Judges & Judging

Travel Photographer of the Year is one of the world’s most stringently judged photography awards and is judged by a panel of highly image-literate professionals from across the photographic industry. Judging takes place over three rounds. All judging is completed ‘blind’ – the judges do not know the identity or nationality of any entrants.

The awards are judged by leading photographers and photography experts in their field, whose distinction and integrity add greatly to the prestige of the awards. Over the years the international jury for Travel Photographer of the Year has included photographers, editors, picture editors, picture buyers, stock photography experts and digital imaging experts from Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Kenya, New Zealand, Panama, South Africa, Sri Lanka, UK and USA.

The TPOTY judges are people of the highest integrity and we would like to thank them for giving their time and experience to ensuring that the awards set and maintain the highest of standards. Both Travel Photographer of the Year and you, the entrant, benefit from their invaluable input, expertise and impartiality, sustaining the quality and credibility of the awards.

None of the judges has a vested interest in the results, beyond using their considerable knowledge and experience of photography to choose the winning images on merit.

There are usually between 12 and 17 judges on the TPOTY judging panel. You can watch a fun, short (and rather low-res!) video of the final round of judging for the 2012 awards here.

The Judging Process

Judging Round One

Conducted online – All entries are assessed on whether they meet the criteria and standard of photography required for the awards and the particular category in which they are entered. Images in the Young Travel Photographer of the Year section are judged less harshly on camera craft at this stage as in this category we are also looking for potential. This round is judged by a small panel of judges.

Judging Round Two

Conducted online – All images/entries which have qualified from Round One are judged independently online by each judge on the entire judging panel. The best entries in each category are chosen based on the number of votes they receive from this panel. Top entries are shortlisted for the final judging round. The number of finalists varies from category to category, and year to year, and depends on the standard of entries received.

Final Judging Round

The final judging round is held over two days. Shortlisted images/entries are individually assessed by a judging panel of 7 to 12 judges. The judges take great care and time to consider all shortlisted entries and their choices are made following group discussion.

In the unlikely event that any judge recognises an image or the photography of an individual entrant, they withdraw from judging and commenting on that particular entry. This is done to maintain anonymity during the whole judging process, and until the winners have been chosen.

Our sponsors and partners

It would not be possible to run Travel Photographer of the Year without the support of our sponsors and partners, and we are hugely grateful for their involvement each year. Click the logo to learn more about each of Travel Photographer of the Year’s sponsor and partners.