Travel Photographer of the Year

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Things to do


Date of travel

October, 2020

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The last time I went to the Travel Photographer of the Year (or TPOTY as it’s known) was in “2016”: when the exhibition was at the University of Greenwich. This year, it was much closer to home at “Coal Drops Yard”:, Kings Cross and as I’m missing travelling dreadfully during the current pandemic, I thought it might be a good idea to get a travel fix.

The free exhibition is located over two floors, although the vast majority are on the ground floor. The photos were well spaced out, but we virtually had the place to ourselves, possibly because it’s in outdoor space and is open from 10am to 10pm every day. This meant we could really take our time.

We started with the winner, Katy Gomez Catalina from Spain, and her portfolio of eight black and white images. I instantly recognised a photo of the Avenue of the Baobabs in Madagascar, which was virtually identical to an image I’d submitted to the Sunday Times Big Shot competition and which had secured me a runner-up award: the only difference was mine was colour and I’d not had the fortune of a cyclist in silhouette (or the photoshop skills to insert it later)!

In stark contrast to the monochrome images, the Young Photographer of the year, an 11-year-old from Ireland, won with four colourful images taken in India.
The entries for the portfolio of Art of Travel resembled fine art and were possibly some of my favourite images.

The winner of the Endangered Planet category had taken photographs of Orangutans in a rescue centre: some were able to be rehabilitated, others would remain in captivity for the rest of their lives as they were too damaged to be able to cope in the wild.
Most of the photographs had been taken in off the beaten track locations and the winner of the People and Cultures category had four photographs taken in South Sudan. Other locations included North Korea, Chad, Ethiopia, Japan, Kenya etc. similarly, the winning entrants came from 24 countries with entries being received from 124 countries.

Probably my least favourite photographs were in Thrills and Spills, but it was interesting to see another black and white photograph of the Avenue of the Baobabs, this time with a silhouette of a guy abseiling down.

Whilst I certainly enjoyed seeing the photos, I also left feeling slightly saddened about all the fabulous places still to visit, not knowing when I’ll be able to travel safely again.

There were also categories for single images. Although the exhibition finishes on 1 November, the winning images are available “online.”:

Helen Jackson

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