Historic Photographer of the Year Competition 2023 - Winners Announnced

First published:
November 24, 2023
February 13, 2024

Historic Photographer of the Year Competition 2023 - Winners Announnced

First published:
November 24, 2023
February 13, 2024

Overall Winner 2023 - Callanish Standing Stones by John Drury

From the mythical Callanish Stones to the haunting beauty of Dartmoor, discover the winners of Historic Photographer of the Year, 2023

History Hit, has announced the winners of the 2023 Historic Photographer of the Year photography competition.

The competition called on photographers to "explore and capture the very best historic sites that the world has to offer", with the judges looking at originality, composition and technical proficiency alongside the story behind the submission and its historical impact.

The judging panel (which included Picfair's very own Philip Mowbray - Focus Editor) reviewed over 1000 entries and have selected their three category winners:

Overall Winner 2023:

Callanish Standing Stones by John Drury

The 2023 overall winner is Josh Drury, from Bath, with their photograph (above) of Callanish Standing Stones on The Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.

Philip described it as: “It is a gorgeous scene; the sunrise is perfectly placed to give this image a mythical, otherworldly element synonymous with the stones. Stunning.” Fellow judge Melissa Roth, added: “This image is evocative on many levels, as an ode to ancient human history, as a symbol of hope and renewal.”

Historic England category 2023:

Dartmoor’s Windy Post Cross by Scott Macintyre

Winning the Historic England category this year is Scott Macintyre, from Dorchester in Dorset, with their image of Dartmoor’s Windy Post Cross.

Judge Claudia Kenyatta commented: “Wayside crosses are one of the distinctive features of Dartmoor, and this beautiful and atmospheric image captures brilliantly the way in which this ancient monument has become such an intrinsic part of Dartmoor’s historic landscape.” Whilst Judge Dan Snow said: “There is nowhere quite like Dartmoor. There is an energy here, a dialogue between landscape, sky and fragmentary history that is difficult to appreciate without visiting. This picture captures the essence of the place. Darkness, light, wild and human jockeying for position.”

World History 2023 winner:

Auschwitz - Birkenau by George Anthony Fi

George Anthony Fisk, from Whitstable in Kent, takes first in the World History category with their image of Auschwitz - Birkenau.

Judge Dan Snow commented: “A bold decision to turn the camera around. There are so many powerful images of the gates of Auschwitz, this one looks back in the direction from which the victims came. The tracks once lead to innumerable happy homes, families and communities. Now gone. Disappeared like the track over the horizon. A clever shot that makes us think differently about a hauntingly familiar site.”

The shortlist:

Entries ranged from mist shrouded scenes of Britain’s ancient structures, to brutal reminders of modern conflict in historic sites around the world.

While some photographs celebrated the marriage of the natural and the man-made, as seen in the frost-covered silhouette of Silbury Hill in Avebury, others brought histories of industrialisation and community into the present, such as the smouldering shell of The Crooked House pub in South Staffordshire, which captured the world’s interest in August of this year. 34 talented amateur photographers made the 2023 shortlist, which can be viewed on the Historic Photographer website.

Gourock Bomb Shelters by Pete Stevens
St Cwyfan's Chuch by Steve Liddard
About Historic Photographer of the Year

The Historic Photographer of the Year competition launched for entries on 1 August 2023. The competition is open to amateur and professional photographers over the age of 18 and resident in the UK. The overall winner will see their work showcased on the official competition website and will receive a cash prize of £250, while category winners stand to win a cash prize of £50. The Historic England category winner will also receive up to £100-worth of books selected from the Historic England imprint.

The Historic England category, run in partnership with Historic England, celebrates the best of England’s heritage. The World History category recognises sensational photographs of sites around the world. Entries will be judged by a panel of five judges based on their originality, composition and technical proficiency alongside the story behind the image and its historical impact.