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Washing The Soul In Darbar Sahib, India
CREDIT: Tao Jaing

Our judge, Richard Lewis, writes:

Eighteen images were entered this month, fewer than January, but again providing a good selection of locations, themes, subjects and styles.  As ever, Sense of Place is the main criterion we look for in a successful Travel Photography image and we found it in many of the entries.  Quality was high, as we have become accustomed to expect.  As well as the winner, unusually this month, four Highly Commended images have been selected.

Winning Image

Summit of Helvellyn, Cumbria UK by Mike Whittle

A simple but very effective image that exudes sense of place with the gathered climbers well positioned in the foreground and several snowy ridges cascading into the mountainous background – resulting in such a feeling of remoteness, you can almost hear the silence.  The prominence of the figures is emphasised by their brightly coloured clothing which contrasts with the receding snow covered ridges that differentiate themselves from each other by their various shades of white and grey as their profiles overlap.  The bags casually laying on the ground around the climbers tell of a job well done, as the latter exchange experiences.  This image shows that you don't need to travel abroad to capture winter mountain scenes laden with snow.

Highly Commended Images

Elephants Crossing at Dawn, Chitwan, Nepal by George Pearson

A very moody and atmospheric image that is strong in its sense of place.  The detailed outlines on the silhouettes of the two well-positioned elephants add interest, in front of the orange light misted river and background, with the sun helpfully reflecting through the mist into the water and onto the river banks.  The result is an image with an air of calm. 

The Market Vendor, India by Stu Thompson

Nicely captured and presented, this monochrome portrait in the classic style makes good use of tones.  The main subject has presence.  He is effectively positioned and his characterful face and light vest stand out from the shadowy background which still has enough visible detail to provide interest and reinforce the sense of place.

The Rush Hour, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai by Viren Bhattia

The iconic Burj Khalifa profile serves as the anchor of this cityscape while giving the all important sense of place.  The low sun provides subdued lighting from the right, yet subtly picks out the windscreens of many queueing vehicles, which are also distinguished by the white dots that are their headlamps.  This detail, together with the striking geometric shapes of the swooping and twisting road edgings as they intersect, as well as the X formed by the two dominant roads, adds foreground interest.  The lighting on the shorter but more complex building to the right lifts it from the background murk.

Starting the Day in Varanisi, India by David Huggett

This is a very atmospheric image, well composed and full of human interest.  Sense of place is strong, supported by the body language of the three characters, one as he performs his morning ablutions and the two youngsters as they interact.  All are going about their everyday lives.  The image is nicely lit, lifted by the blue of the subjects' clothing and contains much detail of the environs.

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