Supercharged storms, a gigantic lenticular cloud over a volcano, incredible ice sculptures, and more—this year’s finalists in the Standard Chartered Weather Photographer of the Year award showcase some of the world’s most striking weather in their captivating shots.
Currently in its eighth year, this annual competition that is hosted by the Royal Meteorological Society has 25 shortlisted entries submitted by photographers from 94 countries.
Chile-based Francisco Negroni was awarded the top prize for his shot of “A Perfect Cloud,” which captured an enormous lenticular cloud surrounding the crater of the Villarrica volcano—one of Chile’s most active volcanoes.
Mr. Negroni spent 10 days camping near the volatile peak to capture this special moment. The resulting photo contrasts fiery hot lava with white snow, while the flying saucer-like clouds are illuminated magnificently.
The winning shot also shows “the rotation of the earth: the stars appear as streaks, since their position in the sky shifted during the long exposure,” according to a press release.
The Standard Chartered Weather Photographer of the Year competition also includes a smartphone category, which is run by the UK’s Royal Meteorological Society. The winning image in this category was a picture taken with a Samsung S23 which was praised by judges for its “drama and quality.”
Sydney-based Les Irwig captured a quiet moment in which a surfer stands clinging to his board amidst the waves on an Australian beach with a dramatic, stormy sky above him.
“One wonders what was on his mind as he stands in readiness,“ Mr. Irwig said about his picture, ”Braving the Storm.”
Meanwhile, the Young Weather Photographer of the Year title went to 17-year-old Jamie McBean, who won a generous cash prize and a double-page magazine spread for his photo of unusual cloud formations over beach huts in Kent, UK. The budding photographer grabbed his camera at sunset following a heavy thunderstorm to capture the incredible scene.
More than 9,000 people from around the world cast their vote in the Public Vote category. The “clear winner,” according to organizers of the competition, was Fernando Braga for his electrifying photo of lightning framing the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
Of his experience taking his winning image, “Divine Power,” Mr. Braga said: “This night was simply unforgettable for me. Like a dream come true.”
According to Liz Bentley, chief executive of the Royal Meteorological Society, the entries had such a “variety and quality” that the judges had a tough decision to make.