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Image: Louis Montrose/www.tpoty.com

this year’s Travel Photographer of the Year winning images give a fascinating view of life, culture and nature around the globe

An Elizabethan scholar and former professor at the University of California, Louis Montrose of the USA, has become the overall winner of the 2011 international Travel Photographer of the Year awards (TPOTY), with two striking, and very different, portfolios; one documenting life in a painted village in Burkina Faso and the other depicting the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Festival in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Photographers in nearly 90 countries submitted thousands of images for this year’s contest. Entrants from 33 countries were shortlisted and photographers from 20 countries scooped individual category awards. The winning images – which can now be viewed online in the Winners' Gallery on the awards' website - will make their public debut at a major exhibition at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) in London from June 21st to August 19th 2012.

From a Beluga whale beneath sheets of ice, the mysterious beauty of sand dunes in America’s Death Valley, and abseiling down a thundering 225-metre waterfall, to vibrant Senegal streetlife, the snowy existence of the reindeer herders of Russia, some colourful and unusual views of London and a young Kenyan schoolgirl’s first view of a story book – via a Kindle - this year’s Travel Photographer of the Year winning images give a fascinating view of life, culture and nature around the globe.

The winners will receive prizes from Adobe Systems, Inc., Cutty Sark blended Scotch Whisky, the Elephant Family charity, Explore, Genesis Digital, Lexar Media, the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), Oman Air and the Oman Ministry of Tourism, Photo Iconic, Plastic Sandwich, Tribes Travel, Tselana Travel, and Young Photographers Alliance.

The Young Travel Photographer of the Year award went to 17 year-old German photographer Arne Hansen for his portfolio depicting the physical impact of travel on nature. 17 year-old British photographer, Joel Biddle, took the honours in Young TPOTY 15-18, and also won the TPOTY/Young Photographers Alliance Emerging Talent Award, for his intriguing abstract images on the category theme of ‘green’. 14 year old Seamus Crowley (USA) won Young TPOTY 14 and Under, with shots of the Irish landscape, with 10 year old Swiss photographer Lisa Gehrig finishing as runner-up, and 17 year old Tom Spence (UK) runner-up in the 15-18 category.

The New Talent award was won by Italy’s Edgard de Bono and Britain’s Stuart Dunn finished first in the One Shot, Wild Moments category. In the portfolio categories, Sergey Anisimov (Russia) won Cultures & Traditions, Malgorzata Pioro (Poland) Exotic, Anil Sud (Canada) Natural Elements and Franco Banfi (Switzerland) Spirit of Adventure. The beginners’ category – First Shot – was won by Guy Lankaster (UK) and Sheng Hong Tan (Malaysia).

The 2011 Travel Photographer of the Year awards were judged by an international panel of experts, including travel and wildlife photographer Steve Bloom, Caroline Metcalfe, Director of Photography for Conde Nast, stock photography expert Jerry Tavin, Colin Finlay of Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Matt Phillips, Editor of Travel Africa, Mary Robert, Head of Photography for American International University, Melissa de Witt, Editor of Hotshoe, Manfred Zollner, Managing Editor of Fotomagazin (Germany), Debbie Ireland, former head of the AA Photo Library, photographer and TV cameraman Jeremy Hoare, landscape and panoramic photographer Nick Meers, designer and digital imaging expert Terry Steeley, freelance editor and writer Emma Thomson, and TPOTY founder, travel photographer Chris Coe.

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS AND PRIZES

The Travel Photographer of the Year 2011 Louis Montrose (USA) will be given a unique personal showcase within the exhibition at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) in the summer of 2012. In addition he’ll receive a £1,000 cash bursary, plus Adobe Creative Suite Design Premium 5.5 and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 software, a Plastic Sandwich personalised leather iPad portfolio case, complete with iPad2, and a Lexar Professional 600x 32GB CompactFlash memory card + Lexar Professional Dual-Slot USB 3.0 card Reader.

New Talent, Diary of a Destination winner, Edgard de Bono (Italy), will travel to Marrakech with award-winning tailor-made sustainable travel specialists Tribes Travel. He will also receive Adobe, Photoshop Lightroom 3 software, plus a Lexar Professional 600x 16GB CompactFlash memory card + Lexar Professional Dual-Slot USB 3.0 card Reader, a personalised Plastic Sandwich leather portfolio case or iPad cover and two TPOTY/Photo Iconic image critiques – one before his prize trip and one afterwards. New Talent runner-up, Jonathan Munshi (USA) receives a Lexar Professional 400x 8GB CompactFlash memory card and an image critique. The Highly Commended entrant, Ling Cheong (Malaysia) and the two Commended entrants, Jon McCormack (Australia) and Minna Graber (UK) each win a Lexar Professional 400x 8GB CompactFlash memory card.

Sergey Anisimov, the Russian winner of the Cultures & Traditions portfolio category, will travel to Cambodia on a 13-day tailor-made trip with Explore, the adventure travel experts. He will also receive Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 software plus a Lexar Professional 600x 16GB CompactFlash memory card + Lexar Professional Dual-Slot USB 3.0 card Reader. Marcin Mikolajczuk of Poland was runner-up in this category, Yurian Quintanas Nobel (Spain) Highly Commended and Tessa Bunney (UK) Commended.

For winning Spirit of Adventure, Switzerland’s Frano Banfi has been awarded a £4,000, expenses-paid commission in London, Edinburgh and Glasgow from Cutty Sark Blended Scotch Whisky. He also receives Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 software plus a Lexar Professional 600x 16GB CompactFlash memory card + Lexar Professional Dual-Slot USB 3.0 card Reader. Martin Hartley (UK) was runner-up in this category, with Chris McLennan (New Zealand) Highly Commended and Edoardo Agresti (Italy) Commended.


Malgorzata Pioro (Poland), winner of the Exotic portfolio category, will journey to Botswana with Tselana Travel, the luxury tailor-made travel specialists. She will also receive Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 software plus a Lexar Professional 600x 16GB CompactFlash memory card + Lexar Professional Dual-Slot USB 3.0 card Reader. Timothy Allen (UK) was runner-up, Thomas Endlein (Germany) Highly Commended and Simon Morris (UK) Commended.

The winner of the Natural Elements portfolio category, Anil Sud (Canada), will be hosted by the Oman Ministry of Tourism for seven nights in Oman, with Oman Air Business Class flights to and from the country. His prize also includes Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 software plus a Lexar Professional 600x 16GB CompactFlash memory card + Lexar Professional Dual-Slot USB 3.0 card Reader. Peter Karry (UK) was runner-up, Matjaz Krivic (Slovenia) Highly Commended and Johnny Haglund (Norway) and Philip Lee Harvey (UK) both Commended.

All portfolio category runners-up, plus the runner-up in One Shot, Wild Moments, receive a Lexar Professional 400x 8GB CompactFlash memory card, and a set of the three Travel Photographer of the Year Journey books. Highly Commended and Commended entrants in those categories win a Lexar Professional 400x 8GB CompactFlash memory card.

Philip Lee Harvey (UK) took the Best Single Image in a Portfolio honours in Cultures & Traditions, Yeow Kwang Yeo (Singapore) in Exotic, Richard Murai (USA) in Natural Elements, and Franco Banfi (Switzerland) in Spirit of Adventure. Each receives a Giclée exhibition print from Genesis Digital and a print of an historic image from the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) archive. Special mention was given in Cultures & Traditions to Timothy Allen (UK) and Malin Palm (Sweden), in Exotic to GMB Akash (Bangladesh) and David Lazar (Australia), in Natural Elements to Larry Louie (Canada), Ben Pipe (UK) and Doran Talmi (Israel) and in Spirit of Adventure to Johnny Haglund of Norway.

The winner of the One Shot, Wild Moments category, Stuart Dunn (UK) has been awarded an exclusive, paid charity commission to photograph wild Asian elephants in Southern India for the Elephant Family charity, courtesy of Cutty Sark Blended Scotch Whisky and Travel Photographer of the Year. He also wins a Lexar Professional 600x 16GB CompactFlash memory card + Lexar Professional Dual-Slot USB 3.0 card Reader and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 software. Thomas Kokta of Germany was Highly Commended for one image and Commended for another, while Sue Flood (UK) was also Highly Commended and Evan McBride (New Zealand) Commended and Franco Banfi (Switzerland) Commended.

The Young Travel Photographer of the Year 2011, Arne Hansen (Germany), will receive £500, plus Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, Lexar Professional 600x 16GB CompactFlash memory card + Lexar Professional Dual-Slot USB 3.0 card Reader, a personalised Plastic Sandwich leather portfolio case or iPad cover and an image critique session. Joel Biddle and Seamus Crowley, winners of Young TPOTY 15-18 and Young TPOTY 14 and under respectively, each receive a Lexar Professional 400x 8GB CompactFlash memory card plus an online critique, while the 15-18 runner-up, 17 year-old Tom Spence (UK), and the 14 and under runner-up, 9 year-old Lisa Gehrig (Switzerland) each receive a Lexar Professional 400x 8GB CompactFlash memory card.

Joel Biddle, as the winner of the Young Photographers’ Alliance Emerging Talent Award, for the most interesting entry submitted by a photographer aged 25 or under in the New Talent or Young TPOTY categories, will be given a place on the YPA mentoring programme.

First Shot – Work, Rest, Play
The beginners’ category winners Guy Lankaster (UK) and Sheng Hong Tan (Malaysia) will receive Adobe Photoshop Lightroom3 software and a Photo Iconic photography course, or online image critique. The two Runners-Up - Damian Levingston (UK) and Renny Whitehead (UK) and four Commended entrants – Sumit Dua (USA), Emil Mikkelsen (Denmark), Kelvin Lee (Singapore) and Maria Filippidou (Greece) each receive critiques.

Full details of the awards can be found on www.tpoty.com.

Ends

Notes to editors:

For any media enquiries or images to accompany a story about the awards, please contact Karen Coe at Travel Photographer of the Year. Email: press@tpoty.com or call +44 (0)1728 669185. Please note, the publishing restrictions on images are:

1. These images are provided for editorial use relating to Travel Photographer of the Year only.

2. Each image must be credited to the photographer and to www.tpoty.com (e.g. Franco Banfi/www.tpoty.com)

3. The words 'Travel Photographer of the Year' must appear in the introduction to the gallery, or in a story, as appropriate, with mention of www.tpoty.com

4. The images must not be used for any other purpose - if they are used for something not connected with Travel Photographer of the Year, either the photographer, or Travel Photographer of the Year on behalf of the photographer, will charge an authorised usage fee. If you wish to use the images for another purpose, please contact Travel Photographer of the Year and we will pass your request to the photographer concerned.

5. The publication/website will provide a copy of the story (hard copy or emailed PDF for print publications, a live web link for online publications) either by email to press@tpoty.com or by post to 20 Yew Tree Courtyard, Framlingham Road, Earl Soham, Suffolk IP13 7SG, UK.

6. The publication will remove the files from their server after use, and will not keep copies of them anywhere.

7. If the publication intends to include the images in an iPad or similar app (i.e. a daily news app), it must confirm that this is a secure app, with locked images, and all image credits etc. will apply as outlined above.

8. If high resolution images have been provided for print purposes, and the publication also wants to use them in an online story about Travel Photographer of the Year, they must resize them to 72dpi maximum for online use.



ABOUT TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR
Formed in 2003, Travel Photographer of the Year (TPOTY) rapidly became one of the world's most prestigious photography awards. Open to amateur and professional photographers of all ages, and from all countries, Travel Photographer of the Year now regularly attracts entries from over 90 countries each year. To date, the oldest entrant has been aged 88, and the youngest just five years old. Photographers from 35 countries have so far won awards and enjoyed international exposure for their work. The winning images are showcased in the 'Journey' series of books and at Travel Photographer of the Year exhibitions. In 2011 TPOTY announced a collaborative partnership with the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) to take the awards into a new era, with a major annual exhibition of images at the Society's headquarters in Kensington, London. www.tpoty.com

ABOUT THE ROYAL GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY (WITH IBG)
The Royal Geographical Society (with The Institute of British Geographers) is the learned society and professional body for geography. Formed in 1830, our Royal Charter of 1859 is for 'the advancement of geographical science'. Today, we deliver this objective by developing, supporting and promoting geography through research, expeditions and fieldwork, education, and public engagement, while also providing geographical input to policy. We aim to foster an understanding and informed enjoyment of our world. We hold the world's largest private geographical collection and provide public access to it. We have a thriving Fellowship and membership and offer the professional accreditation 'Chartered Geographer' www.rgs.org



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