PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: Travel photographer of the Year Awards !

Travel Photographer of the Year awards: The winners

From cute polar bear cubs to Tibetan pilgrims in the snow, the winning photographs of the 2018 Travel Photographer of the Year awards (TPOTY) capture and celebrate the beauty of our planet and its inhabitants. Here is a selection of our favorite images from across a range of categories. 

Photo taken by:  Vladimir Alekseev/
Faces, People, Cultures best single image: Special mention
Known as a “chum”, the temporary shelter dwelling of the nomadic Nenets people of the Siberian arctic is as mobile as they are. The simple structure consists of long sticks and stitched reindeer skins that are stretched over them. Russian photographer Vladimir Alekseev captured these children in a chum in the Yamal Peninsula.

Photo by:  Danny Yen Sin Wong/
Faces, People, Cultures best single image: Winner
Danny Yen Sin Wong of Malaysia won best single image in the Faces, People, Cultures category for his image of a young boy in the village of Kibish in southwest Ethiopia. He stands between the copper bracelet covered arms of a Suri woman.

Photo taken  Tariq Zaidi/
Faces, People, Cultures portfolio: Highly commended
The style and sheer joie de vivre of Elie shines through in this image by photographer Tariq Zaidi who was highly commended in the Faces, People, Cultures category for his portfolio on the Sapeurs of Brazzaville. The Societe des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Elegantes (the Society of Tastemakers and Elegant People) or Sapeurs are a curious collective of snappy dressers in the Republic of the Congo’s capital city.

Photo by:  Marinka Masséus/
Faces, People, Cultures portfolio: Winner
Dutch photographer Marinka Masséus’s portfolio of images ‘Under the Same Sun’ won the Faces, People, Cultures category. Shot in Dar es Salaam, his images poignantly raise awareness of the circumstances of people with albinism in Tanzania. Albinos are considered evil and killing an albino child is believed to bring good luck.

Photo by:  Daniel Kurian/
Young TPOTY: 14 and under
Talent starts young, as 12-year-old Daniel Kurian shows with his winning images of a tree being felled in Kerala, India. “On my summer holidays our neighbor’s 30-year-old mango tree was cut down. It was a sad sight to watch as this was a fruit yielding tree, home to many birds and had a lot of shade under it on a hot sunny day,” he says.

Photo taken by:  Fardin Oyan/
Young TPOTY: 15-18 age group
The joy of play was captured on film by 16-year-old Fardin Oyan from Bangladesh who took top honors in the Young TPOTY 15-18 age group with his beautiful collection of images of young children playing

Photo by:  Isabella Smith/
Young Photographer of the Year
Fourteen-year-old Isabella Smith from the USA was named Young Travel Photographer of the Year for her work. She impressed the panel of judges with her colorful portfolio of photographs taken in Chefchaouen, Morocco, such as this one of oranges bobbling in a blue bowl.

Photo taken by: Magdalena Strakova/
Travel portfolio: Highly commended
A moment of pure, unfiltered joy is caught on camera by Magdalena Strakova of the Czech Republic in Ranthambhore Fort within India’s Ranthambore National Park.

Photo taken by:  Matjaz Krivic/
Travel portfolio: Winner
One of the winning images from Matjaz Krivic’s travel portfolio is this portrait of Onno, a teenage girl from the Arbore tribe. It was shot in an Arbore village in the Omo Valley in southern Ethiopia where the tribe live. The women are known for adorning themselves with colorful beads.

Photo taken by:  Matjaz Krivic/
Travel portfolio: Winner
Another mesmerizing image sees Krivic capture the mist rising mystically from a valley in Yemen’s Haraz Mountains. It creeps up to envelop the little mountain village of Shugruf.

Photo by:  Marsel van Oosten/TPOTY
Travel best single image: Special mention
An early morning climber scales the razor-sharp rocks of the Grand Tsingy, the world’s largest forest of limestone needles in Bemaraha National Park, Madagascar. Photographer Marsel van Oosten climbed up the spiky rock towers in the night so he could photograph the climber in the early morning light.

Photo by:  Philip Lee Harvey/
Travel best single image: Winne
A sand diver, whose job it is to free dive down to the bottom of the Niger River in Mali to collect sand for the building industry was the subject of this striking image. It’s an extremely dangerous task and many sand divers don’t return. UK photographer Philip Lee Harvey was awarded best single image in a travel portfolio for the emotive shot.

Photo by:  Edward Graham/
Beauty of light: Commended
A block of ice glows gold on Lake Baikal in Siberia, Russia. To capture this startling shot of the ice and the setting sun, US photographer Edward Graham lay on the surface of the frozen lake (the deepest in the world).

Photo by:  He Jian/
Hot/Cold single image: Winner
Local Tibetan Buddhists were captured on a pilgrimage in Gannan, China by photographer He Jian as they walked steadfastly in a blizzard.

Photo by:  Jose Antonio Rosas/
New Talent festivals and events: Winne
The Fiesta de la Candelaria in the town of Puno is the largest street party in Peru. Huge crowds gather for the celebrations where dance troupes wear elaborate headdresses and colorful costumes. Jose Antonio Rosas was the winner of the new talent award for his series of shots of the performers.

Photo by:  Simon Morris/
Tranquillity: Winner
The calm and faded colors of this once grand old room in Havana, Cuba were captured by UK photographer Simon Morris. It was the winner in the Tranquillity category.

Photo by:  Marsel van Oosten/
Natural World portfolio: Highly commended
The Qinling golden snub-nosed monkey is an endangered animal, only found in the forests and snowy mountain ranges of central and southwest China. Here Dutch photographer Marsel van Oosten captured the distinctive and rarely seen creatures in a series of entrancing images shot in Shaanxi, China.

Photo by:  Fuyang Zhou/
Natural World portfolio: Runner up
The arduous job of being a parent was beautifully captured in Fuyang Zhou’s portfolio on warblers in Shouguang County in east China’s Shandong province. The series of shots shows the industrious little warbler tending to its baby bird.

Photo by:  Roie Galitz/
Natural World best single image: Special mention
A mother polar bear and her two young cubs are migrating north, as the sea ice melts more quickly than it has in previous years. The image was taken by Israeli photographer Roie Galitz in the Svalbard archipelago, Norway, where polar bears outnumber humans. The cubs will stay with their mothers until they are around two.

Photo by:  Florent Mamelle/
Natural World best single image: Winner
Florent Mamelle of France took this awe-inspiring picture of the Fuego volcano in Guatemala from the summit of neighboring volcano Acatenango. Taken at over 13,000 feet, the night sky was extremely clear and you can see the Milky Way to the left of the image. The volcanoes are near the capital city Antigua.

Photo by:  Nicola Young/
Smart Shot single image: Winner
The smart shot category covers images taken on a smartphone or tablet. Here a fish vendor rests his head among the hustle of Port Louis Fish Market in Mauritius. It was shot by Nicola Young who was exploring the city’s markets while Cyclone Berguitta caused havoc on the island.

Photo by:  Stefano Pensotti/
Travel Photographer of the Year 2018
Finally, the top prize was awarded to Stefano Pensotti, a semi-professional photographer from Italy. He was named Travel Photographer of the Year 2018 for eight striking images that capture life around the globe. This image was taken in Bagan, Myanmar where Pensotti captured a school girl stopping off at a temple on her way home from school.

Photo taken by:  Stefano Pensotti/
Travel Photographer of the Year 2018
Another of Pensotti’s winning images showcases everyday life in Budapest, Hungary. The candid shot captures three men as they bathe and play chess on floating boards at the Széchenyi Baths. Built in 1913, the thermal bath complex is the largest in Europe

Thanks to Rachel Truman from MSN and Exploring who put this together.

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