Out of over 94,000 entries, 43 of the winners in the CEWE Our World is Beautiful photo contest were from the UK.

Many of these photos were taken right here in the UK too, proving that we don’t just have a talented bunch of photographers over here, but that the United Kingdom is a truly beautiful place to live.

First, let’s take a look at the three photos that ranked highest for our UK entrants.

Elephants in Serengeti – Stephan Gimpel

Elephants in Serengeti

“I took this shot during a self-drive tour of Northern Tanzania. We camped in one of the national parks overnight and came across this small herd on an early morning game drive. After taking a couple of quick shots, I managed to reposition the car to frame the herd with the two free-standing trees for a balanced composition. I decided to submit the black and white version of the photo as I think it works well with the dark elephants and brings out the contrast in the sky.”

Zebra Crossing – Andy Goldby

Zebra Crossing

“This photo was taken in Namibia as I took a road trip around the Kalahari with my girlfriend.  On this particular day we had stopped to take a photo of a few zebra to the side of the road when one of them approached the road, stopped, looked both ways and then walked straight across the road right in front of the animal crossing sign.  The only thing missing was the black and white stripes being painted on the road and somehow it seemed wrong to ‘photoshop’ them in (although I have subsequently created a version with these in).”

Bus On Tower Bridge – Jim Carrington

Bus on Tower Bridge

“Tower Bridge is a special place for me. As a young child, I visited London every year with my dad. I would always insist that we visit Tower Bridge, in the hope that we see the road raised to let a boat through. It was nearly forty years before that wish came true!

So when my nephew and I recently planned a photography trip to London, Tower Bridge was at the top of my list again. We arrived at dusk to catch the bridge illuminations with some light trails from the traffic. I think the bridge looks beautiful in this picture, but the bus probably steals the show.”

A Selection of Our UK Winners

Here’s a selection of the other winning photos from the UK and the stories behind them.

Sunrise at Sheringham and Hartland Quay – Joyce James

Sunrise at Sheringham

Hartland Quay

“Hartland Quay was taken at sunset and Sunrise at Sheringham was (obviously) taken at sunrise – which typifies the beauty of the sky and the nigh on perfect light at each end of the day plus my pleasure at being able to capture it. I was in position, down at the seafront at 5am for the Sheringham shot!”

Sycamore Gap – Terry Eyre

Sycamore Gap

“I remember the night well as the Aurora displayed its beauty to our beautiful county. I had in mind a shot looking north with a nice silhouette, knowing it was going to be visible so far down I decided to head towards Keswick in Cumbria, a place called Castlerigg Stone Circle, this landmark is to the west of the country with a dramatic backdrop.

It dawned on me I was close to a beautiful place called Sycamore Gap along the Roman wall where a lone tree sits on the bottom of embankments to either side. I thought what a picture of balance that could be. I changed direction onto the military road and headed off, parked the car then set off by foot. After a twenty minute walk in the pitch black I arrived, where not to my surprise I came across four other photographers in the middle of nowhere thinking the same as me.

I set up then watched the magnificent display with fellow photographers feeling pretty jubilant. The Aurora Borealis was so strong that night they were dancing above our heads until the early hours.”

Ready for Flight? – Rachel Pye

Ready for Flight?

“My photograph was taken on my 3rd official date with my now husband of 2 years, on a cold but bright December day in Morecambe. Sadly he’s not a fan of the photograph but I received the ‘congratulations’ letter on our 2nd wedding anniversary so felt quite vindicated for submitting the picture!

I know it might not be a headline-grabbing story but the photograph always reminds me of hoping he’d be the one I’d see all my future sunsets with.”

Barrel Racer – Barry Stockton

Barrel Racer

“My photo was taken near Phoenix Arizona, on the Yavapai Reservation. It was taken at their rodeo, which they hold every year to celebrate their victory over plans to build a dam on their land.

The proposed dam would have flooded a large portion of the Fort McDowell Reservation and forced tribal members to relocate. Each year they hold a pow-wow and rodeo to celebrate and I have attended on a few occasions.

The photo I submitted is of 8 x World Champion Barrel Racer, Kassidy Dennison, doing what she does best. She and her horse Eagle are a perfect team and are just incredible to watch.  They are at a full on gallop straight from the start line, around those barrels and back to the finish. I wanted my photo to show the sheer power and exertion needed to be a champion racer, every muscle and sinew on Eagle is straining to get the fastest time around those barrels.”

Symmetry – Claire Wallace

Symmetry

“The photo was one of many I took in London for a sponsored 10k walk for the MS society. We were walking towards Shad Thames to the registration point when the view before me was too good to be true! The lines, symmetry of the buildings and Tower Bridge in the distance were incredible. The young lad with his feet straddling the drain in the middle was pure luck! All in all it was a fab photo – I was very lucky.”

Peacock in Bloom – Kieran Drew

Peacock in Bloom

“I took the picture when I took my newborn son out to a safari park for the day. I always carry my camera and I was taken back by the stunning colours and patterns of the peacock’s display.”

My First Swim – Alexandra Lavizzari

My First Swim

“I just love Abbotsbury in Dorset and really had a great time watching the swans and cygnets this year. It is a great place to visit for bird lovers like me.”

Reculver – Adrian Bennett 

Reculver

“I picked this one as it was my surprise shoot of the year. It was a cold damp night with a mist in the air and I really did not want to go out to Recuvler in Herne Bay but my friend talked me into it. Once there we could see how the rays of light were passing through the mist – it was magical to see.”

African Sunset – Mike Godfrey

African Sunset

“I took the photo in Murchison Falls National Park in Northern Uganda. We had witnessed the brutal sight of hyenas carrying off parts of a Uganda kob which they had killed and torn apart. Nature in the raw and it leaves you feeling a bit shaken. Minutes later and things were calm. The sun was setting and everything was tranquil, I looked towards the sunset and saw the acacia tree with the silhouettes of Uganda kob and Jackson’s hartebeest settling for the night. Wonderful.”

Wide-Eyed & Beautiful, Concentration and Northern Lights – Andy Goldby

Wide-Eyed & Beautiful

“My girlfriend and I went to Liberty’s Owl and Raptor Centre, a bird park in the New Forest, as she is a big fan of raptors (especially owls) and this very cute southern white-faced owl was one of our favourite ‘models’.”

Concentration

“This photo was taken at the Wildlife Heritage Foundation where they have a large selection of well cared for endangered great cats. The park is well set up for photographers with the ability to attend special days when you can get closer than normal to the cages.

This Jaguar was wandering around his enclosure without paying us any real attention but when I lay down close to the bars his attitude changed completely and he went into hunting mode giving me the chance to grab this shot before rolling far enough away from the bars to prevent him from reaching through to grab me or the camera.”

Northern Lights

“I was touring Iceland with three friends and although we had been hoping to see the northern lights we had seen no trace of them until this day. We had spent a long day exploring along the south coast to the iceberg lake where the end of the glacier carves into the sea.  

On the way back it was dark and we had a very clear sky so I stopped to grab a couple shots of the mountains with the stars in the background.  However, on reviewing the first shot there was a small smudge of reddy green in one corner of the frame and as I turned the camera and took another shot it was clear that the aurora was just starting but was too faint for the human eye to see.  That gave us enough time to find somewhere safe to stop and set up a tripod.  As I was taking this shot a car drove past and I feared that this would have ruined the shot but in fact it added a nice dimension of the road and the taillights.”

Large Blue Butterfly – Lynne Demaine

Large Blue Butterfly

“The Great Blue Butterfly was one of the last UK butterflies we needed to see. So we spent a day in Gloucestershire at a local Wildlife Trust reserve searching for this particular butterfly – one of Britain’s rarest. Much to our delight we found a pair of newly emerged butterflies!”

Congratulations to all the winners – we loved seeing your pictures and hearing the stories behind them.