Cumbria-based photographer Mark Littlejohn was at a café in Tynemouth when he received news that he had triumphed in the 2014 Landscape Photographer of the Year competition.
For a while, he struggled to take in the information – which was relayed in a phone call from the contest’s founder Charlie Waite, one of the world’s most highly respected landscape photographers.
Charlie told Mark that his image of a stream after heavy rain, dwarfed by Glencoe, had eclipsed thousands of other entries to take the £10,000 top prize.
‘I suppose all I can say is that I just felt pure joy,’ said Mark, who described the moment in the café as a ‘surreal experience’.
‘When you enter the competition, you hope against hope that you get an image in the book and you can’t really consider the possibility that you will win.’
Commenting on the winning shot, Charlie Waite said: ‘Mark discovered and isolated a fleeting moment of beauty within a vast and slightly threatening arena.
‘The composition compels us to visually explore the image, and its delicacy and understatement are enormously satisfying.
‘I am very much looking forward to seeing the subtle colours and painterly textures of the scene in the large- exhibition print.’
This year’s Young Landscape Photographer of the Year was named as Sam Rielly, for his b&w shot of his mother walking in Anglesey.
The best images from the competition are due to go on show at Waterloo Station in London from 1 December.
The exhibition runs until 31 January 2015.