Travel Photographer of the Year Finalist – Fiona Harper

by Fiona Harper

Travel writer and photographer Fiona Harper, developer, creative and Managing Editor of  Travel Boating Lifestyle, is very excited to announce she is a Finalist as the Travel Photographer of the Year in the 2019 Travel Journalism Awards for Excellence with the Australian Society of Travel Writers (ASTW)

The Travel Photographer of the Year Award is one of the most prestigious in the annual 2019 ASTW Travel Journalism Awards for Excellence, surpassed only by the hotly contested Travel Writer of the Year Award. These Awards for Excellence are an annual celebration of outstanding travel writing, photography, and tourism communications amongst the best travel media in Australia. Established in 1992, this is a closely contested competition among travel media and photographer peers, focusing on the very best published work of the past year.  Recognition of talent, a coveted trophy and prizes are the rewards for the winners.

Travel Boating Lifestyle is a Finalist in the same 2019 Awards for Excellence in the category for Best Travel Blog.

Finalists for the Travel Photographer of the Year, which is sponsored by Abercrombie & Kent, submitted a portfolio of five images which have been published in a travel publication, whether print or digital, during the past year.  The photographs can be from anywhere or of anyone, as long as they illustrate editorial travel features.

The images in my submission were published in travel articles at SkyscannerKarryOn and Avalon Airport Magazine,

Travel Photographer of the Year judging criteria

Photographic submission of five images is judged on:

  1. Ability to communicate a sense of the place, people, and/or culture
  2. Ability to evoke interest and engage the viewer
  3. Use of lighting, composition, focus and other photographic techniques to produce an outstanding image illustrating a travel destination or experience

Amristar, India is a travel photographer’s dream destination!

The five photographs I submitted were taken during a long weekend visit to India during 2018, when I traveled on a hosted media press trip with Air Asia on their inaugural flight from Kuala Lumpur to Amritsar, India. Travelling from Cairns to the Gold Coast to Kuala Lumpur and Amritsar, it took almost as long to travel as the time we spent on the ground in the Punjab. It was my first visit to India, and was a fabulous introduction into this intriguing country that should be on every travellers ‘must visit’ list. I won’t say it was an easy destination to get to know.

But travel is never meant to be easy.

Interesting, yes. Intriguing, definitely. Challenging, almost always. Rewarding, absolutely.

LISTEN TO MY REPORT FROM AMRITSAR FOR TRAVEL WRITERS RADIO

Travel Photographs taken with an ancient Canon DSLR

The funny thing is, the photographs I took in Amritsar, India were taken with a battered and well worn DSLR Canon 50D, a solid workhorse that has traveled up mountains, across open oceans, down mountain bike single tracks, through snow, hail and lashings of tropical sunshine for close to ten years. I bought the Canon 50D around 2010, when I was starting to take photography seriously. At the time the purchase of the camera body and a couple of lenses seemed like an outrageous expense. But I knew I wanted to take my photographs to the next level and it felt like a worthwhile investment.

The 50D has been a trusted companion that has delivered well beyond its pay scale and rewarded me immensely as I’ve expanded my creativity. Though, truth be known, my it is due for retirement. I’ve been admiring its ‘wish list’ replacement – a Canon 5D mk IV or mk III.

Travelling light, I took just one lens to India, my trusty, similarly well-aged EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, which bears all the scars of a life well lived. Much like its shutter-bug owner if I’m honest.

I didn’t spend nearly enough time in Amritsar to capture the real mood of this northern Indian city, which is very popular with domestic Indian travellers, but which few western travellers visit.  But it was enough to leave me with a tantalising taste for more. Perhaps if I’m rewarded with the ultimate Travel Photographers Award I will be fortunate enough to return with a backpack full of camera gear and a wide-ranging travel schedule.

But I digress. I know you came to this page purely to see the images shortlisted for travel photographer of the year, yes? Enjoy the view of Amritsar, India through my lens.

Fiona

Fiona Harper travel photographer of the year finalist | Amritsar, India

Fiona Harper travel photographer of the year finalist | Amritsar, India

Fiona Harper travel photographer of the year finalist | Amritsar, India

Fiona Harper travel photographer of the year finalist | Amritsar, India

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We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land and waters on which we live, work and travel. As people who seek meaning and knowledge through storytelling, we recognise that the First Peoples of this land have been doing so for over 60,000 years. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.