Travel Photography: The Independent Photographer Has Announced The Winners Of Its 2022 Contest (10 Pics)

The Independent Photographer just announced the winners of their Travel Photography Contest! Many images from more than 30 different countries were reviewed and 10 winners and finalists were selected by our esteemed judge, Steve McCurry.

One of the most recognized voices in contemporary photography for over three decades, Steve McCurry has created a unique collection of work featuring some of the most iconic images of our time. McCurry’s work encompasses conflict, vanishing cultures, ancient traditions and contemporary culture alike – but always retains the human element that made his famous image of the Afghan girl so powerful.

With countless exhibitions around the world, he has been honored with some of the most prestigious awards in the industry, including the Robert Capa Gold Medal, the National Press Photographers Award and an unprecedented four World Press Photo first prizes.

McCurry has published over a dozen books, including The Iconic Photographs (2011), Untold: The Stories Behind the Photographs (2013), Afghanistan (2017), and A Life in Pictures (2018).

This summer we wanted to see images that convey the life of a place in all its glory and bring back our memories. Whatever the theme: street, portrait, landscape, documentary: we wanted to share your journey visually and intellectually!

We are pleased to present the images of 10 artists whose work demonstrates an incredible level of talent. See The Independent Photographer’s website for all full captions.

Congratulations to all winners and finalists!

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Robi Chakraborty – 1st place. Price – $1000

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“Safina” – Haji Pir, India

“Portrait of a young girl named Safina with her aunt in their hut at Haji Pir.”

“This image has most of the elements I look for in a successful photo. To me, a successful portrait is one that captures what life is like for someone else and says something about the human condition. I’m always drawn to a portrait that shows a natural situation and doesn’t look overdone. The color palette is interesting and the light is indirect and soft.” – Steve McCurry

David Keith Brown – 2nd place. Price – $600

“Eyelash Blower” – Bangkok, Thailand, 2020

“Three women in Bangkok, Thailand, using hair dryers to cement their newly acquired eyelashes.”

“For me, a good photo is about telling a story, whether it’s portraits, human behavior or how we live on this planet. This image is a great example of an interesting study of human behavior. It has a bit of humor mixed in with a bit of real life. Unguarded moments like this always make for an intriguing story.” – Steve McCurry

Nicolas Castermans – 3rd place. Price – $400

“The Last Andean Cowboys” – Colombia

“Few people know that in several mountain ranges in Colombia there are mountains and volcanoes that peak more than 5000 meters above sea level. For centuries, the Colombians of these countries have lived in isolation, relatively far from civilization. But with the development of large cities deeper in the valleys and the promise of a ‘better’ and more comfortable life, the lifestyle of these ‘vaqueros’ – cowboys – is slowly disappearing.”

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“Nicolas Casterman’s portrayal of a Colombian ‘vaquero’ is a wonderful image that conveys the isolation and dignity of his rapidly fading culture. Beautifully framed, our subject is depicted in front of his grazing steed, as if offering shelter, while behind them the verdant, cloud-glazed peaks – which the pair climb together every day – fade into the horizon.” – The Independent Photographer Editors

Chiara Felmini – Finalist

“Sakha” – Yamal Peninsula, Russia

“In the tents of the Nenets (Khum) the man ceases to be the undisputed leader, for this task falls to the woman. But Sacha’s look seems to emphasize that he knows all the questions and all the answers, inside and outside the chum.”

F. Dilek Uyar – Finalist

“Flocks of Sheep” – Bitlis, Turkey

“The dusty and arduous journey of flocks of sheep in Bitlis, Turkey. Flocks of sheep follow this dusty path to reach the highlands, where they graze after milking until mid-July.

The number of flocks of sheep in Bitlis, Turkey is decreasing day by day. Livestock farmers who are unable to receive state aid are turning to other sources of income by selling their animals. We might not be able to take photos like this in 5 years.”

Felicia Simion – Finalist

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“Titikaka” – Peru

“Women play volleyball at Lake Titicaca in Peru.”

Giulio Montini – Finalist

“Untitled” – Java, Indonesia

“In Indonesia, on the island of Java, there is the Kawah Ijen volcano. In the crater of the volcano, these men mine sulfur. A hard and dangerous job. I spent a couple of hours with them to do a report.”

Joanna Steidle – Finalist


“The drone photo was taken just off the coast of Southampton, NY. This is a school of menhaden fish and most likely spinner sharks.”

Margo Ryan – Finalist

“Return” – Madagascar

“Women come to help fishermen with their pirogues as a storm approaches. The picture was taken in Madagascar.”

Drew Hopper – Finalist

“Untitled” – Bangladesh

The winner’s collection celebrates the work of all award-winning photographers, capturing life in its most vivid forms. These unique and international artists represent the very best in photography and we’re excited to share their work.

Join us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter where we will all share our favorite pictures from the competition.

This month we’re celebrating street photography of all styles and we’re looking for your most compelling examples!⁠ – Candid depictions of everyday life; prismatic hues in the gray of the city; subtle moments of joy, humor or love: We want to see YOUR streets!⁠

The closing date for entries is September 30, 2022.

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