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(CNN) – “The past is never dead,” Nobel Prize winning novelist William Faulkner once wrote. “It didn’t even happen.”

This famous quote could apply to many winners of this year’s Historic Photographer of the Year competition, in which photographers from around the world shared images of the historic sites, landscapes and structures in which they live.

Entries were judged on “originality, composition and technical competence”, as well as the context of the image and the story behind it.

Dan Korn, vice president of the Sky History network in the UK and one of the contest judges, noted that despite everything, creativity was still flourishing during the pandemic.

“There have been so many restrictions, constraints and hardships for so many people over the past two years,” he said. “But seeing some of the wonderful works on display here and the iconic and important sites around the world captured so vividly was a sign that history and humanity are alive and well in all their glory in 2021.”

This year’s award-winning photographs come from places as far away as Wales, Brazil and Turkey. Here are some important points.

A winner in Wales

This year’s overall award went to Steve Liddiard for his photograph of the Whiteford Point Lighthouse in Wales. This unique cast iron structure, built in 1865, has long been a favorite subject for photography. Liddiard captured the lighthouse at a dramatic moment, winning the admiration of the judges.

By day, Liddiard works as an associate practitioner for the National Health Service (NHS).

“Who would have thought!” he wrote on his Instagram page. “A guy (wandering) about three years ago exploring Wales to help my own sanity by taking pictures with my camera phone would evolve into this.”

Some historians believe that Bamburgh was the model for Sir Lancelot’s castle, Joyous Garde.

Scott Antcliffe

Other notable images

UK channel History Hit TV and heritage conservation group Historic England also sponsored the awards, meaning there were quite a few entries from all over the UK.

Other winning images in the competition were photos of Hereford Cathedral, St Michael’s Tower in Glastonbury and Scott Antcliffe’s sunset over Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland (pictured above).

There were also several winning images from other corners of the globe.

Historical photographer of the year competition: discover the winning photos of 2021

Brazilian Oscar Niemeyer is considered one of the titans of modern architecture.


A photographer who identifies himself as simply Alistair was selected for his photo of the Niterói Museum of Contemporary Art in Rio de Janeiro, designed by Oscar Niemeyer. The building, which visitors say looks like everything from a UFO to a concrete flower, is a popular destination for architecture enthusiasts.

Historical photographer of the year competition: discover the winning photos of 2021

The remains of a downed US Navy Douglas C-117D have become a popular backdrop for music videos.

Yevhen Samuchenko

One of the most striking entries was the wreckage of a US Navy plane that crashed near Sólheimasandur, Iceland in 1973. It was taken by Ukrainian photographer Yevhen Samuchenko, who also photographed for UNESCO and the Royal Photography Society.


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