We have published some stunning pictures by readers in our Reader Portfolio feature this year. Here, AP Editor Nigel Atherton picks his favourites – plus we have a Readers’ Choice winner voted for by our Facebook followers.

Ant Matt Doogue

Ant. Canon EOS 6D, Canon MP-E65mm f/2.8, 1/60sec at f/8, ISO 320. Credit: Matt Doogue

Matt Doogue – Ant – Readers’ Choice

“Examined at close range like this, I find insects simultaneously beautiful and grotesque, but also endlessly fascinating. I can’t help wondering how terrifying (and dangerous) they would be if we were the size of dogs–or even mice. Matt delivered us a superb portfolio of brilliantly photographed creepy-crawly close-ups in our 3 June issue and it was hard to pick just one, but the eye contact in this one kept drawing me back.” – Nigel Atherton

Horse Gerry White

Horse. Canon EOS 6D, 24-105mm, 1/80sec at f/18, ISO 100. Credit: Gerry White

Gerry White – Horse

“I spend a lot of my weekends walking on the downs, by the sea, surrounded by grazing horses, so this image from our 8 April issue, taken in Portland, Dorset, immediately appealed to me. It’s very evocative of a late afternoon stroll – I can almost smell the sea air and feel the warm sun on my cheek. The horse seems to be enjoying the moment, too!” – Nigel Atherton

Stormtroopers Ryan Hardman

Stormtroopers. Panasonic GH4, 25mm, 1/640sec, f/4, ISO 200. Credit: Ryan Hardman

Ryan Hardman – Stormtroopers

“I enjoy seeing moments of humour in everyday life. This scene was a gift to Ryan, but he photographed it well, creating a lead-in line of stormtroopers that gives the image a surreal quality.” – Nigel Atherton

Continues below…

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Batman Steve Cheetham

Batman. Canon EOS 6D, 16-35mm at 16mm, 1/500sec at f/8, ISO 400. Credit: Steve Cheetham

Steve Cheetham – Batman

“It takes an open mind to be able to look at one thing and see something else. So hats off to Steve for finding the Batman symbol in this building, which we published in our 21 January issue. It was taken not in Gotham City, but London.” – Nigel Atherton

Roberto Pavic Bled

Bled. Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 24-105mm, 90 seconds at f/10, ISO 100, tripod, Lee 0.9 ND soft grad. Credit: Roberto Pavic

Roberto Pavic – Bled

“There’s something very serene and restful about this lovely Slovenian landscape from our 19 August issue. Taken at Lake Bled, the soft mist, at water and perfect reflection of the pretty church combine to create a scene that would make a perfect backdrop for one of those postcards with philosophical quotes.” – Nigel Atherton

Beam me up Dean Lokko

Beam me up. Canon EOS 6D, 14mm, 20 seconds at f/2.8, ISO 8000. Credit: Dean Lokko

Dean Lokko – Beam me up

“I never tire of looking at photos of the Milky Way, especially when there is an interesting foreground. Dean has created something original and different here yet so simple.” – Nigel Atherton

Machu Picchu Paul Eustace

Machu Picchu. Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 17-40mm, 30 seconds at f/22. Credit: Paul Eustace

Paul Eustace – Machu Picchu

“Some tourist views have been seen so often that we’ve become immune to their charms. Paul found a different angle on Machu Picchu, and in great light, too.” – Nigel Atherton

Clematis Ant Smith

Clematis. Nikon D700, 60mm macro, 1/400sec at f/4, ISO 1600. Credit: Ant Smith

Ant Smith – Clematis

“Ant focused on the stamen of this clematis, and allowed the rich purple petals to drift out of focus through the use of a wide aperture to create a very effective oral close-up.” – Nigel Atherton

Darren Rose Westminster

Westminster. RealitySoSubtle 6×17 pinhole camera, 2.5 minutes at f/233, Fuji Acros film. Credit: Darren Rose

Darren Rose – Westminster

“From our 17 June issue, this is a pleasing image of a much photographed subject, but there’s something about it that makes you look twice. That something is the filmic and strangely de-focused effect that is caused by Darren’s use of a 6x17cm panoramic pinhole camera.” – Nigel Atherton

Stairs Stephen Flounders

Stairs. Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mk II, 17mm, 1/60sec at f/1.8, ISO 400. Credit: Stephen Flounders

Stephen Flounders – Stairs

“We see a lot of pictures of spiral staircases but not like this. The addition of the person at the bottom of the rail gives the image a strong focal point. Taken at the Switch House at Tate Modern in London, it’s a really nice composition and the black & white treatment focuses the eye on the shapes and curves. From our 21 October issue.” – Nigel Atherton

Billy Currie Venice

Venice. Canon EOS-1D X, 24-105mm at 32mm, 30 seconds at f/11, ISO 125, ND filter. Credit: Billy Currie

Billy Currie – Venice

“I like Billy’s black & white work and here he has created a very atmospheric view of the endlessly photogenic Venice. Having chosen an interesting foreground with which to frame St Mark’s in the distance, Billy used a slow shutter speed to render the water as smooth as glass. From our 18 March issue.” – Nigel Atherton

Mark Cornick Abstract building

Abstract building. Canon EOS 6D, 24-70mm, 1/125sec at f/8. Credit: Mark Cornick

Mark Cornick – Abstract building

“Mark created an interesting geometric abstract from a detail of a building, which he duplicated, flipped and distorted using the liquefy tool.” – Nigel Atherton

Rebecca Ashworth leaping dog

Leaping dog. Nikon D4s, 70-200mm, 1/5000sec at f/2.8, ISO 640. Credit: Rebecca Ashworth

Rebecca Ashworth – Leaping dog

“As I’m a dog lover, this picture, from our 9 September issue, literally leapt out at me. I love the joie de vivre on the face of the spaniel, tongue hanging out, ears flapping in the wind, having the time of its life. The technique is spot on, too: shallow depth of field, perfect point of focus. I clearly need to raise my game when I’m out with my own dogs!” – Nigel Atherton

Lou Owen Jones two birds

Two birds. Nikon D750, 600mm lens, 1/1600sec at f/6.3. Credit: Lou Owen Jones

Lou Owen Jones – Two birds

“This image is a great candidate for a caption competition. Flawless technique, with a nicely blurred, non-distracting background and pin-sharp focus on the birds. From our 2 September issue.” – Nigel Atherton

Steve Oldfield Lofoten

Lofoten. Nikon D810, 28-300mm, 2.5mins at f/11, ISO 100, Big Stopper, polariser, 0.6 medium grad. Credit: Steve Oldfield

Steve Oldfield – Lofoten

“This is Hamnøy in the ludicrously photogenic Lofoten Islands in Norway. Steve found a high viewpoint and created an appealing composition, using a Lee Big Stopper to enable a long shutter speed of two and a half minutes, so he could smooth out the water.” – Nigel Atherton

David Ball Waterfall

Waterfall. Canon EOS 6D, 17-40mm f/4 at 17mm, 1.6 seconds at f/9, ISO 100. Credit: David Ball

David Ball – Waterfall

“There’s something primeval about this image from David Ball, and he has captured it superbly. The blurred waterfall forms a great contrast with the pin-sharp detail of the surrounding fauna.” – Nigel Atherton

Cornwall coast Robert Maynard

Cornwall coast. Nikon D800E, 35mm lens, 1/60sec at f/11, ISO 100, tripod, polariser. Credit: Robert Maynard

Robert Maynard – Cornwall coast

“I’m sure a lot of people will hate this image from our 25 November issue, and I’m not generally a lover of this kind of thing either, but I find myself drawn to this image anyway. Robert has used movement, combined with a slow shutter speed, to create an abstract, impressionistic panorama of the sea. He says it’s Cornwall but it could just as easily be the Caribbean with those vivid turquoise hues.” – Nigel Atherton

Christmas smile Ruth Humphries

Christmas smile. Panasonic GX7, 25mm, 1/500sec at f/1.4, ISO 400. Credit: Ruth Humphries

Ruth Humphries – Christmas smile

“No, this isn’t a young Elton John, it’s a charming portrait by Ruth, who used the receding wet road as a blurred background to create a pleasing composition.” – Nigel Atherton

Mariana Morales Beach mum

Beach mum. Nikon D700, 105mm, 1/640sec at f/10, ISO 200. Credit: Mariana Morales

Mariana Morales – Beach mum

“This is the antithesis of Ruth’s image. Mariana has created a romantic beach candid through the use of warm sunshine, soft focus and a long flowing dress that has caught the light beautifully. It presents an idealised image of motherhood, and of course childhood, that could be an ad in a glossy magazine.” – Nigel Atherton

Abu Dhabi Mohamed El Barkani

Abu Dhabi. Sony Alpha 57, 16-105mm, 1⁄2sec at f/22, ISO 100. Credit: Mohamed El Barkani

Mohamed El Barkani – Abu Dhabi

“Published in our 1 April issue, but Mohamed is clearly no fool. This is a beautiful image of what looks like the set for a Disney movie, but is actually the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Okay, it’s an incredible piece of architecture to start with, but Mohamed has done a sterling job of photographing it: perfectly straight verticals and a symmetrical composition that has a ‘hall of mirrors’ effect. It makes me want to go there, which is all you can ask for in a travel photo.”  – Nigel Atherton

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