Following stiff competition from over 5,000 awe-inspiring entries worldwide, it was Andrew Jones from Basingstoke who was feeling top of the world in the prestigious Wanderlust ‘Travel Photo of the year’ competition in partnership with the UK’s leading photo printer, PhotoBox.
Now in its fifteenth year, the awards are firmly established as the UK’s leading amateur travel photography competition. From all walks of life; mums and dads, teachers, designers and overseas peacekeepers; together they’ve captured the raw spirit of the world’s continents, offering real insights into the lives, landscapes and wildlife that make our planet so unique.
Local IT professional and keen photographer Andrew was overwhelmed to be awarded the coveted ‘Highly Commended’ honour for his stunning photo ‘The Sailing barge’ taken on the River Alde in Suffolk: “This scene had been quite different when I’d walked past this spot only an hour earlier. It was overcast with a stiff breeze creating conditions that weren’t worthy of a single photograph, so I carried on along the riverbank without stopping. On returning to this same spot later, the wind had completely dropped, the cloud had cleared and the low evening light was now illuminating this stunning scene.”
The composition and mesmerizing colors won him a spot in the top 70 carefully selected finalists, divided into landscape, wildlife, people and icons categories, before going on to win over the acclaimed judging panel featuring infamous pro travel photographers Steve Davey, Paul Harris and Paul Goldstein; Editor-in-chief and Wanderlust magazine founder, Lyn Hughes; with Simon Calder, the Independent’s long standing travel editor, presiding and presenting the awards in person at Friday night’s grand unveiling.
The awards were presented at the Destinations holiday and travel show, sponsored by The Times, which launched in London this weekend. The show now heads up to Birmingham, March 4th -6th, to showcase these breathtaking finalists and winners as part of an exclusive gallery open to visitors.
Better still, for the first year in the competition’s history, the entire finalist collection is available to view and buy at the show or online at www.travelphotooftheyear.co.uk courtesy of PhotoBox. Prices start from less than £2.50 for an A4 print or £40 for a classic canvas, so there’s something to suit every pocket, whilst allowing fellow travel lovers to adorn their homes with these captivating bespoke art works.
On choosing the winners Lyn Hughes, Wanderlust magazine founder and Editor-in-chief, commented: “The standard of photography in this competition just gets higher and higher; it’s hard to believe most of these were taken by amateurs. It’s really exciting to see the quality of travel photography today; it’s by far the most evocative genre of photography.”
Mark Chapman, MD at PhotoBox agreed: “It’s been superb working with Wanderlust on these inspiring awards and we’re proud to bring these images to life and into people’s homes. We’re always looking at how we can better support amateur, enthusiast and pro photographers, consistently developing award winning, high quality print products to help them enhance their hobby or portfolio.”
The Portfolio category winner received £3,000 cash prize, whilst the four amateur category winners have a unique photographic commission to Northern Territory, courtesy of Tourism Northern Territory, to look forward too, with runners-up receiving a Nikon SLR camera worth £800. Highly commended shots won a £380 Nikon camera.
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PhotoBox is the leading online photo service in the UK where it pioneered online printing, storing, sharing, community and publishing services for digital photos before extending its range to innovative products such as photo books, calendars, and greeting cards. Merging with leading French service Photoways in April 2006 to create Europe’s market leader, PhotoBox now boasts over 11million members and nearly 200million photo prints and has won more awards than any other online photo printing website with the latest including Which? Magazine’s Best Buy and Gartner’s CRM Excellence Award.
Wanderlust magazine, founded in 1993, is firmly established as the UK’s leading travel magazine for independently-minded, adventurous travelers. Every issue combines stunning travel photography, in-depth trip planners and a healthy dose of practical advice from improving your photography skills to tips for the road. The magazine is complimented by wanderlust.co.uk, featuring the latest travel news, competitions and trip planning inspiration.