2022 Winners

TPOTY winning image 2022

The incredibly high standard of entries for Travel Photographer of the Year continued in 2022, and we would like thank all our entrants for supporting us, together with our fantastic judging panel, who gave so much of their time to select the winners.


“Thankfully travel is returning after two years of disruptions and restrictions. With this photographers are back out in the field, whether this is in their own countries or around the world.

Below you will find this year’s stunning winning imagery from our very talented entrants. Any of you who took part in our People’s Choice vote will already know that the standard of images from our finalists is high but also how hard it is to pick the winners! So, as ever, we are extremely grateful to our incredible judges for their expertise.

This year, we’ll be first exhibiting these images in May at the Royal Photographic Society as part of World Photography in Focus. 2023 is TPOTY’s 21st award and we hope you’ll share your images with us again.”

Click on each photo to zoom in

Travel Photographer of the Year 2022:

Matjaz Krivic, Slovenia

Judges’ comments

“The portfolio of the 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 tells this sad story beautifully and sensitively. The images are tender and intimate. The portfolio of the erupting Cumbre Vieja volcano on the island of La Palma focuses not so much on the lava flow but its impact on the surrounding landscape, encapsulated by the abandoned horse in search of food’ – fascinating visual story-telling.”

Matjaz Krivic is a documentary photographer capturing long-term stories of people and places. For 25 years he has covered the face of the earth in his intense, personal and aesthetically moving style, portraying poor parts of the world characterised by traditions, social unrest and religious devotion. In recent years he has been focusing on environmental issues and acting as an advocate for a greener future through his work.

His work and multimedia projects have been exhibited in galleries, museums, open-air exhibitions in Slovenia and across the world, at international photo festivals like La Gacilly Photo, Les Rencontres d’Arles and Visa pour l’image, and widely published around the world by numerous national and international media outlets including Wired, Boston Globe, Geo, Guardian, Stern, Spiegel, Le Figaro, Le Monde, Newsweek, GQ, Internationale, D-La Repubblica, Wall Street Journal, Forbes and many others. Krivic has won several prestigious awards, including World Press Photo, Picture of the Year International, and Lens Culture – and now Travel Photographer of the Year, a competition he has entered every year since its foundation in 2003.

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.”

Matjaz Krivic, Slovenia

Young Travel Photographer of the Year:

Cal Cole, UK (age 18)

Judges’ comments

“Travelling the world begins on your own doorstep and it is great to see a young photographer honing their skills not with the exotic, but with a less glamorous but still popular destination, and doing do so in such a creative fashion.”

Cal Cole is an 18 year old photographer based in Manchester, UK. He focuses on themes of melancholy, dystopia and loneliness in his images of cityscapes in twilight and after dark. He first started taking photographs at the age of 13, when he would go into central Manchester to take pictures on his phone. From there, things progressed to him buying his first DSLR at age 14. He currently works part-time as a freelance photographer and graphic artist, whilst studying Art Foundation at Manchester School of Art.

Winner , Young TPOTY (15-18 yrs):

Isabella Smith, USA (age 18)

Judges’ comments

“Go to a popular tourist destination and shoot it differently! It would have been so easy to do the picture postcard shots but this young photographer has taken a fresh, well observed and well timed approach to capture interesting moments.”

18-year-old Isabella Smith comes from a small town in Tennessee, USA. She is currently taking a short break from academics and using the opportunity to travel before starting university next year. Her passion for photography started when she was eight. She managed to get hold of her mother’s camera on a trip and it quickly became an obsession. Having undiagnosed ADHD at the time, Isabella found it was truly the only thing that could hold her attention. Being able to capture a vision with her camera is something that has brought her unparalleled joy for the past 10 years. In 2018, aged just 14, she was the overall winner of Young Travel Photographer of the Year. 

Winner, Young TPOTY (14 yrs & under):

Kaia Tham, Australia (age 14)

Judges’ comments

“Seeing the world in a different way and exploring it with a phone rather than a camera has given this young photographer’s portfolio afresh feel and a different perspective observing of the streets of Lisbon.”

14-year-old Kaia Tham was born in Australia, but now resides, and is a student, in Portugal – a location which has inspired many of her recent photos.  She shoots purely on an iPhone and has recently started her exploration of photography, where she quickly fell in love with the media.  Kaia loves to play with the juxtaposition of lights and textures, capturing moments of her life from food to architecture.  In particular, she enjoys creating photos of reflections in things often overlooked; showing a different angle of the world around her.

Runner-up – Young TPOTY (15 -18 yrs):

Cal Cole, UK (age 18)
Joint Runner-up – Young TPOTY (14 yrs & under):
Zhiyu Zheng, China (age 14)
Joint Runner-up – Young TPOTY (14 yrs & under):
Rohan Shah, Kenya (age 14)


The Art of Monochrome

Winner: Roie Galitz, Israel

Judges’ comments

“Delicate and poignant, beautifully observed moments which tell a story of this fragile Arctic environment and the threats to the incredible wildlife which inhabits it. The emaciated Polar bear with her young is a stark reminder to us all and contrasts with the image of the other two bears’ courtship ritual. The Polar bear cubs are believed to have died a few days after this image was made.”

Roie Galitz is a professional wildlife photographer, environmental diplomat, an entrepreneur and a public speaker. As a nature lover, Roie travels to the world’s most extreme habitats and documents animals as never seen before. But that has also made him more aware of nature’s distress as human activity increases its influence. Galitz has become a Greenpeace Ambassador, performed three TEDx talks and is a Keynote speaker in many events worldwide. As an entrepreneur, Roie has founded several companies with the love for photography, creation and our amazing world at heart. He serves on executive boards and advisory boards on sustainability and pressing environmental issues NGOs.

Runner-up: Dana Allen, USA
Highly Commended: Trevor Cole, Ireland
Commended: Shyjith Onden Cheriyath, India

Best Single Image in a Portfolio

Winner: Dana Allen, USA

Judges’ comments

“There could be one camera less in the world in a fraction of a second! This shot gets right into the heart of the action and it’s beautifully framed to give a sense of the action in the context of the whole family group.”

Special Mention

Clockwise from top left: Quim Fàbregas Elias, Spain; Donell Gumiran, Philippines; Dana Allen, USA; Cui Zhoufan, China; Artur Stankiewicz, Poland; Trevor Cole, Ireland


Winner: Magdaléna Straková, Czech Republic

Judges’ comments

“As traditions die out it is important to capture the quiet calmness and simplicity of the old, quirky and unusual ways of doing things. Shot in timeless black and white, these images transport the viewer to a gentler time.”

Magdaléna Straková is a Czech photographer, based in Prague. Since early childhood, she has been passionate about horses and animals in general. Later in life, she became equally passionate about photography and travelling, so she always looks for ways to combine the three. She is a well-known equestrian journalist in the Czech Republic, but has also shot many weddings and events over the years, worked for lifestyle and travel magazines, and leads photo workshops and photo expeditions.

Runner-up: Alain Schroeder, Belgium

Highly Commended: Athanasios Maloukos, Greece

Highly Commended: Li Yushan, China

Commended: Nicolas Castermans, France

Best Single Image in a Portfolio

Winner: Athanasios Maloukos, Greece

Judges’ comments

“A human moment breaking through the ceremony and tradition.”

Special Mention

Clockwise from top left: Frank Lynch, Ireland; Katy Gomez Catalina, Spain; Nicolas Castermans, France; Michael Runkel, Germany; Johnny Haglund, Norway; Marina Spironetti, Italy

Green Planet, Blue Planet

Winner: Alexej Sachov, Germany

Judges’ comments

“Photography can be a very powerful tool and these images are a great example of a strong message shot simply and engagingly. Both the message and the story are strong and clear, simply told without the need for a single word. A silent call to action.”

Alexej is a passionate diver and an underwater photographer. His photographs depict the beauty and richness of the underwater world and the horrors of man-made ocean pollution. Alexej was born in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Inspired by his mother’s photographs, he started photographing in his childhood. He obtained a diploma in rocket engineering and information technologies and realized his creative potential in building complex computer systems in the Ukraine and Germany. Alexej works for SIXT, one of the world’s biggest and most successful technology-driven mobility companies. Alexej’s underwater photos are successful in abstract, conceptual, environmental, fine art, seascape and nature/wildlife categories of various international photography competitions. As part of collective exhibitions, his photos have been presented in the US, UK, Germany and Ukraine.

Runner-up: Laura Storm, UK
Highly Commended: Kazuaki Koseki, Japan
Commended: Ngar Shun Victor Wong, Hong Kong

Best Single Image in a Portfolio

Winner: Panos Laskarakis, Greece

Judges’ comments

“Wow! Just wow! This is such a powerful image and left all the judges in unanimous agreement. Panos witnessed the death of this buffalo, and returned the following day – as did this large male lion.”

Special Mention

Clockwise from top left: Kazuaki Koseki, Japan; Yaron Schmid, USA; Scott Portelli, Australia; Jason Edwards, Australia; Yaron Schmid, USA; Ngar Shun Victor Wong, Hong Kong; Xianghe Liu, China

Deserts to Rainforests

Winner: Jaroslav Hora, Czech Republic

Judges’ comments

“The detail in these aerial shots is phenomenal, as anyone coming to the exhibition will see first-hand, they are sumptuous, simple, graphic designs worthy of fine art.”

Jaroslav Hora was born in 1969 in the Czech Republic. His first camera was an FED, a special piece produced for the Moscow Olympics in 1980. He has been a professional photographer since 2003, starting as a landscape and city photographer, and then expanding into photojournalism and commercial photography. Although he doesn’t specialise in any particular genre, he mostly enjoys travel photography, especially landscapes with a minimalist approach. Lately, his interest has also turned towards  wildlife photography as well.  Since 2013 he has organised training courses in photography, tours, expeditions and workshops in Czechia and abroad.

Runner-up: Marek Biegalski, Poland
Highly Commended: Stephan Fürnrohr, Germany
Commended: Jaroslav Hora, Czech Republic

Best Single Image in a Portfolio

Winner: John Seager, UK

Judges’ comments

“It makes you want to go there! Amazing landscape and beautiful light make a simple image absolutely shine.”

Special Mention

Clockwise from top left: Kazuaki Koseki, Japan; Scott Portelli, Australia; Alex Cao, Vietnam; Scott Portelli, Australia; Jaroslav Hora, Czech Republic

One Shot – Single Image Categories

Creative Travel

Winner: Lorenz Berna, Italy

Judges’ comments

“This category allowed slightly more digital manipulation – but it was great to see Creative Travel interpreted by so many photographers predominantly in camera rather than on a desktop. The winning image gives a ghostly sense of movement with complimentary reflections.”

Italian photographer Lorenz Berna is based in Florence. He shoots weddings and real estate during the summer season but in his heart he’s a devoted travel photographer. He discovered a real passion for photography while backpacking in Mexicoat the age of 20 –  and since then he’s never stopped taking photographs. During his travels, he tries to capture the sense of places by taking candid moments of street life, together with still images of suggestive places and landscapes, taken in the best possible light conditions. He also likes documenting cultures, festivals and events related to the spiritual aspects of life. 

Top row: Runner up – Dana Allen, USA; Bottom row: Highly Commended – Veronika K Ko, Bulgaria (left) and Commended – Robert Lie, Indonesia (right)

Mark of Mankind

Winner: Angiolo Manetti, Italy

Judges’ comments

“Such a simple yet strong, refined image. We liked its clean graphics but with fascinating details like the ‘question mark’ produced by the plough to the right of the cypress grove.”

Born in 1968 in Rome, Angiolo Manetti started to take images with assiduity in 2010 when he rediscovered his adolescent passion for the craft, inspired by his travels abroad. He loves to depict the encounters he experiences on his trips, and moves between various photographic genres, while preferring landscape and nature. In 2011 Angiolo began to participate with success in prestigious national and international photographic contests. His work has been published in specialized magazines such as Fotografare, Landscape Photography Magazine, Geo Magazine and National Geographic Magazine. In 2015 he received the AFIAP distinction which is awarded to photographers whose artistic, technical and production qualities of the work are recognized through participation in international competitions under the patronage of FIAP (Fédération Internationale de l’Art Photographique). Subsequently he was also awarded the Efiap Honor (FIAP Excellence), given to those photographers who, in addition to possessing an excellent technique and abundant production, have been admitted to numerous international competitions under the FIAP Patronage.

Top row: Runner up – Johnny Haglund, Norway; Bottom row – Highly Commended – Edmond Terakopian, UK (left) and Commended – Dimitar Karanikolov, Bulgaria/UK (right)


Winner: Alexej Sachov, Germany

Judges’ comments

“Wonderful texture with just a small strip of coral sea bed to give it context. The water glistens like beaten aluminium. It really captures a world below the surface which so few of us see.”

Alexej is a passionate diver and an underwater photographer. His photographs depict the beauty and richness of the underwater world and the horrors of man-made ocean pollution. Alexej was born in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Inspired by his mother’s photographs, he started photographing in his childhood. He obtained a diploma in rocket engineering and information technologies and realized his creative potential in building complex computer systems in the Ukraine and Germany. Alexej works for SIXT, one of the world’s biggest and most successful technology-driven mobility companies. Alexej’s underwater photos are successful in abstract, conceptual, environmental, fine art, seascape and nature/wildlife categories of various international photography competitions. As part of collective exhibitions, his photos have been presented in the US, UK, Germany and Ukraine

Left to right: Runner up – Jochen Bongaerts, Belgium; Highly Commended – Romain Miot, France; Commended – Weizhong Deng, Singapore



Winner: Marina Spironetti, Italy

Judges’ comments

“Mobile phones and tablets are all about capturing a moment. Combined with good observation and a little creativity, the results can be captivating. This well observed opportunity for a self-portrait has a great sense of context and place along the street.”

After earning a university degree in Languages and Literature, Milan-born Marina Spironetti trained as a journalist in Italy. She studied photojournalism at the London College of Communication before launching her photographic career in 2004. Originally working as a UK correspondent for the Italian picture agency Eidon Press, she now freelances for a variety of magazines/newspapers, both as a writer and a photographer. Her work has been exhibited both in Italy and internationally. In 2021 she was the winner of the first Claire Aho Award for Women Photographers. Her first photo book, Senza Mare, on traditions and costumes of inland Sardinia, came out in November 2020. In July 2021 she undertook an art residency in Desulo, Sardinia, to carry out further research on the traditions of the island, focusing in particular on the role of women. A second photo book on this subject is underway. 

Top row: Runner up – Yu Chunshui, China; Bottom row: Highly Commended – Dimitar Karanikolov, Bulgaria/UK (left) ; Commended – Kazi Mushfiq Hossain, Bangladesh (right)

Travel Shorts (video)

Winner: Simon Tupper, UK

Judges’ comments

“A delightful, charming and humorous film – well shot and engaging. It takes the viewer on a gentle journey into the life of an Icelandic farmer which retains full attention and leaves you uplifted and smiling.”

Simon’s childhood dream of travelling the globe creating images began at the age of ten, inspired by a combined love of David Attenborough documentaries and school art lessons. Ever since then he’s never really wanted to do anything else. 25 years later he’s living that dream – creating branded photography and video content for UK and global companies and running photography tours around the world. His personal work reflects an interest in the variety of lifestyles lived by people around the planet, and how what’s everyday to some can be beautiful and fascinating to others. He lives on a boat on the canals of London.

People’s Choice

Winner: Romain Miot, France

27-year-old Romain Miot is a physiotherapist practicing in Paris and in the French overseas collectivity of Wallis and Futuna in the South Pacific. Passionate about travel and photography, he travels around the world to realize his lifetime project ‘Objectif 197’ in reference to the 197 countries thahe dreams of visiting. His life plan is based around discovering and revealing the planet, reaching out to people and grasping their intensity 

This is the only category in which the TPOTY judges do not select the winner. Instead, some 130 finalist images appeared on the TPOTY website and were voted for by the general public.

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.