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Northern Lights RPS Travel

Our judge Justin Cliffe writes:

A good selection this month (28 images) from, literally, the four corners of the world. As per usual, I am looking for images that have impact (for whatever reason) and which demonstrate a sense of place, ie tell us a bit about the person, or place, that is subject of the photograph. All of my selected images this month do just that.

So, after considerable deliberation and back & forth viewing of these images, I’ve finally selected my winner for this month - which is

Camel Herder, Thar Desert, Rajasthan, by Andrew Flannigan

An eye-catching and powerful image with the red-turbaned camel-herder dominating the frame - and positioned pretty well on the left third - creating an excellent environmental portrait. He looks to be a proud man, well turned-out, with, seemingly, an affectionate hand on his camel’s neck.

The white dog, looking back into the frame holds our eyes in the picture and helps further set the scene, as does the scrub-covered desert disappearing into the background. A very nice photograph, one that I would have been very pleased to have taken.

I also have 4 Highly Commended images which are, in no particular order:

Virtual Travelling, Jaen, Spain, by Colin Howard FRPS

This one definitely has impact - both from the humour side and the fact that the subject-matter is relatively unusual - clearly a way to travel in the future, potentially without leaving the home! The image is helped by the fact that the two people are, perversely, looking at each other whilst the colour combination of the yellow goggles and blue clothing works well. Finally, the ‘Catedral De Jaen’ marking on the boxes tells us where we are. An amusing, and a slightly unusual travel photograph.

Panning for Gold, Madagascar by Neil Harris

Another strong portrait, very direct, emphasised by the view looking down on the young man, who clearly enjoys having his photograph taken. It’s beautifully sharp and, looking at his hand swirling the water in the pan, it’s totally clear what he is doing, though a slightly wider view might just have provided some more context. 

The Morning Commute, Vietnam, by Jeremy Fraser-Mitchell

This is a good travel photograph, showing us a typical, morning scene somewhere in Vietnam. The motorcyclist provides a sense of scale whilst the road on which he is travelling leads the eye towards the hills in the background. These, in turn, are nicely softened by the morning mist, providing a sense both of distance and depth to the image.

Rural Classroom, Maharashtra, India, by Saurabh Bhattacharya

A good example of travel photography - I like the way that the children are gathered in an arc on the left of the frame, all of them looking at their fellow student at the blackboard, the centre of everyone’s attention, including from the teacher nicely positioned in the middle of the frame. Lots to see and enjoy here.

The only suggestion that I would make would be to consider lowering the viewpoint so as to be at the children’s eye-level, thereby giving more of a sense of being part of the class, rather than just viewing it.