Be inspired: The winners of last year’s Wanderlust Photo of the Year competition Be inspired: The winners of last year’s Wanderlust Photo of the Year competition

Thinking of entering this year’s Wanderlust Photo of the Year competition? Get inspiration from last year’s winners and submit your best travel snaps for the chance to win a trip to Hong Kong and Macao…
04 November 2018

We’ve had the pleasure of sorting through thousands of your travel photos in this, the 22nd year, of the Wanderlust Travel Photo of the Year competition.

The winners were announced at the Destinations Holiday & Travel Show at Olympia, London, on Friday 2 February. The lucky winner of each of the four amateur categories will be jetting off to Costa Rica for a photography commission of a lifetime, courtesy of Visit Costa Rica. The winner of the portfolio competition received £3,000 in cash, while the runners-up can hone in new perspectives with a Nikon KeyMission360 action camera.

A special thanks goes out to this year’s sponsors: Costa Rica Tourism Board, Nikon and Destinations.


Winner: Shining pilots (Viv Leese)

The winning image in the Wildlife category is “Shining pilots” by Viv Leese, the judges loved this shot taken in Trincomalee in Sri Lanka. Specifically they said “You need to be fit and tough to get this magnificent shot of a pod of pilot whales – and you also need some luck. The degree of difficulty is high, as is the depth. Just superb all round.”

The runner up went to Two chinstrap penguins by Gunther Riehle. The judges felt that this category also merited a Highly Commended and a Commended, that went to Stefania Urbini’s image of two frogs and Patrick O’Brien’s image of a kingfisher.

Congratulations to our other finalists: Paul Wynn, Georgina Strange, Michael Cullis, Hardik Rathod, Bill Klipp and John Platt.


Winner: Beginning to believe (Callie Chee)

The Landscape category was particularly strong this year, with some outstanding entries that caused the judges a number of headaches and many energetic conversations. The winner was this outstanding image called “Beginning to believe” by Callie Chee, taken in the Yellow Mountain in China.

Runner up went to Thomas Sweetman for Crossing the bike bridge – an unusual take on a common subject and a great composition. Highly Commended went to another image by Callie Chee called Eruption, a photo of Mount Bromo in East Java. And finally, there was a Commended award in this category to Howard Angus for this image called “Fire and Ice”.

Congratulations to our other finalists: Donald Yip, Theam Meng Sea, Francesco Riccardo Iacomino, Thomas Solomon, Kenneth Vine and Ray Hems.


Winner: Krishna – God of colours (Sanghamitra Sarkar)

The People category was as strong as ever this year, with some great entries from around the world. As usual India featured highly and the winner is this image titled “Krishna – God of colours” by Sanghamitra Sarkar. Taken in Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh, India. The judges particularly said “Holi Festival is a popular subject for travel photographers, but therein lies the challenge – to stand out. This is just magnificent, and one of the best images of people this competition has ever seen.”

Runner up in the category went to Indranil Sengupta for their great image from the Sagar Island in West Bengal. There were two Highly Commendeds in this category as the judges were split right down the line. These go to Linda Wride for her shot of “Siesta in the sun” and Sandipani Chattopadhyay for their shot of Habra in West Bengal.

Congratulations to all other finalists: George Turnbull, Lynn Fraser, Matt Hill, Andrew Lambert, Sreeranj Sreedhar and Linda Wride.


Winner: Welcome to Scotland (Alexander Metcalfe)

The Active category was new for this year and aimed to portray the more active side of travel. The winner this year was Alexander Metcalfe for this very chilly looking image titled “Welcome to Scotland” taken in the Cairngorms National Park. The judges commented that the image “Captures the full-on hardship of a white out – all bravery and zeal. And that’s just the photographer.”

The Runner Up of this category went to a clever shot of a solo kayaker by Rachael Tailford, taken in Triglav National Park, Slovenia.

Congratulations to our other finalists: Bret Charman, Md Rafayat Haque Khan, Peter Karry, Philip Marazzi, Giovanni Frescura and Rokas Juozapavicius.

Portfolio category

Winner: Ramnami community

Location: Bastar, Chhattisgarh, India

Photographed by: Sanghamitra Sarka

Camera settings: Nikon D750, 24-120mm f/4 @ 38mm, 1/125 sec @ f/4, ISO 1000

Runner-up: Biennale Venice

Location: 2017 Biennale Festival in Venice

Photographed by: Christopher Marsham

Highly commended: Misty crossings

Location: Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India

Photographed by: Ning Yu Pao

Congratulations to our other finalists:

Natalia Mroz and Abhijit Banerjee

Take a look at our Wanderlust Travel Photo of the Year 2017 winning images gallery.

Meet the judges

Lyn Hughes: Wanderlust co-founder and editor-in-chief
Phoebe Smith: Wanderlust editor-at-large
Paul Goldstein: Wildlife photographer and guide
Paul Harris: Travel and landscape photographer
Keith Wilson: Photojournalist and editor
Rob Hawthorne: Marketing manager, Clarion Events (for Destinations Travel Show)
Rob Debenham: Show director, Clarion Events
Lesley Davidson: Costa Rica Tourism Board
Zeeshan Rashid: Costa Rica Tourism Board

Explore More

More News