Image copyright Stephen Cheatley Image caption Stephen Cheatley had to contend with “pretty extreme” conditions to bag his winning shot A British photographer has scooped a global prize with his shot of lightning over Blackpool.
Stephen Cheatley’s picture depicts the Lancashire seaside resort – known for its annual illuminations – lit up by a more celestial source during a storm.
The amateur lensman beat 4,000 fellow snappers to be crowned Weather Photographer of The Year with his Electric Blackpool image.
Judges said it had been “an extremely competitive year”.
Mr Cheatley said he set out after an “intense” summer storm a few days earlier had made him “determined to try to capture some strikes this time”.
His persistence was rewarded when, just after midnight, Blackpool’s famous promenade was lashed by rain and multiple bolts of lightning.
He said he chose the seafront location to capture some “famous buildings in the shot like the piers and Blackpool Tower”.
Mr Cheatley was named overall winner, while prizes were also given in the over-17s and under-16s categories.
Image copyright Dan Matthewman Image caption Dan Matthewman took his photo on a climbing expedition to the French Alps. After catching the first cable car of the day, he said he was “just in time to catch the other climbers descending the snow ridge in the fog”. He won the over-17s category
Image copyright Neil Barr Image caption Neil Barr said of his shot, taken during a blizzard in Greenock, Scotland: “I headed out on foot to the local supermarket for essential supplies and took my camera with me to hopefully capture some of the magic. The wind and the snow made it difficult to capture shots without getting snow on the lens.” He won third place in the over-17s category
Image copyright Nikoly Schegolev Image caption Nikoly Schegolev’s photo was taken at a train station near dawn “with the sun rising behind the houses”. “Due to the cold weather, steam from the engine was especially noticeable,” he said. His photo was placed second in the over-17s category
Image copyright Kathryn Parent Image caption Kathryn Parent’s photo won the The Public’s Favourite award. She was on a storm-chasing holiday in America’s so-called Tornado Alley when she took it. Mrs Parent and her husband spotted the “massive supercell” after they stopped to give another group of twister addicts a lift. They named it the Ellie Cloud, because it reminded them of the woolly mammoth character in the Ice Age film series. “I like to think of Ellie as our reward for being good Samaritans,” she said Image copyright Hoang Viet Nguyen Phung Image caption Hoang Viet Nguyen Phung won the under-16 category with Fog Wave – an atmospheric shot capturing a mist-covered landscape
Mr Cheatley won a £500 prize, a new camera and a year’s membership to the Royal Meteorological Society, which organised the competition.
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The winning entries will be exhibited around England at various locations.
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