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Photographer James Appleton wins the Grand Prize – and he says the image took five years to capture

The awards ceremony for the Kendal Mountain Photography Competition was held on Saturday 18 November. The six category winners went head to head to see who would take home the Grand Prize.

The prestigious competition, presented by Danner, has become a top highlight of the Kendal Mountain Festival and every year it continues to discover new talent and celebrate images that reflect the creative vision of the photographer. Henry Iddon, Arts and Culture Officer for Kendal Mountain Festival, and judging panel member, said the range of entries this year was impressive.

“We were delighted with the response to our call for entries to this year’s Photography Competition, the standard was high and the images reflected a wide range of activities and locations which was fantastic. Any of the shortlisted images could have won the Grand Prize – but we had to choose a winner and James’s image had an ethereal nature to it that made you yearn to be in the outdoors.”

The category winners

Adventure in the Outdoors – ‘The Pitch’ by Mark Burkey

This image also won the Peoples Choice Award.

‘The Pitch’ by Mark Burkey

Fido on the Fells – ‘Honey in the Snow’ by David Thexton

‘Honey in the Snow’ by David Thexton

Smartphone – Friends in High Places – ‘Running High’ by Natalie White

‘Running High’ by Natalie White

Urban Outdoors – ‘Southampton Docks’ by Joe McCarthy

‘Southampton Docks’ by Joe McCarthy

Young Photographer – Adventure on your Doorstep – ‘Birds Eye View’ by Charlotte Howie

‘Birds Eye View’ by Charlotte Howie

Mountain Landscapes and Grand Prize – ‘Big Night Out’ by James Appleton

‘Big Night Out’ by James Appleton

This image was taken at the Svínafellsjökull Glacier in Iceland. It took five years for James to get this image in the bag: “I’d first visited this particular glacier in 2008, but it wasn’t until a few years later I had the experience to get up on the ice and really explore the scale of it. The views looking up towards Iceland’s highest peaks from on the ice are incredible, and I had an instant desire to photograph the scene at night, with an aurora display powerful enough to match the mountains.

“After many failed attempts due to weather or poor solar wind conditions, in 2016 it finally all came together and I got the right conditions. I’m delighted that it has been recognised with the grand prize at Kendal!”

James won a two-night, half-board stay for two at Danner’s partner hotel, the luxurious Huus Hotel in Switzerland, plus two pairs of Danner boots.