2020 Explorers' Choice Award: The Results

In early March, we asked the public to take their pick from the 25 Highly Commended images in the 2020 Shackleton x Leica Capture the Extreme Photography Competition. We've tallied up the votes and are delighted to announce the top three, as chosen by you:


Aviaaja Schluter, Antarctica

BEHIND THE SHOT // “Since 2016 I’ve been working in Antarctica for three months of the year, where I live in a small mountain tent and work within tourism. I was working in one of our remote camps at 79 degrees south and it was a beautiful day. As I was walking from our main tent to one of our storage areas, I spotted one of our guests on skis. He was walking ahead of his guide and his travel companion. I thought the glacier looked enormous all of a sudden when I saw it in contrast to the man on the horizon. I ran through the snow to the main tent, grabbed my camera, and ran back out afraid I had missed the moment. Luckily, I managed to catch him while he was still visible in the distance. To me this photo captures the essence of man versus nature in the simplest way.”


Jon Cleave, Iceland

BEHIND THE SHOT // “Filmmaking and photography in Arctic winters can bring great challenges, so choosing to capture the Land of Fire and Ice in its roughest season, with limited hours of daylight and erratic weather patterns, leaves you with a few small windows of opportunity. This shot has to be one of my favourites, taken at the last location I visited before a snowstorm kicked in.”


Jayne Ryan, Canada

BEHIND THE SHOT // “My husband and I were on our first trip to see the polar bears of Hudson Bay. We were out on the tundra buggy when this female and her two cubs appeared. As they moved away from us, she looked back at us. It was a very special moment. One I will never forget.”

Shackleton and Leica would like to thank all the photographers who entered the 2020 Capture the Extreme Photography Competition. For details on the 2021 competition, look out for news later in the year.