The results of 2018 Travel Photographer of the Year have been announced this week. I was delighted to find out that both my finalist images made it to the very final cut and won a second place and a highly recommended mention in the Smart Shot category of the awards, dedicated to photos taken with a smartphone.
I am particularly proud as this is the third year in a row that I end up being one of the winners of such a prestigious award. Photographers from 142 countries submitted more than 20,000 images for this year’s TPOTY. Winning images will be displayed at a free exhibition at London Bridge City in the spring.
All the winning images can be viewed here. Huge congrats to all the winners!
I know many photographers and amateurs might disagree, but I have always thought that the best camera possible is the one that you carry with you at all times - this is why my iPhone has often been a very precious companion all those times I wasn't carrying my professional gear with me.
The runner-up image was taken last April in Budapest, in the wonderful Gellert Thermal Baths - it was my birthday treat but the beauty of the place was so incredible that I went to reach for my phone at some point as I wanted to have some visual souvenirs. The pool that is in the picture was quite crowded, so I decided to wait a little before shooting. The perfect moment arrived after a little while, when the scene in front of me became almost a painting, and that was the result.
The highly commended image, on the other hand, was taken last summer in Acquapendente, in central Italy. I had gone there with a friend as we wanted to hunt some great street art. Over the last few years, this charming little town has hosted Urban Vision, a festival entirely dedicated to street art and a walk there can be extremely rewarding for art lovers. I was particularly eager to see a mural by Argentinian artist Francisco Bosoletti, of whom I am a huge fan - which is the one that appears in the picture. Once we arrived there, we witnessed a wonderful life scene. An elderly couple was sitting outside their home, enjoying the milder late afternoon temperature, while a little girl was playing with another lady - possibly her grandmother or another relative. All this under the benevolent look of the woman painted by Bosoletti. For some reasons, it felt like stepping into a time-machine and it brought me back to my childhood days.
You can see some press coverage here:
Rai News (Italian)
Il Post (Italian)