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Travel Photographer of the Year 2023:
AndreJa Ravnak, Slovenia
“There is a subtle elegance about this year’s winners. This comes through in both of AndreJa’s winning portfolios; one takes us into simple landscapes, with delicate colours and a textural beauty, the other into the hop fields, out of season and undressed ready for the next planting. Neither are obvious subjects, neither photographed at an optimal time of year, and yet they are both engaging and rather beautiful.”Chris Coe
AndreJa Ravnak is an architect by profession and by vocation. She also works in a number of other creative fields, such as photography, design, and writing. A sworn lover of nature, she is happiest in places where nature has created the most difficult conditions for survival – in deserts and mountains. She is inspired by the aesthetic of landscapes with bare geology. AndreJa has been interested in photography for as long as she can remember: “I need it to help me preserve my memories. I would have forgotten so much if I didn’t have my photos.” About 15 years ago, her photographs were noticed by a local photography club, and she was invited to join their ranks. There, she began to think about photography in a more analytical and creative way.
In Slovenia, AndreJa holds the title of Master of Photography, and she is the recipient of numerous international photography awards. She often collaborates as a jury member in domestic and international projects. In addition, she is the photo editor for the Slovenian edition of the magazine Digital Camera. She occasionally gives lectures, and she lead a local photography club for seniors, works in the organization of photography contests and exhibitions, and is part of a team that prepares photographic trips around Europe. “I love my work immensely. I am still looking for a recipe for how to make a day last 48 hours.”
Young Travel Photographer of the Year:
Caden Shepard Choi, USA (age 14)
“This is remarkably accomplished visual story-telling for such a young photographer. Yet another talented young photographer with great potential receiving recognition in Travel Photographer of the Year. It will be exciting to see how Caden’s photography evolves over the years.”Chris Coe
Caden Shepard Choi is passionate about pursuing the intersection of photography and visual journalism. As a small child, she would carry a little booklet with her, drawing sketches and jotting down impressions of people and places. Her mother saw that she was very curious about the world around her. When Caden was 9, her mother encouraged her to learn photography, so that she could capture and remember the things she saw. Those monthly lessons turned into years and now, some five years later, photography has become an inextricable part of who she is. Her interests lie mainly in people, cultures, and traditions. She tries to capture the moments, experiences, and emotions of people where they are – a baby crying on a crowded airplane, fans going crazy at a football game, the solemnity of a funeral. And through the places she has visited and the people she has met so far, she has come to realise that we are more alike than we are different. “The more we see others, the more we can start to understand one another and break down the barriers that divide us.”
Winner , Young TPOTY (15-18 yrs):
Lilly Zhang, USA (age 17)
“Beautiful understated landscape shots, bringing together people, wildlife and the natural world in images with a gentle, mindful quality.”The Judging Panel
Lilly Zhang is a high school senior who finds joy in preserving beautiful moments as a hobby photographer. Growing up, she was introduced to photography by her father, later developing her own love for the artform. In the past few years, she’s enjoyed taking diverse photos at local state parks, for school events, and when seeing the world through travel. Aside from photography, Lilly also enjoys learning, playing volleyball, and spending time with her friends.
Winner, Young TPOTY (14 yrs & under):
Zayan Durrani, USA (age 14)
“So often we see close up shots of of erupting volcanoes and lava flows but Zayan has captured both this and the vastness of these volcanic landscapes. In his portfolio we see them in context with the proximity of the nearby towns and settlements, but the grand scale really comes to life when you spot the tiny helicopter against the smoke plume.“The Judging Panel
Zayan is a 14 year old freshman in high school with a passion for photography and a love for adventure. He loves exploring and learning new things about the world. He is very creative and loves meeting new people and having new experiences. Since he was 5, he’s been taking photographs and making short films and animations. He likes taking pictures because it’s a moment in time captured on film, and whenever he looks back on it he’s always reminded of the memories attached to that photo. Zayan was inspired by his father to get into photography, and says that, without him, he wouldn’t be where he is today.
Joint Runner-up – Young TPOTY (15 -18 yrs):
Matthew Armett, UK (age 18)
Joint Runner-up – Young TPOTY (15 -18 yrs):
Arthur Cech, France (age 15)
Runner-up – Young TPOTY (14 yrs & under):
Caden Shepard Choi (age 14)
Landscape & Environment
Winner: Armand Sarlangue, France
“Shot from a plane, these images give a sense of the true vastness of this ever changing glacial landscape, with broken, changing light revealing its rugged detail both in tones and a verdant highlights.”The Judging Panel
Armand Sarlangue has been a a full-time photographer for the past 16 years. The son of a pro photographer, visual arts have always been a passion since childhood and he always had a camera in his hands since a young age. He started working as a documentary and studio photographer in collaboration with his father at the age of 20 and continued for more than 10 years to work together. In 2018 he decided to focus exclusively on his true passion, nature photography. Armand believes that photography can be a powerful way to raise awareness about conservation, by helping others to connect with the secret beauty of nature. Photography is a way for him to tell his own inner stories about our world, using nature’s shapes and colours as words. Being in the most remote places and capturing the artistic expression of the natural world is what motivates him.
His landscape images have been awarded many times, and exhibited internationally by institutions like the California Academy of Sciences, Exposure Photography Festival, Siena Photography Festival, TPOTY, and others. His work can be seen in several photo books, and have been published by media such as Natgeo, Geo Magazine, M6 TV, France TV, The Guardian, Paris Match, Vanity Fair, BBC News, The Times, and many others.
Runner-up: Tim Bird, UK/Finland
Highly Commended: Armand Sarlangue, France
Commended: Kazuaki Koseki, Japan
Best Single Image in a Portfolio
Winner: Kazuaki Koseki, Japan
“The Japanese aesthetic in photography is at the same time obvious and beguiling, but always unmistakeable. At first glance a straightforward image, there is so much hidden depth to reward the viewer who takes the time to appreciate it. It is not about perfection but rather imperfection. As with calligraphy where the stray hair of the brush distinguishes between ordinary and exceptional, in this image it is the small twigs and branches which do not naturally align where they are supposed to which catch the eye. View this image as large as you can and ideally from a distance to really appreciate it.”Colin Finlay
“The Japanese aesthetic in photography is at the same time obvious and beguiling, but always unmistakeable. At first glance a straightforward image, there is so much hidden depth to reward the viewer who takes the time to appreciate it. It is not about perfection but rather imperfection. As with calligraphy where the stray hair of the brush distinguishes between ordinary and exceptional, in this image it is the small twigs and branches which do not naturally align where they are supposed to which catch the eye. View this image as large as you can and ideally from a distance to really appreciate it. “ Colin Finlay
Clockwise from top left: Armand Sarlangue, Jaroslav Hora, Czech Republic; France; Sergey Gorshkov, Russia; Marek Biegalski, Poland (2 images)
Nature, Wildlife and Conservation
Winner: Martin Broen, USA
“An online gallery really doesn’t do justice to these beautiful images of the Mobula ray migration in Baja Califormia in Mexico. These images capture one of nature’s inspirational moments and give us every reason to focus on conserving the wildlife of this planet, starting with our oceans.”The Judging Panel
Martin Broen is a technical diver and cave explorer, passionate about capturing and sharing the beauty of this planet. Originally from Argentina and now based in New York, Martin works in Design and Innovation, allowing him to combine his everyday work on sustainability with his passion for nature and underwater photography.
Runner-up: Sam Turley, UK
Highly Commended: Roie Galitz, Israel
Highly Commended: Lalith Ekanayake, Sri Lanka
Commended: Donna Feledichuk, Canada
Best Single Image in a Portfolio
Winner: Martin Broen, USA
“A wonderfully observed moment as human waste provides a crystal palace for a tiny fish made all the more striking by the mirrored colours of the fish and the algae growth on the bottle.”The Judging Panel
Clockwise from top left: Donna Feldichuk, Canada; Guangming Hu, China; Barbara Dall’Angelo, Italy; David Newton, UK; Andrew Parkinson, UK; Sam Turley, UK (two images)
People and Cultures
Winner: Athanasios Maloukos, Greece
“It is not often that the judging panel is surprised by images but in 21 years we have never seen these Siberian shaman, here on the icy landscapes of Lake Baikal. These images have fantastic and intricate detail. I can’t wait to see them printed large in our exhibitions.”Chris Coe
Athanasios Maloukos was born in Lamia, Greece where he spent his school years. He studied Civil Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens with scholarships. Since then he has lived and worked in his hometown, being also involved in the movie theatre exhibition business. He also studied at the Department of Anthropology of Religions at UCLA. From a young age he started travelling and photographing his experiences. Armed with an insatiable thirst for wandering and a passion for capturing the essence of different cultures and human experiences, he records through his lens not only the daily lives of people, but also how they express themselves through their customs, rituals and religions.
Many of his photographs have been awarded in the most prestigious international photography competitions, published in books and magazines and praised by many critics and scholars, underlining their universal and anthropological significance.
Runner-up: Alain Schroeder, Belgium
Highly Commended: Cliff Fawcett, UK
Commended: Jacopo Maria Della Valle, Italy
Best Single Image in a Portfolio
Winner: Jack Lawson, UK
“This is beautiful image packs a hard punch and leaves the viewer asking many questions.”Angie Nicholson
Clockwise from top left: Ben McRae, Australia; Athanasios Maloukos, Greece; Julian Elliott, UK; Shyjith Onden Cheriyath, India; Sun Bin, China
Winner: Alain Schroeder, Belgium
“A terrific series of images that captures an alternative view of ageing in the 21st century. Working in black and white helps us to concentrate on the story while still seeing but not being distracted by the context.”Angie Nicholson
“Alain captures real peoples daily life with dignity and purpose. His visual storytelling allows the viewer to understand, appreciate, suffer and truly absorb the challenges of life’s circumstances. The viewer is allowed (if they allow themselves) to travel with Alain with an unfiltered lens that becomes filled with visual nuggets that stay with us for a long time. The human condition of his subjects is now a piece of us, it is a gift to experience his imagery.” Frank Meo
Belgian photojournalist Alain Schroeder has been working in the industry for over four decades. First as a sports photographer in the 80s, then shooting books and editorial pieces in art and human stories.
In 2013, he uprooted his life, trading-in his shares in Reporters (a Belgian photo agency), to pursue life on the road with a camera. He now travels the world shooting stories focusing on social issues and people. “I think in series,” he says adding, “I strive to tell a story in 10-15 pictures.”
He has won many international awards including Nikon Japan, Nikon Belgium, TPOTY(4), Days Japan, Trieste Photo (5x), PX3, IPA, MIFA, BIFA, PDN, the Fence (2x), Lens Culture, Felix Schoeller (2x), Istanbul Photo Awards (4x), Siena (9x), POYI (4x) and World Press Photo (3x).
Runner-up: F.Dilek Yurdakul, Turkey
Highly Commended: Johan Gerrits, Netherlands
Commended: F.Dilek Yurdakul, Turkey
Best Single Image in a Portfolio
Winner: F.Dilek Yurdakul, Turkey
“A beautiful and intimate portrait of a young girl made more striking by the framing and colour. Classic travel photography in the vein of Steve McCurry.”The Judging Panel
Clockwise from top left: Nicolas Castermans, France; Nicolo Brugnara, Italy; Pawel Sadaj, Poland; Stephen Bell, UK
Single Image Categories
MPB One Shot: A Quieter Life
Winner: Ignacio Palacios, Australia/Spain
“Increasingly many of us crave quiet moments in our busy life and in this serene image the sense of peace and mindfulness shines through, made more poignant by the central composition and monochrome, almost featureless landscape.”The Judging Panel
IIgnacio Palacios is a freelance travel and nature photographer who has had the privilege of travelling around the world since 1998 collecting an extensive set of images of people, places, wildlife and landscapes across more than ninety countries in all continents. For Ignacio, travelling is a lifelong passion for seeking adventure, discovering new places and collecting new experiences. He travels because he is curious – about people, their cultures, how others live, what they believe, and how they see us. He also hopes to make a difference through his travel photography. He wants to raise awareness about the environment and human rights in some of the countries he has visited. It is his hope that people realise that we have a beautiful world and we should protect it.
Top row: Runner up – Thomas Ackerman, Germany (left); Highly Commended – Justin Cliffe, UK (right). Bottom row: Commended – Jochen Bongaerts, Belgium (left); Angiolo Manetti, Italy (right)
MPB One Shot: Above, Eye Level, Below
Winner: Josien van Geffen, Netherlands
“This unusual perspective of the Highline 197 suspension bridge in Reutte, Austria, plays with viewpoint and plays tricks on the mind at first glance. Is the photographer shooting from above or below?”The Judging Panel
Josien van Geffen became interested in photography during a school assignment where she had to work with photosensitive paper. Photography has since become her hobby and has taken on a more serious role later in life. She returned to the classroom and pursued the Photographic Design program at the Fotovakschool in Amsterdam. After that, she embarked on her journey in photography. Following an extensive exploration of various styles, she found a passion for travel photography. Josien and her husband are currently working on a new concept: Pebble Photo Travel, whereby people create a travel itinerary based on the photos from the couple’s photo books. “Journeying from photo to photo is a unique and adventurous way to explore the world. Instead of following a traditional travel itinerary, you allow yourself to be guided by inspiring photos. It’s a way to make unexpected discoveries along the way, keep your journey flexible, and remain open to spontaneity. Pebble stands for exploration, wonder, and connecting with the world in a new and creative manner.”
Top row: Runner up – Sergey Gorshkov, Russia (left) and Highly Commended – Laura Storm, UK (right.). Bottom Row: Commended – AndreJa Ravnak, Slovenia (left) and Pier Luigi Dodi, Italy (right)
MPB One Shot: Leisure and Adventure
Winner: Andrea Peruzzi, Italy
“Thanks to the expansive view, there’s a terrific sense of scale and jeopardy in this image. As well as injecting a feeling of heart-in-your-mouth danger, the leaping figure connects ancient Petra to the present day in this image.”Angie Nicholson
Andrea Peruzzi is a travel photographer and documentary photographer. Born in the early 1980s in Florence, Andrea grew up fascinated by the exploration of the historical and natural places that surround him, immortalizing them with point-and-shoot film cameras.In 2010, he purchased his first digital SLR camera, which would become his vehicle for professional growth in the world of photography. Andrea loves to travel ‘with camera and backpack’, to come into contact with the truest and most authentic part of the places he visits and the people he meets, trying to establish, when possible, bonds of friendship and mutual respect that allow him, at the end of every trip, to enrich one’s intellectual and emotional baggage. Fascinated by the cultural diversity that our planet offers, Andrea traveled from metropolises to remote villages scattered across the various continents to meet and document the daily life of ethnic minorities who retain their identity, still unconditioned by globalization and mass tourism. Awarded several times for his photographs in renowned international photography competitions, in collective and personal exhibitions, Andrea Peruzzi continues to travel and ‘see nations through people’s eyes’ to document what he encounters, together with his camera.
Clockwise from left: Runner up – F.Dilek Yurdakul, Turkey (left); Highly Commended – Erhan Coral, Turkey (above right); Commended – Dmytro Geshengorin, Germany (below right)
MPB World in Motion (video)
Winner: Matthew Williams-Ellis, UK
“Matthew’s film brings the Maasai Mara to us but not as if we were on safari. It is intimate and made powerful by the narration of a local for whom this place is their home and their life.”The Judging Panel
Matthew is a freelance photographer and filmmaker specialising in wildlife and travel. His work focuses on telling captivating stories with attention-grabbing, eye-catching and honest visuals. Alongside a strong narrative, he loves to use dramatic light in order to create a unique, striking and inimitable end result. Matthew believes that photographs have the power to make a difference, and that is something he strives to do with his work, donating a percentage of print sales to support the Mara Predator Conservation Programme in Kenya. As well as selling photography prints and exhibiting, Matthew’s work regularly appears in international publications, and his films have appeared in film festivals all around the world.
When Matthew isn’t photographing, he loves teaching others to do so and to date has taught over 500 people on his photography workshops and holidays. He also has a collection of talks, which he presents to photography societies, schools and at travel shows. In summary, nothing gives Matthew more passion that traveling the world with camera in hand in search of fascinating and photogenic subjects.
Runner Up: Philip Lee Harvey, UK
When life gives you lemons
The fascinating story of how a little help and lemons transformed a woman’s life.
Highly Commended: Haider Khan, India
Who are the real heroes? This short film reveals some of them.
Winner: Rohan Neel Shah, Kenya
Rohan Neel Shah is a 15-year-old, 10th grade student living in Nairobi, Kenya. He is grateful to be living in a country where nature, wildlife, and the outdoors are a way of everyday life. The beauty of Kenya, the diverse wildlife, and the ever-changing need of conservation have always inspired him; his parents have taken him to national parks regularly since he was two years old, so he has always had a profound love and passion for the nature. Rohan’s journey in photography began from seeing world-renowned Canadian photographer Jeffrey Wu’s work. Apart from photography, Rohan has a keen interest in sports and music. He aspires to be an inspiration to other youth photographers to spend more time in nature and help in conservation for the future generations to also enjoy what we have and more.
This is the only category in which the TPOTY judges do not select the winner. Instead, some 200 finalist images appeared on the TPOTY website and were voted for by the general public.