Bad weather has made the sun shine on British photographer Craig Easton. His four evocative, moody images of the ‘dreich’ – an old Scottish word to describe wet, miserable, dank weather – have secured him this year’s Cutty Sark Award for the overall winner of the Travel Photographer of the Year awards (TPOTY). Craig beat entrants from over 90 countries to win the world’s leading travel photography competition with these ‘dreich’ landscapes and an elegant series of four striking silhouettes of people in Paris. He is the first British photographer to take the Travel Photographer of the Year title since 2007.
Professional and amateur photographers from 22 countries scooped individual TPOTY awards or special mentions this year. The prizewinning entries across the categories make a glorious display that showcases the beauty and diversity of travel imagery; fascinating glimpses of different cultures, engaging portraits, gritty, thought-provoking shots, abstracts, cityscapes, stunning landscapes and wildlife images.
The judging panel – which included photographers Eamonn McCabe, Jason Hawkes, Ami Vitale, Steve Bloom, Nick Meers and Chris Weston, and the editors of Hotshoe International, FOTO magazin (Germany), Outdoor Photography and the photography director of Condé Nast Traveller – agreed that the creativity, differing styles and elegant, graphic nature of Craig Easton’s portfolios made him a very worthy winner.
Cutty Sark Award
The Cutty Sark Award for the overall winner is presented by Cutty Sark Blended Scotch Whisky. They are rewarding Craig with £2,500 in cash, an expenses-paid international photography commission with £2,500 commission fee, and the chance to work with their master blender and blend his own whisky, design his own label, and bottle up to 50 bottles of the resulting unique blend. Though he lives in England, Craig is a Scotsman by birth, so this should be entirely appropriate for him!
TPOTY 2012 also offered a great range of prizes across all categories, from sponsors Fujifilm, Adobe Systems Inc., Explore, Tribes Travel, Genesis Imaging, Photo Iconic, Plastic Sandwich, Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), Young Photographers Alliance and Condé Nast Traveller.
The New Talent award went to Alessandra Meniconzi (Switzerland), while Spain’s Enrique López-Tapia won the Celebration category. In the portfolio sections, Marsel van Oosten (Netherlands) won Wild Planet, Lung Liu (Canada) came out on top in Journeys and Philip Lee Harvey (UK) won People Watching. In the single image contest, the Water category was won by Hilde Foss from Norway, and Big City by Anka Sliwa (UK). Michel Jastrzebski (Poland) took the Best Single Image in a Portfolio award in Wild Planet, Andrew Newey (UK) in Journeys and Timothy Allen (UK) in People Watching. Marsel van Oosten won another prize when he shared the honours in the video category – Travel Shorts – with James Morgan (UK).
The Young Travel Photographer of the Year award went to 15-year-old Samuel Fisch (USA), while the Young TPOTY 15-18 and Young TPOTY 14 years and under categories were won by 18-year-old Matthew Gillooley (USA) and 10-year-old Michael Theodric (Indonesia). The Young Photographers Alliance Emerging Talent Award went to 16-year-old American Chase Guttman, a former winner of Young TPOTY 14 and under.
Winning Images on Display
The winning images can be viewed online in the Winners’ Gallery on www.tpoty.com, and will make their public debut at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) in London, at the Travel Photographer of the Year exhibition from 12th July to 18th August 2013. The 2012 exhibition attracted over 42,000 visitors, a record attendance for the Society.
Previous winning images from the awards can be seen in the ‘Journey’ series of books from Travel Photographer of the Year, available from bookshops and www.tpoty.com. This year TPOTY launched the Travel Photographer of the Year Collection with easyart.com making dozens of beautiful award-winning images available to order online as prints.