From fiery lava flows to a magical, snow-swirled New York street scene that echoes an impressionist painting and from the imperious gaze of an elusive, endangered Iberian lynx to wonderfully minimalist images of West Kirby, England, the winning images in the 2016 international Travel Photographer of the Year awards (TPOTY) have been revealed, and they are stunning.
There are many great photo competitions that test the best of what can be attained in the photographic image, the Travel Photographer of the Year attracts photographers from all over the world, amateur and professional alike, and the submissions are of the highest quality so it almost goes without saying that the winners and runners up will present some spectacular imagery. The first image above is by Michele Palazzo from Italy who is overall winner of the category Cities: Architecture & Spaces. It is of the Flatiron Building, Manhattan, New York, USA. Using a Ricoh GR with 28mm lens, f4, 1/400s, ISO 400 Michael produced a scene that is reminiscent of an impressionist painting while walking through the Jonas snowstorm that swept across the East Coast, he captured this shot of the Flatiron Building against a backdrop of swirling snow.
Photographers from 20 countries have won awards, and the winning images will go on show at TPOTY exhibitions at the UK City of Culture celebrations in Hull from 18th May to 30th June 2017 and at 10 Stockwell Street, Greenwich at the University of Greenwich, London from 4th August to 3rd September 2017. It is always well worth going to these exhibitions because we always talk about studying images as one of the best ways to get inspiration.
Lake Bosumtwi, Ashanti, Ghana. The Ashanti people fish from the traditional wooden padua.
Fujifilm X-Pro 2 with 10-24mm lens, f9, 1/160s, ISO 500.
Joel Santos becomes the first-ever Portuguese overall winner in the award’s 14-year history, beating photographers from 123 countries to take the title of Travel Photographer of the Year 2016. His winning entry features a delicate and intimate portfolio depicting traditional fishing in Ghana and – in another first for TPOTY – an aerial portfolio captured using a drone, giving a bird’s eye view of one of the hottest places in the world, Ethiopia’s Danakil Depression.
A flock of Lesser flamingos take flight above Tanzania’s salt and soda Lake Natron.
Canon 70D with 18-200mm lens, f5.6, 1/2000s, ISO 200
A life of freedom for young children.
Canon EOS 5D Mk III with 16-35mm lens, f8, 1/40s, ISO 200
On a particularly windy day, this fox was sitting only a few yards away from the ocean as sand pelted against his fur.
Canon EOS 7D with 100-400mm lens, f5.6, 1/1600s, ISO 500
From land to sea – joy to eternity.
Nikon D7000 with 18-105mm lens, f10, 1/500s, ISO 500
What is refreshing about TPOTY is the The Young Travel Photographer of the Year category and the 2016 over winner from India is 14-year old Darpan Basak, 18-year old Courtney Moore (USA) won Young TPOTY 15-18 and Ankit Kumar (India) won Young TPOTY 14 and Under. Once again the quality of images submitted is extraordinary and as we have often said one of the best ways of learning is to look at photographs and those photographs that win or are highly commended in a competition such as TOPTY can only ever give inspiration.
Portraits of the ethnic Yi people, who live in great poverty.
Nikon D3X with 35mm lens, f2.8, 1/1000s, ISO 400
Mysterious and ancient celebrations in the forests on the mountain.
Canon EOS 5D Mk II with 70-200mm lens, f2.8, 1/50s, ISO 2500
This elderly woman was cutting grass from a small plot to feed her livestock.
Canon EOS 5D MkIII with 24-105mm lens, f8, 1/1000s, ISO 400
Pilgrimage to El Rocío: celebrating at the end of the four-day journey.
Canon 5D Mk III with 16-35mm lens, f7.1, 1/6400s, ISO 640
Each January 16, the festival of Saint Anton takes place in San Bartolomé de Pinares.
Nikon Df with 24-120mm lens, f4.5, 1/640s, ISO 1250
Horses are present in all aspects of life in Mongolia. A popular saying is: “A Mongol without a horse is like a bird without wings”.
Canon EOS 6D with 30mm lens, f7.1, 1/1000s, ISO 640
This alligator lay out in the middle of the waterway seeking what little sunshine was offered on a cloudy December day as we sailed by.
Nikon D810 with 70-300mm lens, f5.6, 1/500s, ISO 200
In 2001 there were less than 100 Iberian lynx left in the wild. Fifteen years later there are now more than 400, but it is still, unfortunately, the rarest cat in the world.
Canon 1DX with 500mm lens, f5.6, 1/250s, ISO 4000
A lone Buddhist monk walks around the boundary wall of the West Kirby Marine Lake.
Nikon D3X with 200mm lens, f4.5, 1/125s, ISO 100
The eruptions of Batu Tara volcano are extremely loud, big and powerful, so that the whole island quakes.
Nikon D600 with 70mm lens, f3.2, 17s, ISO 200
Every morning, the nuns walk around the mountain as practice lesson. Regardless of the season, they walk year after year, day in and day out.
Sony DSLR-A900 with 400mm lens, f5.6, 1/250s, ISO 100
Portrait of Elyas the head barber and owner of Son & Dad.
Nikon D610 with 24-120mm lens, f4, 1/125s, ISO 2500
Prague Zoo is considered the second top travel destination of Prague, second only to the Castle. It has helped many species to avoid extinction. This flamingo was photographed early in the morning in January, when few people visit..
Canon EOS 5D MkIII with 400mm lens, f5.6, 1/2000s, ISO 400