitted – are breathtaking.

The contest – run by History Hit, the content platform founded by historian Dan Snow, and media network Little Dot Studios – calls on photographers to ‘explore and capture the very best historic sites that the world has to offer’. The rules? Judges are ‘looking at originality, composition and technical proficiency’, as well as the historical impact of the subject.

History Hit said: ‘Entries ranged from ancient structures steeped in legend, to well-known, incredibly preserved historic sites around the world. While some photographs gave new perspectives on prestigious historic sites such as the ancient city of Petra, others highlighted surprising histories of industrialisation, abandonment and endurance.’

Dan Snow, Creative Director at History Hit, said: ‘As always, judging these awards was a highlight for me. It is clear that the stunning entries that make up the shortlist are the product of patience, technical skill, and an awareness of both the past and the present. The creativity and talent on show was next to none.’ Claudia Kenyatta, Director of Regions at Historic England and Historic Photographer of the Year Judge, added: ‘These awards are a great inspiration to photographers around the globe and showcase stunning historic places.’ Scroll down for MailOnline Travel’s pick of the commended and winning entries…

Shortlisted in the Historic England category, this mesmerising shot shows fog enveloping Derwent Isle in the Lake District

This spellbinding shot, shortlisted in the Historic England category, shows Tewkesbury Abbey in Gloucestershire rising out of the early morning mist

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This striking photograph, shortlisted in the Historic England category, shows The Iron Bridge over the River Severn in Shropshire. It’s famed as the first major bridge in the world to be made from iron 

Dorset’s Corfe Castle is beautifully captured in this photograph, which is shortlisted in the Historic England category. ‘Rising sun, golden glow, shadows falling behind the towers and low cloud has made it [look] very mystical,’ observes photographer Edyta Rice

This commended entry by photographer Vitalij Bobrovic shows the quaint Cotswold village of Bibury

LEFT: Appearing on the shortlist for the World History category, this magnificent photograph portrays Loch an Eilein in the Rothiemurchus Forest in the Scottish Highlands. The ruins of a 14th-century castle can be seen in the centre of the loch. The castle is said to have once been the property of Alexander Stewart, 1st Earl of Buchan – also known as the Wolf of Badenoch – who was the third surviving son of King Robert II of Scotland. RIGHT: Dunnottar Castle in Aberdeenshire on Scotland’s northeastern coast is framed by the North Sea in this epic aerial shot, which is shortlisted in the World History category

This atmospheric photograph – shortlisted in the Historic England category – shows the Grade II-listed Sandfields Pumping Station, a ‘hidden historic gem’ in the Staffordshire city of Lichfield. Photographer David Moore says: ‘This Romanesque-styled masterpiece is a cathedral to the industrial revolution, for years unloved, for years abandoned.’ He adds that the station brought ‘clean water to the beleaguered communities of the industrial Black Country’ 

This ghostly photograph – shortlisted in the Overall Shortlist category – shows what remains of the shipwreck SS Carbon in the Isle of Wight’s Compton Bay. Photographer Scott Macintyre notes that the British Admiralty steam tug was wrecked in 1947

LEFT: Fenghuang Ancient City in China’s Hunan province was the setting for this stunning photograph, which takes the top prize in the World History category. RIGHT: This mesmerising commended entry shows Thurne Mill in Norfolk ‘diffused by the morning mist’

In this evocative shot, light filters through the stained glass windows of the 13th-century Church of Our Lady of the Angels in the Mallorcan town of Pollenca, casting ‘a rainbow of colours on the wall’. The picture has been shortlisted in the World History category

LEFT: Shortlisted in the World History category, this picture offers a bird’s-eye view of Ad Deir, a monument that has been carved into the red rock of the ancient city of Petra, Jordan. RIGHT: Photographer Paul Harris turned his lens on the derelict Calfaria Baptist Chapel in the Welsh town of Llanelli for this haunting picture, which is shortlisted in the World History category

LEFT: Harris is also behind this eerie picture of La Petite Ceinture, a 19th-century railway line for freight and passengers that wove around Paris. ‘Today it is mostly abandoned, left slowly being reclaimed by nature,’ says Harris. The shot is shortlisted in the World History category. RIGHT: Tintern Abbey, which sits by the River Wye in Monmouthshire, Wales, is stunningly captured in this commended entry. ‘On this morning, I was hoping for a light mist in the valley – and as I arrived, the sun had crept over the adjacent hills, spreading stunning rays through the central section of the abbey,’ says photographer Sam Binding

Above is another spectacular shot by Binding. Reigning supreme in the Historic England category, the photo shows Somerset’s Glastonbury Tor in the early-morning mist. ‘Steeped in legend, Glastonbury Tor is an incredible location to photograph,’ says the photographer. Judge Fiona Shields called it ‘an elegant image, powerful in its simplicity, the light falling so perfectly, framing the historic monument’. Whilst Judge Dan Snow says: ‘I’m a believer in getting up and out in the cold and dark to get the perfect show, and this photographer has done exactly that. There are millions of pictures of the Tor every year but only one like this’

LEFT: Photographer Hannah Rochford was behind the lens for this enchanting photograph of Glastonbury Tor backlit by the moon. The photographer says: ‘Glastonbury Tor is a magical place. You can guarantee that it will be surrounded by people whenever there is a full moon. To watch a moonrise behind the Tor is a very special feeling. There is nothing like it.’ Impressing the judges, the picture is shortlisted in the Historic England category. RIGHT: Behold the photograph of the Welsh wool mill, abandoned for 60 years, that snared Steve Liddiard the overall-winner crown. Judge Claudia Kenyatta described it as ‘a beautiful example of nature claiming the industrial heritage of the Welsh wool industry’. Judge Rich Payne, Executive editor for History at Little Dot Studios, added: ‘I admired the juxtaposition between the artifice of the wool’s colours and its natural material, as well as the clash of artificial and natural colours.’

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