Standard Chartered Weather Photographer of the Year 2023: Winner Announcement 

5 October 2023

From thousands of submissions across 94 countries, the Royal Meteorological Society has announced its winners of the popular Standard Chartered Weather Photographer of the Year competition. 

The judging panel, comprised of experts from the fields of meteorology, photography and journalism, used their diverse perspectives to whittle this year's entries down to a gallery of eight stunning images that best reflect the fragility and beauty of our planet.  

As the title prize winner for 2023, Francisco Negroni from Chile, impressed with his photo 'A Perfect Cloud'. Negroni's image depicts two surreal, flying saucer-like rings of lenticular cloud circling the snow-covered summit of Volcan Villarrica, illuminated from within by the orange glow of lava. Not only were the judges intrigued by the contrast of hot and cold - they also commented on the photo's long exposure which captures the rotation of the earth, its stars appearing as streaks as their position shifted in the sky.


A Perfect Cloud by Francisco Negroni
A Perfect Cloud © Francisco Negroni, Standard Chartered Weather Photographer of the Year 2023


In the smartphone category, Les Irwig captured imaginations with his pensive surfer in Sydney, contemplating the heavy convective clouds that announce an impending storm. The judges praised the drama of this photo, which transports you to the perspective of someone 'Braving the Storm'.  


Braving the Storm by Les Irwig
Braving the Storm © Les Irwig, Standard Chartered Smartphone Weather Photographer of the Year 2023


The title of Young Weather Photographer of the Year was awarded to 17-year-old Jamie McBean, whose winning photo captures a heavy swathe of bulbous mammatus clouds at sunset, hanging low over a row of beach huts, following a thunderstorm in Kent. Jamie’s photo, entitled ‘Overhead Mammatus over Beach Huts at Herne Bay’, will have its own double page spread in the Week Junior Science+Nature magazine, for which Jamie will enjoy a year’s subscription.


Overhead Mammatus Over Beach Huts at Hearne Bay by Jamie McBean
Overhead Mammatus over Beach Huts at Herne Bay © Jamie McBean, Standard Chartered Young Weather Photographer of the Year 2023


More than 9,000 members of the public voted for their favourite photo this year, but the clear winner was 'Divine Power', by Fernando Braga, which captures lightning that frames the world-famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Braga took advantage of storm forecasts and captured a series of long exposures to maximise the chances of capturing lightning around the monument.   


Divine Power by Fernando Braga
Divine Power © Fernando Braga, Standard Chartered Public Favourite Weather Photographer of the Year 2023


Liz Bentley, Chief Executive of the Royal Meteorological Society said: “The judges had tough decisions to make this year, as we had such variety and quality of entries from all over the world. We’re delighted with the results, which show the capacity of the world’s weather for beauty and destruction, tranquillity 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.” 

This year, the competition saw an increase in submissions featuring extreme weather events such as floods, droughts and forest fires; together, these photos tell a collective story of the global impact of climate change, or at the very least, a shared awareness of environmental issues.

One captivating image with a hard-hitting narrative came from runner up, Tran Tuan. Shot from above in the Vietnamese province of Bac Giang, 'Forest Fire Boundary' shows a split landscape; one side lush and green, the other engulfed by smoke and flames.


Forest Fire Boundary by Tran Tuan
Forest Fire Boundary © Tran Tuan, Standard Chartered Weather Photographer of the Year 2023 Runner Up 


Marisa Drew, Chief Sustainability Officer for Standard Chartered, said: “I’ve been so impressed by the entries to this year’s competition, which have captured remarkable moments of extreme weather and the devastating impact of our changing climate. These images provide further evidence that we are already living with the effects of global warming and illustrate the need to respond to climate change with a sense of urgency. I hope they inspire further action to protect our planet as I extend my congratulations to the winners and runners up of this year’s competition. Thank you to everyone who has taken part.” 


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