2021 Explorers’ Choice Award: The Results

Earlier this year we announced the results of the 2021 Shackleton x Leica Capture the Extreme Photography Competition. We also launched the Explorers’ Choice Award, whereby we asked you to vote for your favourite from the 25 highly commended images that just missed out in the judges’ decisions. Nearly 3500 people got involved and having tallied up the votes we are delighted to announce the top three, as chosen by you:

In third place (10% of the votes)…

Ian Haggerty, Mongolia

BEHIND THE SHOT // “This shot was taken in August 2019. I was chosen as one of the photographers to document the Mongolian Derby, the world's longest horse endurance race. It's an amazing event run by even more amazing people. I was traveling with a driver and a translator, seriously awesome guys who helped me so much. One evening, we stopped at one of the horse stations – the driver and a friend of his were wearing traditional Mongolian clothes so I offered to take their picture. I wanted the horse lines in the background to make for a truly memorable photo. I used a Nikon D700 with a Sigma 85mm.”

In second place (14% of the votes)…

Paddy Scott, Pakistan

BEHIND THE SHOT // “We had been stuck at basecamp, waiting for clear weather. K6 had been shrouded in a thick layer of mist and cloud for a few days, and then, the morning that I took this, the mist began to clear. As the visibility improved, it felt as if the mountain was starting to wake and shake off its snowy cloak. As huge avalanches thundered down the face, the mist slowly cleared, and I felt as if I was looking in on an amphitheatre with all this drama on show.”

In first place (16% of the votes)…  

Wilder Biral, Russia

BEHIND THE SHOT // “In winter 2017, I was on a photography expedition in the heart of Siberia, in the great Lake Baikal at Cape Dragon. It’s a very famous spot as this little island sticks out of the ice during the winter, giving the appearance of a head of a dragon. On this day, the temperature was around -28ºC. I moved to shoot the rock with the moon behind – it’s one of my favourite pictures from that expedition.”

Shackleton and Leica would like to thank all the photographers who entered the 2021 'Capture the Extreme' Photography Competition.