Capturing the beauty of nature through landscapes has long been a popular means of visual artistic expression. From painting to photography, our world inspires artists of all mediums. And if the photos on the 500px Popular feed are any indication, you all love landscapes as well! To honor this long tradition of capturing the magnificence of the world around us, we asked you to submit shots of your local landscape for the chance to not only have your photos featured here but also take home a prize pack of NiSi filters.

Maybe a local landscape where you live is a suburban running path or a mountain vista; whatever scenery it is you find in your own backyard, we wanted to see it in all its unique glory. To select the winner of this Quest, we asked Francesco Gola, an incredible landscape photographer in his own right, to pick his three favorite submissions. Gola is an Italian photographer who loves capturing long exposure seascapes. His passion for the sea and for traveling has taken him to some of the most iconic destinations on the planet. Check out his portfolio of coastal photography on his 500px account. We’ll let him take it from here with the three winners of the Local Landscapes Quest.

Third Place

Valahnúkur by Swen strOOp on

“I believe that for a photo to be a great shot it needs a perfect composition. In this image, I simply love how the leadings line of nature are used. Everything starts on a lovely foreground, from which every line drives your sight to the same point — the light source. The shutter speed with the moving clouds makes the image dynamic and helps to make the atmosphere even more dramatic.”

Second Place

Before the Last Sun Sets by Hasaan Fazal on

“If good composition is essential to a great shot, light is what transforms a correctly exposed image into an emotion. In this image, every detail comes to life as soon as it is enveloped by the warm sunset light — the reflection on the river, the sunbeams that caress the top of the mountain projecting their shadows on the clouds, the trees that seem to be on fire. It’s a celebration of life and each leading line takes our eyes on an unforgettable journey.”

And Francesco’s selected First Place winner is. . .

Swamp things by Eriks Zilbalodis on

“This image is the perfect example that an amazing landscape picture is not made only wide angle lenses, huge mountains, and stormy seas. Here it’s not about the open spaces, but the intimate vision of the photographer. Conceptions of a common landscape are inverted; a swamp is not a gloomy and cold place, but a reflection of the warm light from the sky to reveal details of the vegetation mirrored in the water. Our sight is drawn up to follow the sinuous bank until it gets lost in the fog that separates the various layers of the image, giving it an almost infinite depth. Breathtaking.”

Congratulations to all three winning photographers who are taking home NiSi filter kits!

Didn’t have a chance to submit your photography to our Local Landscapes Quest? Never fear, we have plenty of other Quests for you to enter.