Not everyone tends to go away over the summer holidays, but for those who do readers of Wild magazine tend to do the most adventurous things, right?

That was our thinking when we decided to ask our Facebook followers to send in their favourite shots from the holidays. As it turned out, were weren’t disappointed as an increasing number of pictures arrived on our Facebook timeline and in the Wild email inbox day after day.

That was how the deluge of images began. Even worse, we now had a competition on our hands that required us to choose the best of the best. With so many high quality pictures arriving, how were we to decide which weren’t going to make the cut?

In the end, we figured it was easiest to stick with the classic Wild cover rules: the image must feature a beautiful wilderness landscape (no structures or vehicles!), but should also include a human figure either bushwalking, paddling or skiing. We then further whittled the list down by removing any images submitted from professional photography Facebook pages in order to keep the competition grass-roots focused.

That left us with about a dozen images, of which we would choose just three to send prizes to.

After much deliberation and some robust discussion, we finally settled on our winners. These are listed below, along with our reasoning for selecting them. For all those who missed out this time, don’t worry; you can always submit an image for consideration in the magazine’s ‘Wild Shot’ page by emailing us directly.

Barn Bluff, Tasmania

In 3rd place – ‘Barn Bluff’. Photo: David Charles.

Third Place

We decided to go with a truly classic Wild cover-style image for third place. Captured in Tasmania’s awe-inspiring Cradle Mountain National Park, a lone figure ascends a trail that leads to low rise broken by loose rock. On the horizon behind, Barn Bluff rises ominously above the figure, as if to impose itself as its own character within the composition.

David Charles’ holiday snap from 2013 conjures that feeling of a David (coincidence?) and Goliath face-off that is so prevalent in the mindset of mountaineers, climbers and hikers alike. For this reason, we’ve awarded the photo third place among the entire competition.

As prize for third place, David wins a copy of Lost Animals: Extinction and the photographic record, by Errol Fuller (Bloomsbury, 2013).

Second Place

Lake Oberon, Western Arthurs, Tasmania

Second place getter: ‘Lake Oberon sunrise’. Photo: Katherine Wilde.

We were slightly swayed by public opinion at this stage. There was one image in particular that, although not a traditional cover-style image for us, nevertheless stood out among the rest as being very ‘wild’. But moreover, this image received a very large amount of attention from our Facebook audience.

While the human subject may not be physically represented within the image itself, it feels nevertheless present in this landscape. Depicting a foggy dawn at Lake Oberon in Tasmania’s Western Arthurs, the fish eye effect of the lens provides a changing perspective as the eye is drawn down from the hazy crags of the skyline to the rocks and water at the feet of the photographer.

We feel this image from Katherine Wilde captures the kind of primordial wilderness our readers love, while the style of shot is used to effectively immerse the viewer into the scene itself. We feel like we’re there with Katherine capturing that holiday snap, and we think that alone is worthy of second prize.

Katherine will receive our ‘Adventurer’s Book Prize’, which consists of three titles: After Everest: Inside the private world of Edmund Hillary, by Paul Little (Allen & Unwin, 2012); White Sherpas: Reaching the top with the Australian Bicentennial Everest Expedition, by Patrick Cullinan (Barrallier Books, 2013); and Field guide to wildlife of the Australian snow-country, by Ken Green and William Osbourne (New Holland Publishers, 2012).

Snowshoeing Mount Bogong

First place winner! ‘Snowshoeing Mount Bogong’. Photo: Danielle Curnow-Andreasen.

First Place

This first place photograph didn’t need to be discussed – the entire team agreed it deserved first place as soon as the shortlist was finalised.

This image truly crystallises are trend that has become abundantly clear since we began this competition: Wild readers are all excellent photographers. We’ve never seen such a collection of crowdsourced images that really capture the emotion involved in their subjects. Particularly among the winning photos, it seems that each photo speaks volumes in an incredibly organic way. The winner exemplifies this while going one step further.

When you’re walking in the world’s high places, the thin air, bright sunlight and buffeting winds can contribute to a sensation of vertigo – even when you don’t suffer from it. This is exacerbated when you look down and all you see is the sky spreading out below your feet. Now you can’t be sure which way is up. Are you falling or climbing? This sensation is captured with startling accuracy in Danielle Curnow-Andreasen’s shot, rather humbly – yet accurately – entitled: ‘Snowshoeing Mount Bogong’.

For her supreme effort, Danielle receives our ‘Intrepid Photographer Book Prize’, which consists of the two large format hardbacks: Ines Papert: Life on the steepest faces, by Johanna Stockl (Delius Klasing Verlag, 2012); and Out of the Blue: Australia, by Richard Woldendorp (Fremantle Press, 2013).

Congratulations to our winners, and special thanks to all those who’ve taken part in our Facebook photo competition to find the best ‘Wild holiday snaps’.

But before we let you go, we wanted to make a special mention to one image that worked well on social media and completely fit the bill in every way – it just didn’t quite make the final cut. Heremaia Titoko’s moody post to our Timeline of Mount Feathertop is about as raw as they come.

In recognition of a near miss in this extremely stiff social competition, we have a free half-year subscription coming your way Heremaia!