Pets, for time immemorial, have given us great pleasure, whether it’s through their loving companionship or their often funny behaviour. It’s with that in mind that the Kennel Club set up the Dog Photographer of the Year competition. The event is now in its tenth year, and this year alone received around 13,000 entries from 90 countries.
This year’s winner is Anastasia Vetkovskaya from Russia who sent in a photo of her dog Sheldon, an English springer spaniel. Anastasia receives a SmugMug business account, as well as a two- day course with professional dog photographer Andy Biggar. She will also receive an oil painting of her image from the artist Sara Abbott.
Overall winner – Anastasia Vetkovskaya, Russia
Here, in this winning image of an English springer spaniel, we see the real benefit of shooting in the early hours. The mist of the early morning has created a dreamy atmosphere with the low raking light that follows just after sunrise. Picture by Anastasia Vetkovskaya
Dogs at Play winner – Tom Lowe, UK
Don’t forget to make the most of dramatic landscapes for effective dog portraits. The rugged scenery here also perfectly fits the dog’s breed, a West Highland white terrier. Picture by Tom Lowe
Dogs at Work 2nd place – Robert James Dray, UK
Make sure you get down to your dog’s level. This dog works for West Midlands Fire Service, and the shoes protect its paws from the heat caused by fires. Picture by Robert James Dray
Dog Portrait winner – Jamie Morgan, UK
Environmental context can do so much to emphasise the physical and emotional character of your dogs. This is a great example showing two Afghan hounds. Picture by Jamie Morgan
Puppies 3rd place – Monika Madi, UK
Monika shot this with an aperture of f/4 at 1/180sec, giving her image a nice shallow depth of field and a real sense of depth. The image also benefits from lovely natural window light spilling into the background. Picture by Monika Madi
Oldies 2nd place – Adriana Bernal, Columbia
Sometimes the most candid moments can provide excellent results. There’s nothing posed or contrived here. It’s a simple, quiet moment but it gives us so much. Also note the complementary tones and colours. Picture by Adriana Bernal
Oldies 3rd place – Jonathan Yearsley, UK
This is such a strong portrait for a couple of reasons. First, the dogs themselves are large domineering presences. In the background we have a simple uncomplicated sky, and that contrasts beautifully the generous portion of grass beneath the subjects. It’s simply composed, but all the more effective for it. Picture by Jonathan Yearsley
Dogs at Play 3rd place – Daniel Nygaard, Sweden
To round us off we have this excellent action shot of a Dalmatian on the ice of the Gulf of Bothnia in Sweden. The lens was a Nikon 14-24mm, giving the scene ample coverage and an exposure of 1/1,600sec at f/8 to ensure the perfectly timed image was captured perfectly. Picture by Daniel Nygaard
The winning images will be on show at the Kennel Club in London, until 12 September. The exhibition is free to visit by appointment.