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International Photographer of the Year competition

International Photographer of the Year competition - Cat Vinton has been announced as the winner of the International Travel Photographer of the Year 2007.

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Cat Vinton
An image submitted as part of a portfolio by overall winner Cat Vinton.

Press Release:
London-based photographer Cat Vinton has become the first female overall winner of the international Travel Photographer of the Year competition (TPOTY), winning a stunning prize which includes the opportunity to photograph the Dalai Lama in India.

Amateur and professional photographers from 51 countries competed for the £50,000+ prize package, and entrants from Australia, Canada, Finland, India, Poland, Switzerland, the UK and USA are amongst this year’s prizewinners.

TPOTY organiser Chris Coe said, “With such fantastic prizes on offer this year, we expected the standard to be high, and we weren’t disappointed. We had some glorious images to choose from, but Cat Vinton’s work really stood out. Black and white photography has also proved strong, with two out of the three Portfolio categories plus the One Shot category all being won by mono images. I’m delighted to see our first female overall winner, and I’m also very pleased to see amateurs featuring strongly in the top rankings, and also to see our first category winner from Poland.”

Overall Winner
Cat’s beautiful panoramic images of the snowy Norwegian landscape and evocative shots of a Nomadic family captivated the judging panel, which included the editors of Germany’s fotoMAGAZIN, British Journal of Photography, Hotshoe International and Professional Photographer, the travel editor of Tatler, Photography Director of Condé Nast Traveller, and photographers Charlie Waite, Nick Meers and Jeremy Hoare.

Cat Vinton wins the title of Travel Photographer of the Year 2007 and a remarkable prize. As well as having the chance to photograph His Holiness the Dalai Lama, in an unforgettable journey to Dharamsala, India, organised by High & Wild, she will receive an Apple MacBook with Aperture software, Adobe CS3 Web Premium software, a £2,500 TPOTY bursary, and a Plastic Sandwich leather portfolio book.

New Talent
This year, TPOTY introduced a new category - New Talent - designed to help support a fledgling career. The first New Talent award winner is American photographer, Charlie Mahoney. For his prize, Charlie will work alongside the Adventure Ecology Expedition Team, who conduct field missions to the most environmentally challenged parts of this planet. His images will feature on the Adventure Ecology website and also at an exhibition London’s Exposure Gallery. In addition, he will receive three days of photography and digital imaging tuition from photographer and tutor Chris Coe and digital imaging expert Terry Steeley of Iridius, plus Adobe Photoshop CS3 Web Premium, a Plastic Sandwich leather portfolio book and a £1,000 TPOTY bursary. And Charlie will also have the opportunity have his work represented by the Axiom and Photoshot image libraries.

Cat Vinton is not the only female photographer to enjoy success in TPOTY this year. The Young TPOTY category (for photographers aged 16 and under) has been won by 14 year-old Luna Malka from Canada. Luna’s imaginative images on the theme Fragile Earth immediately caught the judges’ eye. Her prize is a £500 TPOTY bursary, a Wacom Intuos3 A5 wide pen tablet, Adobe Photoshop CS3 plus Lightroom and a Plastic Sandwich leather portfolio book. And her winning images will be displayed at a TPOTY exhibition hosted by Adventure Ecology at The Exposure Gallery in London.

One Planet, Many Lives
British photographer Timothy Allen’s colourful images took the honours in this category. As a reward, he and a companion can choose between three different Intrepid Travel trips to China. He also wins an HP Designjet Z2100 large-format printer plus inks and media, and Adobe Photoshop CS3 and Lightroom software.

Second place in this category went to Larry Louie of Canada, with Gary Wornell of Finland Highly Commended and Jean-Claude Louis (USA) Commended. Larry Louie and the second-placed entrants in the Sense of Place, Thrill and One Shot categories each win £200 to spend on LEE Filters, plus a Sekonic L358 meter from JP Distribution. Commended entrants in these categories win Giottos MT 9242 tripods from JP Distribution and copies of the TPOTY Journey One and Journey Two books

Sense of Place
American amateur photographer Jean-Claude Louis’ haunting black and white images of Berlin won first prize here. His prize is a Tanzanian Wildlife Adventure with African Safari Roots, a superb Wacom Cintiq 21X and Adobe Photoshop CS3 and Lightroom. Philippe Gueissaz (Switzerland) was second, with Ashok Sinha (India) Highly Commended and Luke Duggleby (UK) Commended.

Black and white landscape images topped what was otherwise a colour-filled Thrill category, with Polish photographer Maciej Duczynski’s atmospheric portfolio depicting European mountains securing the highest marks. Rather fittingly, he’ll be returning to the mountains - his prize is a photographic tour of the Swiss and French Alps with YokmoK Adventures! He will also receive a Fujifilm S5 Pro camera with lens and two 4GB memory cards, plus Adobe Photoshop CS3 and Lightroom. Felix Hug (Switzerland) finished second, with Andrew Watson (Australia) and James Hill (UK) Highly Commended and Commended respectively.

One Shot
The single image category had two themes this year, Special Places, and Amazing Faces, with entrants having the choice of meeting either – or both – of those briefs in their image. The winning image, taken by American photographer Richard Murai, shows a truly amazing face - an 84 year old snail gatherer in Cambodia. Richard’s prize is 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. Tony Baker (UK) was second in this category, followed by Larry Louie (Canada), who was Highly Commended. Robert Moore (UK) and Leslie Rosenthal (USA) were both Commended.

The winning images can be seen at the TPOTY website, and will be on display at the Exposure Gallery in London (dates to be confirmed) and the TPOTY exhibition at Focus on Imaging at the NEC in February 2008. The very best images from the previous four years of Travel Photographer of the Year are available in two stunning books - Journey One and Journey Two - which can be ordered from the TPOTY website.


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