Congratulations Mahadev Rojas Torres, the winner of our Nepal Travel Photography Scholarship!
Mahadev will be joining Canon Master and professional travel photographer Richard I’Anson on a 10-day assignment to Nepal. On his Intrepid Travel trip, he will be mentored by Richard while documenting Nepal's stunning landscapes and the resilient spirit of the Nepalese. He will also be outfitted for the trip thanks to Kathmandu.
Our challenge each year is to find an aspiring photographer that demonstrates a rare combination of photography skill, storytelling ability and raw potential. This after all is not a photography competition in which we choose the best photos, but a scholarship opportunity that awards a budding talent with a trip to learn one-on-one from a professional travel photographer in the field. With so many incredible entries, we looked closely at an expressed desire to follow the path of travel photography and who we thought would most benefit and grow from the a mentorship experience.
Please feel free to leave your congratulations to the winner and the shortlisted entries below. However, if you have any other comments, concerns, program feedback or trollish rants, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now, without further delay, we give you the winning photos...
Mahadev Rojas Torres (Venezuela) - Brick Communities
"Congratulations to our winner, Mahadev Rojas Torres, for producing a series of images that not only provides a window into the lives of the women and children working in a brick factory, but poses an interesting challenge for the viewer to look beyond the attractive imagery. The soft, warm light and classic colours of India, manifest in the women’s saris and earthy tones of the environment, belie the reality of the situation being captured, where the work is undoubtedly hard and conditions harsh. Mahadev has managed to do this by stepping off the beaten track and producing five quite different images within a very confined area, of a subject that is often seen by travellers in rural India but rarely explored.
I’m looking forward to sharing my first trip as the World Nomad’s Photography Scholarship mentor with Mahadev and working with him to take his photography to the next level, in one of my favourite countries. It will be my first visit back to Nepal since last year’s earthquakes which will provide an element of the unknown to a country I’ve visited over 20 times. We’ll be working hard to produce a series of images that do the World Nomad’s Scholarship proud. We’ll be aiming to show people that it’s ok to travel to Nepal and in fact now is a great time to go, and to shine a light on the vital work being done by the Australian Himalayan Foundation in communities badly affected by the earthquakes." - Richard I'Anson
The Runner's Up
Our 4 runners' up will each receive a free 45-min portfolio review with Richard I’Anson (valued at $800 AUD)
Zay Yar Lin (Myanmar) - Vanishing Tattoo-faced Culture and Daily Life of Chin Tribes
"An interesting subject, strong compositions, vibrant colours and great use of natural light have been beautifully crafted to produce this eye catching series by Zay Yar Lin. The positive rapport he has with his subjects is obvious and has played an important role in achieving this endearing set of intimate portraits" - Richard I'Anson
Willy Posadas (Guatemala) - Day of the Dead, Giant Kite Festival
"Willy’s series on the Giant Kite Festival reveals enough about the event to make me want to go there, always a sign of good travel photography. The cohesive image set is given a jolt by the final picture which comes as a visual surprise and could be risky but in this case works well to conclude the series in a meaningful and celebratory way." - Richard I'Anson
Dustin Silvey (Canada) - Exploratory trip down an Arctic River
"Distilling a 14 day journey into just five photographs is never easy but Dustin has done a great job of doing just that. The selection of images and the individual compositions provide just the right balance of insight into the participant’s day to day activities and skills required with the landscape they are travelling in." - Richard I'Anson
Prabir Talukdar (India) - Kamrup – A home away from ‘their’ home
"With uncluttered compositions, strong points of interest and subtle black and white presentation Prabir has delivered an intimate and sensitive series of environmental portraits very much in keeping with the women of Kamrup and their situation. The decision to present the photographs in black and white has succeeded well, imbuing the series with a strong documentary feel that is nicely suited to the subject and Prabir’s way of seeing." - Richard I'Anson
Our shortlisted entrants will receive the option of a 45-min paid portfolio review with Richard I'Anson (at a special rate of $400 AUD).
Congratulations to the following shortlisted applicants...
Jennifer Allison (Australia) - Lonesome Faces of the Fish Market
Paolo Cossich (Italy) - Les danses a Bali.
Nicole Di Cintio (Canada) - Chasing birds
Myles Dunphy (Australia) - Bastion of the Nomads
Jo Geary (United Kingdom) - The ‘gardians’ and white horses of the Camargue
Michael Green (Chile) - Cuba: Tomorrow’s Children
Toni Haddad (Lebanon) - Traditional Healing in Modern Times
Lizi Hamer (Singapore) - Sea Salt
Rahul Karan (India) - Kushti – Traditional Wrestling
Anna Kravtsova (Russia) - A story of social alienation. Women in India.
Jeanne Kretzschmar (France) - Last of the Kei : Life on Tanimbar evav
Veronica Lacerda (Spain) - Life off the grid
Alberto Lugli (Italy) - Glimpse of a Homeless Human
Rohollah Makouei (Iran) - New Year Dinner
Marta Malheiro (Portugal) - Silk Factory
Karin Mallory (United States) - The Evaporation of a Culture
Joydip Mitra (India) - How Green was Their Valley
Jacek Oleksinski (Sweden) - Tourism and sustainable nature
Camillo Pasquarelli (Italy) - Kashmir: The Burning Paradise
Vytautas Vaiceliunas (Germany) - Traditional Fish Salting Show
Amit Vakil (India) - Holi Festival Celebration
Jutta Wuerth (Switzerland) - The Emotional Landscape of a Balines Trance Ceremony
With over 3,500 entries this was the biggest response to a World Nomads scholarship ever, so thank you to all of you for taking the time to enter. Consequently, the competition was fierce and unfortunately, as clichéd as it sounds, there can only be one winner. The judging process was appropriately intense in order to find the entry that not only met all the criteria, but had that little something extra to set it apart.
There were many great individual photographs among the entries but when considering the photography component of each entry the judges were looking for a series of five images that worked well together. So often there were one, two or three strong images only for the series to be let down by others that were repetitive, less relevant or too loosely connected and therefore not contributing to the telling of a compelling story.
The winner, the runners up, and those that made the shortlist, had a clearly defined story to tell that was then well executed with a visually interesting balance between compositional options such as varying viewpoints and field of view, with each image adding to our knowledge of the subject. As photographers we are privileged to be granted access to witness, record and share other people’s lives and I believe we should always show our subjects respect and produce work that upholds their dignity. Everyone on this list is to be commended for doing just that.
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Get pro photography Tips
If you didn’t win the scholarship, but still want to pick up some excellent photography tips from our mentor Richard I'Anson, click this link to watch his mini-tutorial on how to be a great travel photographer!