The first installment of the prestigious Landscape Photographer of the Year exhibition opens today, Monday 20 November, at Waterloo station.
Network Rail is using space at several of its stations, including London Bridge, Edinburgh and Leeds, to provide a compelling setting for the exciting display.
Commuters, shoppers and station visitors will be able to enjoy outstanding photographs of the British landscape, ranging from atmospheric views of the misty Scottish wilderness, through to powerful images of stormy seas and iconic meandering rivers.
The first leg of the free exhibition will feature 148 images, and be held on the balcony of London Waterloo. This will be followed by a tour of over 55 winning & selected images at other stations.
The exhibition includes the 2017 winner of the Network Rail ‘Lines in the Landscape’ award, a category which challenges entrants to best encapsulate how Britain’s railway relates to its surrounding landscape. Photographed by Jon Martin, the winning image is a stunning shot of the first train crossing Barmouth bridge, Wales after sunrise.
As winner of the ‘Lines in the Landscape’ award Jon will receive an exclusive visit to Britain’s favourite railway landmark, the Forth Bridge in Scotland. Here, weather permitting, he will have the chance to photograph the 127-year old railway bridge from areas not accessible to the general public. Network Rail will arrange for Jon to take the engineers’ lift to the top of this iconic structure to capture some amazing views of the River Forth and see the Bridge from a completely different perspective. In addition, Take a view, who organize the competition, will pay £300 to assist with expenses.
I was thrilled and stunned in equal measure on discovering that I had won the Network Rail Award. The bridge across the challenging terrain of the Mawddach Estuary at Barmouth is extraordinary. My favourite viewpoint was on a hill above the estuary looking down on the curves and lines in the landscape. I just had to wait for the next train to pass to get the shot I wanted.
Our desire to surprise and delight our customers using our station spaces in unexpected ways is just one way we are making stations destinations in their own right. This is the fifth year Network Rail has hosted this unique exhibition in our managed stations, and it has always proved to be a hugely popular event for station users.
Yet again, the standard of the images in the exhibition is extremely high, and we hope that millions of visitors and passengers who use our stations will enjoy them.
David Biggs, Managing Director of Network Rail Property
The absence of sky in Jon’s image makes the scale ambiguous, giving the impression of a small train within a vast landscape, and the juxtaposition of the straight lines of the rail bridge with the sinuous curves of water on the sand is very pleasing. It unquestionably demonstrates the ability of railway engineers, both past and present, to meet the challenges of difficult terrain and I am in such admiration of their ingenuity in providing the links that are so vital to us today.
Charlie Waite Awards founder and judge
The Landscape Photographer of the Year is an annual competition for both amateur and professional photographers and offers a top prize of £10,000. Now in its 11th year, the competition was founded by renowned landscape photographer Charlie Waite and aims to highlight the very best imagery of Britain’s beautiful rural and urban scenery.
The free exhibition will run for twelve weeks at Waterloo, closing on Sunday 4 February, before it tours the UK.
Dates for the tour are as follows:
Waterloo station – 20 November to 4 February
London Bridge – 19 February to 11 March
Edinburgh – 14 March to 31 March
Leeds – 2 April to 15 April
Further tour venues and timings will follow