A photo of a “perfect cloud” above the snow-covered summit of a volcano in Chile has won Weather Photographer of the Year 2023.
Francisco Negroni took home the $6,100 (£5,000) prize for his photo of lenticular clouds that appear like two surreal, flying saucer-like rings as they are illuminated from the lava inside the Villarrica volcano.
The public vote winner was none other than Fernando Braga for his amazing photo of lightning striking the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro. PetaPixel featured the blockbuster photo back in February.
“I feel very happy, honored, accomplished and I am immensely grateful to have been chosen by the public,” he tells PetaPixel.
“Even though I wasn´t the main winner, for me it is more than I could imagine. Just to be on the shortlist was already fantastic!”
The competition organizers, Standard Chartered and the Royal Meteorological Society, say that more than 9,000 members of the public voted for their favorite photo this year, and “the clear winner was Divine Power.”
“Braga took advantage of storm forecasts and captured a series of long exposures to maximize the chances of capturing lightning around the monument.”
The judges say that more of the photos this year were images that raise awareness of the impact of climate change.
“The judges had tough decisions to make this year, as we had such variety and quality of entries from all over the world,” says Liz Bentley, Chief Executive of the Royal Meteorological Society.
“We’re delighted with the results, which show the capacity of the world’s weather for beauty and destruction, tranquility and power.
“The competition serves as a reminder that we must strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change to keep our heating planet from exacerbating extreme weather events.”
More information can be found on the competition’s website.