Take a peek at the winning photographs from the prestigious Travel Photographer of The Year awards.
Words by Hudson Brown
Far-flung parts of the world are no longer only accessible to the wealthy and the brave. And as these often-remote paths become progressively more trodden than in previous eras, in turn, we’ve been gifted with insight into isolated parts of the world by an increasing number of photographers and their own unique perspectives.
Since 2003, leading international award, Travel Photographer of the Year (TPOTY), has been selecting the best of worldly photographs captured around the globe. Throughout a variety of categories, TPOTY celebrates professional, amateur and juvenile photographers with the 2018 competition seeing 20,000 photographs submitted from artists based in 142 countries.
A highly prestigious award, the selected winners go on to be featured in the annual and free Travel Photographer of the Year exhibition, which will be presented as an open-air showcase on the banks of the River Thames from 28 March to 30 April 2019.
Take a look at some of the winners below as we consider some of 2018’s best travel photographers and delve into the images that were selected as outstanding examples of the medium.
Stefano Pensotti (Italy), Travel Photographer of the Year: Overall Winner
Captured across three continents, semi-professional Italian photographer Stefano Pensotti took home the TPOTY 2018 top prize with a selection of eight photographs that showcased the lives of ordinary people and their immediate surroundings.
Demonstrating an impressive and mature scope, Pensotti’s photographs feature the dreadlocked and vibrantly adorned Senegalese Muslim sect known as Baye Fall; farmers from the lush meadows of the Ushguli, a picturesque hillside community in Georgia; the sun-drenched people of Timbuktu overlooking the ports of Kabara; and the frequent visitors to Budapest’s iconic Széchenyi Baths.
Insightful and engaging, the TPOTY’s judging panel considered Pensotti’s work to provide a keenly genuine observational look into the many divergent communities around the world, while also reflecting the potential of contemporary travel photography.
Philip Lee Harvey (United Kingdom), Winner: Best Single Image In A Travel Portfolio
The winner of TPOTY’s top prize in 2014, throughout an extensive career British-based Philip Lee Harvey, has produced a collection of work that’s been captured amid some of the world’s most extreme locations. Working across editorial and advertising photography, Harvey has photographed in 120 countries, covering an eclectic range of people and places from the likes of Yemen, Ethiopia and Kenya. Announced as the winner of the ‘Best Single Image In A Travel Portfolio’ category for 2018, Lee Harvey’s selected photograph explored the world of Malian sand divers, a highly dangerous and exploitative occupation.
Due to a rapidly expanding building industry in Mali, the demand for bricks produced from fine sand has risen greatly, seeing daring divers swim to the bottom of the Nile River to collect the required materials. Lee Harvey’s chosen photograph captures one of the local divers in the moments before he attempts another potentially deadly dive.
In addition to this image, Lee Harvey was also a runner-up in the TPOTY ‘Hot/Cold’ category with his photograph depicting the frozen conditions along the River Thames as the cityscape appears distant in the thick fog.
Matjaz Krivic (Slovenia), Winner: Travel Portfolio.
An experienced and highly regarded documentary photographer, Slovenian Matjaz Krivic has spent the last 25-years capturing social unrest, ancient traditions and religious sects around the world. Expertly photographing the personal stories of disparate populations and groups, Krivic has been the recipient of a number of leading international photography awards, such as the World Press Photo in 2016.
Offering a range of varied locations and subjects in his portfolio that was chosen as the best of 2018, it includes a vibrant portrait of a teenage girl from the Arbore tribe of South Ethiopia; a group of children climbing the outside of the Grand Mosque in Bani, Burkina Faso; and a candid shot of boys training for ‘pehlwani’, a traditional Indian wrestling style.
Nicola Young (United Kingdom), Winner: Smart Shot
Today, smartphones are the most commonplace cameras available with photography website Flickr reporting in 2017 that 54% of photographers on the platform use iPhones as their main camera. Therefore, keeping up with modern photographic trends, the TPOTY awards offers several categories including smartphone photography only with British photographer Nicola Young this year’s chosen winner.
An award-winning photographer for the past 30 years, Young has seen her work featured in publications like The Guardian and The Independent, while she has also been in a finalist in three previous iterations of the TPOTY awards. Having lived and worked in West Africa for a number of years, her winning image was captured during a visit to the Port Louis Fish Market in Mauritius, which was still recovering from Cyclone Berguitta that devastated the nation in early 2018.
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