As the first signs of Spring are around the corner, it is time to reflect upon the Winter edition of our Sony Alpha Universe Instagram competition and look back on our winning entries.
The competition inspired our community of Sony Instagram photographers to leave the comfort of their homes and photograph the spectacular winter weather close to them. As the weeks rolled on, the number of entries snowballed, and we enjoyed looking at the thousands of ice and snow-covered images you shared.
As ever, the standard of entries was extremely high, and it wasn't easy to choose a winner. However, we have chosen Dr Axel Tenter's spectacular but simple image of trees in the snow.
“'We loved the brilliantly executed simplicity of the image”', said a Sony judge. “It is a striking scene that is a worthy winner.”
Dr Tenter only took up photography as a serious hobby on a cruise in Norway back in 2017, but the photography bug had taken enough of a on him, to venture out in the snow to take the winning image. Like many other photographers, the lure of a perfect blanket of snow is too much to resist.
It was a horrible two-hour-night-drive with a lot of snow, fallen trees and closed roads to a large water dam called Neyetalsperre in the west of Germany. I had to walk the last kilometre because I couldn't manage the steep snowy road in my car. I took several photographs at the dam, but on my way back to the car, the minimalist scene of the trees in the snow caught my eye. The picture looks like a drawing; for me, it tells a story: the growing and passing of the endless circle of life.”
Axel took the shot with a Sony Alpha 7 and FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS lens and mounted them to a tripod to keep everything sharp. As the competition winner, he will now be able to look forward to shooting more winter images next year with his prize, the Sony Alpha 7 IV.
''The winter inspires me to take photographs of snow and frost. Ideally, I like shooting in fog to minimise distracting elements in the landscape and to emphasise structure and patterns, especially in the woodland. I am looking forward to getting out into nature with the Alpha 7 IV, especially with the 33 MP sensor and the comfort of the articulated screen. On a practical note, the Anti-Dust shutter will help me when I change lenses out in the wild.”
In second place was Alexander Wieck's beautiful portrait of a deer against a snowy winter background.
I shot the image near my hometown in Allgäu, Southern Bavaria, Germany. It was taken in a wildlife reserve for deer and wild animals to protect them from starving during winter in the mountains. I remember it was pretty cold, and I was shaking, and my fingers were frozen. Then that huge deer just looked into my camera, and I took the shot against that crazy backdrop. When I saw that image on the screen, I was happy; I knew that this image was very special.”
Alexander will now receive a Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 G Master lens as his prize, and he already has some exciting plans.
'I've just got a new little puppy, so I'm excited to use this lens to take some cute puppy pictures indoors in our photo studio and, of course, outdoor in the snow.”
Finally, Risto Kosk captured a beautiful wintery landscape in his Estonian homeland.
I took the image with my Sony Alpha 7 IV a few minutes after sunset. During the winter, there usually isn't a lot of colour in the landscape, but sunsets can still provide a lot of colour. That evening especially, the colours were amazing.”
For finishing third, Risto wins a Sony FE 24mm f/2.8 G lens. “I'm looking forward to using the lens to shoot some timelapse video or some long exposure seascapes. I also have a Sony FX3 for shooting video, and an FE 20mm f/1.8 G lens, so having another wideangle lens will allow me to shoot landscape photos and video simultaneously.”
We can't wait to see what our winners capture with their new prizes.
If you want to be in with a chance of winning a future Sony Alpha Universe competition, make sure you follow our Instagram account, Sony Alpha Universe EU Instagram