The above is the Winner, Travel Photographer of the Year 2022 Matjaz Krivic, Slovenia.
The Overall Winner – the Travel Photographer of the Year 2022 – is the Slovenian photographer Matjaz Krivic. His images of 33-year-old Najin – one of the world’s last two remaining Northern White rhinos – and her keeper, Zachary Mutai, in Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya are both heart-warming and also almost unbearably poignant. And Matjaz’s images showing the effects of the long-running eruption of Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma in the Canary Islands are a powerful reminder of the force of nature.
Matjaz Krivic commented: “I am honoured to have my work recognised and acknowledged by the judges of the Travel Photographer of the Year awards. This competition is special to me since I have been with it from its beginning in 2003, when I was given a Judges’ Favourite Award. Now, 20 years later I received their highest award which makes me very proud and means a lot to me. Travel and photography have been my passion and a big part of my life since I remember and this award inspires me to continue with my journey. Thanks to the judges and to the team for their great work, and congratulations to the rest of the winners. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank all my friends and the people who support me and inspire me to go on the road again and again.”
From an intensely moving depiction of the extraordinary companionship between one of the world’s last two remaining Northern White rhinos and her keeper to aerial images of the graphic and detailed abstract curves of the Namib desert, and from the plastic ‘new inhabitants’ threatening an underwater world to an atmospheric portfolio documenting the rare and dying Flemish tradition of using large, gentle draft horses for shrimp fishing, the winning images in the 2022 global Travel Photographer of the Year awards (TPOTY) present a diverse and glorious view of life on our planet.
Magdaléna Straková took first prize in the Cultures category. The Czech photographer’s black and white portfolio documenting horse fishermen in Oostduinkerke, Belgium, gives a fascinating depiction of a dying tradition – the use of horses while searching for shrimp at low tide. Greek photographer Athanasios Maloukos won the Best Single Image award in this category for capturing a moment of individual humanity during the La Desolata procession in an Italian village.
Almost 20,000 images were submitted from amateur and professional photographers from 154 countries. The winning shots – which can all be viewed in the online Winners’ Gallery on tpoty.com – will go on display in a spectacular, free-to-view outdoor exhibition in Bristol, England in May. Travel Photographer of the Year at the Royal Photographic Society will be located between the Royal Photographic Society and the Martin Parr Foundation. Viewable 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it will be open from 1 – 31 May. The exhibition will be part of ‘World Photography in Focus’ which sees Travel Photographer of the Year, Wildlife Photographer of the Year and Food Photographer of the Year all exhibiting during May 2023. It promises to be feast of international photography.
TPOTY founder Chris Coe said: “Our latest winners form a fascinating collection of images. From the intensely powerful to the exquisitely subtle, sensitive and beautiful, they reach every corner of the world and cover every facet of travelling with a camera. Conservation and sustainability permeate the collection and illustrate the role which photography can play in creating awareness of the issues facing our planet. I am particularly delighted for the overall winner. Matjaz has been entering Travel Photographer of the Year since our very first year – 2003 – and has secured a number of individual category awards with us over the past two decades. Now he has finally landed the ‘big one’ in our 20th year.”
The TPOTY awards have always celebrated up-and-coming photographers through the Young TPOTY award. 18-year-old Cal Cole from Manchester, UK, received the title of Young Travel Photographer of the Year 2022 for his distinctive and beautifully-observed images of his home city by night, while a former Young TPOTY winner – 18-year-old Isabelle Smith from the USA – won the Young TPOTY 15-18 years category with an intriguing portfolio of images showing soldiers at the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Athens, Greece. The Young TPOTY 14 years and under category was won by 14-year-old Kaia Tham from Australia, for her unusual views of the streets of Lisbon, Portugal – shot entirely on her iPhone.
Matjaz Krivic’s prize includes the new Fujifilm X100V camaera, a £1000 cash bursary from TPOTY, a personalised leather portfolio book or iFolio from Plastic Sandwich, Radiant Photo imaging software, membership of the Royal Photographic Society and Tonic magazine. Cale Cole receives £500 from TPOTY, a Plastic Sandwich leather portfolio book or iFolio, a place on a Photo Iconic Photography course plus Royal Photographic Society membership and Radiant Photo imaging software.
The Art of Monochrome portfolio category was won by Israeli photographer Roie Galitz, for a portfolio shot in Svalbard which includes two strongly contrasting images of Polar bears – one, a magical and rare glimpse of Polar bear courtship during a blizzard, the other showing an emaciated, starving Polar bear mother and her two cubs; the cubs died a few days after the image was taken. American photographer Dana Allen’s ‘beetle’s eye view’ looking up at an African elephant won Best Single Image award in this category.
Another Czech photographer – Jaroslav Hora – took top honours in the Deserts to Rainforests category, which required entrants to showcase the beauty of our planet’s natural landscapes. Jaroslav’s beautiful images of the abstract curves of Namibia’s Namib desert, taken while onboard a helicopter, certainly fulfilled the category brief. British Photographer John Seager won Best Single Image in this category, with a drone shot of ‘El Cono Arita’, a spectacular geological formation in Argentina’s Salar de Arizaro desert.
In the Green Planet, Blue Planet category, Ukrainian born German photographer Alexej Sachov was top of the judges’ list for his portfolio of images showing ‘new inhabitants’ of the underwater world – a ‘jellyfish’, ‘rabbit’, ‘horse’ and even a ‘ghost’, all made of plastic which had made its way into the depths of the water off Marsa Alam in Egypt. Greek photographer Panos Laskarakis won the Best Single Image award for his powerful and mesmerising picture of a lion peering through the bloody rib cage of a buffalo.