Travel Image of the Month - April 2021 : Evening worship at the Varanasi ghats - George Pearson
Many thanks to all of the photographers that submitted shots for this month's Travel Image of the Month, the breadth of subjects as ever, never ceases to amaze me.
With our judge's comments below as to the winner and those deemed highly commended, my eye fell on a few of the other shots that were submitted. Having been to Africa and witnessed the sunsets that you can get near to the equator, I was a sucker for Andy Pinch's Okavango Evening, Botswana. The stillness of the scene and the positioning of the boatmen in the fading light reminded me of just how magical that continent is. The other shot that struck me, possibly more as a documentary shot, was Victor Wong's Brick Kiln Workers, Varanasi. Again it spoke to memories of seeing such works in Amritsar, hard, difficult work carried out in unpleasant conditions, I had the sense of just what these women were going through from that shot.
However, it's good to have an experienced eye calling the shots and identifying the winners, and our Judge for this month Justin Cliffe ARPS commented:
"Fewer images this month - but still an excellent selection from far and wide, as well as close to home, and a diverse range of subject matter - so plenty to consider for April’s Travel Image of the Month.
"As a result, there were a number of images that I could have selected as this month’s winner, however, after much consideration (always keeping the ‘essence of travel photography’ mantra in the back of my mind), I have selected:
Winning shot : Evening worship at the Varanasi ghats - George Pearson
"This is a great example of travel photography in that it really provides the ‘sense of place (and time)’. I like the positioning of the two women nearest to the camera, the fact that the photo has been taken from low down, near the water’s edge and the general feeling that I’m sitting there, watching the scene with the photographer.
"The more that I look at, and around, the image, the more I see, as I look - the boat, and the background on the left-hand side, nicely setting the scene and the story going on with the people of the right of the image - all in all a really lovely photograph anda very worthy winner.
"I also have three Highly Commended images, which are, in no particular order:
Vietnamese village girl home from the rice fields - Stu Thompson
"This picture is, of course, made by the baby looking back, over its mother’s shoulder, at the photographer - with the mother seemingly aware, and quite happy with the fact, that they are being photographed. The background gives us a good feel as to where this image has been taken and yet, being both dark and simple, does not detract from the colourful main subject matter - a lovely picture.
Rajasthan Sunset - David Short
"A beautiful sunset photograph with a difference - the added dimension of the two camels and the men with them. The blue, yellow and orange sky really helps whilst the central, and balanced, positioning of the silhouetted camels and men in the foreground, completes the picture.
Indian Railways - Steve Jones
"A nice photograph of two men happily sitting in the doorway of what looks to be a stationary train. The photograph of the bridge on the carriage side leads the eye towards them whilst the ‘Indian Railways’ logo / insignia tells us exactly where we are. Any form of writing can be a distraction as the viewer’s attention is always drawn to it but here. it does help tell us where we are. A nice image.
"All of these photographs have some form of human interest in them which, for me, brings them alive and tell a story. From my own perspective, I usually find it’s harder to produce a good travel image where there’s no sign of any human presence or activity."
• Congratulations then to George, and his winning shot has been added to the 2021 Travel Image of the Month page on the website, with the overall monthly winners competing to be the Group’s best travel photograph of the year.
Click here to see winning images from previous years or here to see 2019 winners, here to 2020 winners, and here for 2021 winners.