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Travel Photographer of the Year 2009 awarded to Bangladeshi photographer


The winners of the 2009 international Travel Photographer of the Year photography contest have been announced, and for the first time the overall top prize has been scooped by a Bangladeshi photographer. G.M.B. Akash’s vibrant yet poignant images of rail travel in his home country and his portfolio depicting the ship-breaking industry in Pakistan all showed how imagery can tell a story, and won unanimous praise from the judges.

As well as being awarded the title of Travel Photographer of the Year 2009, Akash wins Adobe CS4 Web Premium software, an Apple MacBook Pro 13in with Aperture 2 software, a Mountain Paradise trip to Slovakia’s Tatra Mountains, an Ilford Lightjet 40in x 30in silver gelatin print of one of his images, a 16Gb Lexar CompactFlash & Lexar Professional card reader, a Plastic Sandwich leather portfolio book and a Wacom Intuos4 S pen tablet.

The winning images from TPOTY 2009 can be viewed online in the Winners’ Gallery on the TPOTY website and will be published in the new Travel Photographer of the Year book Journey Three, which will be available in February 2010. Containing the winning and other highly-placed images from the past three years of the TPOTY awards, Journey Three is priced at £25.00. And the winning images will be given their first public display at Adventure Travel Live at the Royal Horticultural Halls, London on January 29th, 30th and 31st, 2010, where showgoers will be able to buy the first copies of Journey Three. Visitors to the TPOTY website can save over 50% on tickets to Adventure Travel Live.

Category winners:

Young Travel Photographer of the Year 2009
Open to photographers aged 16 and under, Young TPOTY was won by 15 year old Courtney Krawec (Australia), who will receive private photo tuition with Photo Iconic, Adobe Photoshop CS4 and Lightroom software, an 8GB Lexar Professional CF card and Lexar Professional card reader, and a Wacom Bamboo Fun pen tablet. Four runners-up – Dan Leitch (UK), Josh Zimber (USA), Oscar Lebeck (Germany) and Pujavenkat Kolluru (India) will each receive a 4GB Lexar Professional CF card, Adobe Photoshop Elements & Premiere Elements plus a copy of Earthbound: a Rough Guide to the World in Pictures.

New Talent: A Traveller's Tale
Americans dominated here, finishing first, second and third. Taylor Weidman’s haunting tale of Romania’s orphans took top honours in this category, which challenged entrants to construct their own Traveller’s Tale, on any subject they chose. His prize is a place on a Photo Iconic photography course at the Tatra Mountains Photography Centre in Slovakia with Mountain Paradise, Adobe Photoshop CS4 and Lightroom software plus £300 to spend with Linhof Studio, Plastic Sandwich personalised leather portfolio book, and an 8GB Lexar Professional CF card and Lexar Professional card reader. And he will have his images showcased in the Travel Shooters Photographers’ Showcase on www.tpoty.com.

Douglas Ljungkvist (USA), Shelby Karns (USA) and Kym Morris (Australia), the runner-up, Highly Commended and Commended entrants respectively, each win a 4GB Lexar Professional CF card.

Portfolio category: Homeland
Poras Chaudhary’s vivid images of his home country of India won top marks in this category, and for his prize Poras will head for China with Intrepid Travel, and receive a Wacom Intuos4 M pen tablet, plus an 8GB Lexar Professional CF Card and Lexar Professional card reader.

Karoki Lewis (India/UK) was runner-up, Craig Easton (UK) Highly Commended and Ron Tear (UK) Commended.

Runners-up in each of the three portfolio categories win a 4Gb Lexar Professional CF Card, plus £250 worth of Lee filters and a copy of Rough Guides’ Earthbound, while Highly Commended entrants receive a 4Gb Lexar Professional CF Card and a copy of Earthbound, and Commended entrants win a 4Gb Lexar CF Professional Card.

Portfolio category: Natural Wonders
The category for the wildlife and landscape photographers was won by British photographer Craig Churchill’s striking but gritty images of polar bears feeding on a rotting fin whale carcass. For his prize Craig will travel to Costa Rica with Intrepid Travel and receives a 26” NEC SpectraView® high-end professional widescreen LCD monitor, and an 8GB Lexar Professional CF Card and Lexar Professional card reader.

Daisy Gilardini (Switzerland) was runner-up, Sue Flood (UK) Highly Commended and Louis Montrose (USA) Commended.

Portfolio category: People of the World
Martin Edström (Sweden) won this portfolio category with his images exploring the lives of fishermen from Cape Verde. His prize is a trip to Morocco with Intrepid Travel, the versatile Wacom Cintiq 12WX interactive pen display and an 8GB Lexar Professional CF Card and Lexar Professional card reader. Karoki Lewis (India/UK) was runner-up, Larry Louie (Canada) Highly Commended and Lasse Damgaard (Denmark) Commended.

Best Single Images, portfolio categories
Craig Easton (UK) took the prize for the Best Single Image in the Homeland portfolio category, Sue Flood (UK) won Best Single Image in the Natural Wonders category, and Johan Ensing (Netherlands) won Best Single Image in the People of the World category.

Each wins Adobe Photoshop CS4 and Lightroom, £200 to spend at Jacobs Digital Photo & Video, plus a 40in x 30in Ilford Lightjet silver gelatin print of their prizewinning image.

One Shot category: Festival, Fiesta & Celebration
Louis Montrose’s ghostly shot of El dia de Los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) won this category for the American photographer, who will receive Adobe Photoshop CS4 and Lightroom software, £400 to spend with Jacobs Digital Photo & Video, £200 worth of Harman Photo and Ilford Photo products, and an 8GB Lexar Professional CF Card and Lexar Professional card reader.

Jonathan Banks (UK), Mark Edward Harris (USA) and Kieron Nelson (Canada), the runner-up, Highly Commended and Commended entrants respectively, each win a 4GB Lexar Professional CF card, with Jonathan and Mark also receiving a copy of Rough Guides’ Earthbound.

First Shot: Postcards from Anywhere
This category was for adults who are new to photography and for images taken on a mobile phone, compact camera or basic SLR or DSLR. The five winners – Mieke Boynton (Australia), Julie Ruck (USA), Jonathan Allen, Sheryll Sulit and Deb Hillerby (all UK) will each receive a Photo Iconic course and Adobe Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements. The runners-up in this category – Kevin Ummel (USA), and Charlotte Hedley (UK), Louise Croak (UK) and Deb Hillerby (for her second image) and Tareq Alhamrani (United Arab Emirates) receive Adobe Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements software.

Full information can be found on the TPOTY website.

Photo: G.M.B. Akash

Diana Topan


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