Entries are now open for the 2007 international Travel Photographer of the Year (TPOTY) competition. There’s an outstanding array of over £50,000 worth of prizes on offer to talented amateur and professional photographers, including fantastic travel, professional photographic equipment, a London gallery exhibition, and, for the first time, TPOTY cash bursaries.
2007 is an exciting year for TPOTY as it is launching a new award, New Talent, and has also established the Travel & Photo Zone community area on its website, with Travel and Photography Hubs containing news, features, hints and tips and product reviews, a Photographers’ Showcase, a Young Planet page (for kids with cameras) and a special subscription area, Travel Shooters, which gives access to further features, articles and technical items and to a forum, blog, special offers, monthly prize draws and the chance to feature in the Showcase.
TPOTY 2007 will be judged by a panel comprising expert photographers, image buyers, magazine editors and imaging experts. Already confirmed on this year’s judging panel are the renowned Swiss photographer Georg Gerster, the Travel Editor of Tatler, the editors of Germany’s fotoMagazin, British Journal of Photography, Hotshoe International and Professional Photographer, along with award-winning wildlife photographers.
New sponsors, new prizes, new opportunities for photographers
The photographic prizes for the 2007 Travel Photographer of the Year competition are impressive. They include a Fujifilm S5 Pro plus lens and memory cards, a Mamiya 7ii rangefinder camera with two lenses, an HP Z2100 large-format printer, a Wacom Cintiq 21UX, Adobe Photoshop CS3 Web Premium, Photoshop CS3 + Lightroom, Giottos tripods, Sekonic light meters, Plastic Sandwich leather portfolio books, Lee filters and Peli cases.
This year TPOTY has been joined by Adventure Ecology – the global youth-led network that learns, acts, shares and speaks on the environment. AE’s expeditions to some of the world’s most dangerous, exciting and environmentally challenged zones highlight the wonders of nature and raise awareness about fragile ecosystems. Adventure Ecology is supporting the New Talent and Young TPOTY awards, with an expedition place for the New Talent winner and a London gallery exhibition for the Young TPOTY winner.
This year TPOTY also has new travel sponsors – African Safari Roots, High & Wild, Intrepid Travel and YokmoK Adventures – who between them specialise in exclusive and adventurous trips to most parts of the world. As a result, the travel prize element of this year’s Travel Photographer of the Year competition is mouth-watering. Category winners will be heading off on safari to Tanzania, taking a hike through the French and Swiss Alps, and choosing from three different excursions to China. With YokmoK, it’s a case of ‘entrant turned sponsor’, as YokmoK founder, photographer and mountain guide Jorge Sanchez, was one of the early entrants of TPOTY some years ago.
New awards, new categories
The Travel Photographer of the Year 2007 will be the photographer who scores the highest points across two separate portfolio categories. Full details of the overall winner’s prize will be announced in June, but it will include a £2,500 TPOTY bursary, Adobe Photoshop CS3 Web Premium, a Plastic Sandwich leather portfolio book – and the photographic trip of a lifetime with High and Wild.
The New Talent award is aimed at amateurs looking to turn pro, or photographers who have turned professional within the last two years. Designed to launch or give a major boost to a fledgling career, the New Talent competition rewards the winner with a package of prizes that will help them take their photography, and their career to the next level. The winner will join the Adventure Ecology Expedition Team on a field mission to one of the most environmentally challenged parts of this planet. Their images will feature on the Adventure Ecology website and also at an exhibition at a central London gallery. In addition, the winner will receive three days of photography and digital imaging tuition from photographer and tutor Chris Coe and digital imaging expert Terry Steeley, Adobe Photoshop CS3 Web Premium, a Plastic Sandwich leather portfolio book and a £1,000 TPOTY bursary.
As always, there is a Young TPOTY category, for those aged 16 and under. This year the theme is Fragile Earth. The young winner will receive a £500 TPOTY bursary, a Wacom Intuos3 A5 wide pen tablet, Adobe Photoshop CS3 + Lightroom and a Plastic Sandwich leather portfolio book. And, in an exciting addition to the prize, their winning images will be the central focus of an exhibition hosted by Adventure Ecology at a central London gallery.
There are three Portfolio categories: One Planet, Many Lives; Sense of Place, and Thrill. Entrants need to submit four images in each Portfolio category that they choose to enter, and can enter as many categories as they like, as many times as they like.
One Planet, Many Lives:
The winner of this category, and a companion, can choose between 3 different Intrepid Travel trips to China. In addition, the winner will receive an HP Designjet Z2100 large-format printer plus inks & media, and Adobe Photoshop CS3 and Lightroom.
Sense of Place:
The winner of this category will take a companion on a Tanzanian Wildlife Adventure with African Roots Safari. They also receive a Wacom Cintiq 21X and Adobe Photosho CS3 and Lightroom.
The winner of this category will take a companion on a photographic tour of the Swiss and French Alps with YokmoK Adventures. They will also receive a Fujifilm S5 Pro with lens and two 4GB memory cards, plus Adobe Photoshop CS3 and Lightroom.
The single image category – One Shot – has two themes this year, Special Places, Amazing Faces, with entrants having the choice of meeting either – or both – of those briefs in their image. The winner of the One Shot category receives a Mamiya 7ii camera & two lenses, Peli 1510 case, Sekonic L758 meter and Giottos MT9371 tripod – all from JP Distribution – plus Adobe Photoshop CS3 and Lightroom.
The second-placed entrants in the Portfolio and One Shot categories will receive £200 to spend on LEE Filters, and a Sekonic L358 meter. Third-placed entrants in those categories receive Giottos MT 9242 tripods and the TPOTY Journey One and Journey Two books, and fourth-placed entrants receive Peli 1500 cases and the TPOTY Journey One and Journey Two books
Inspiration and guidance
Those needing inspiration (or a challenge!) can check out the previous winners in the Winners’ Gallery on www.tpoty.com or buy the TPOTY ‘Journey’ series of coffee-table books from the TPOTY website.
For those who aren’t quite sure if their photo skills meet the (very high) standard required, TPOTY also offers photography courses – including ones on Understanding Your Camera and how to gain the Competitive Edge (which could be timely).
TPOTY and its travel sponsors are also offering a fantastic new selection of international photography courses, for those who want to combine improving their photographic abilities with the trip of a lifetime. In 2007 and 2008 TPOTY will be running courses in Tanzania, the Swiss and French Alps, Cambodia & Vietnam, Japan, remotest India, Italy (to search for and photograph wolves), and on the Ancient Silk Route. Full details are in the Photography Course Zone on www.tpoty.com.