Experiments in Travel

I’m trying to get a handle on “Photo Travel”. I understand the concept but having looked at a few Photo Travel sections in Internationals I can’t say I know what is wanted or what is likely to be accepted.
Here are a couple I am trying in Southampton. I would be interested to hear your comments. I will let you know how I get on.

Swift Justice

Swift Justice

Waiting for the last Metro

Waiting for the last Metro


At Southampton International Swift Justice got 9 and Waiting for the Last Metro got accepted with 12


8 thoughts on “Experiments in Travel

  1. For FIAP competitions, the following definition of travel photography is supplied by FIAP:

    “Images must express the feeling of time and place, portray a land, its people, or a culture in its natural state, and has no geographical limitations. Ultra close-ups which lose their identity, studio-type model shots, or photographic manipulations which misrepresent the true situation or alter the content of the image are unacceptable in the Photo Travel Class. No elements may be moved, cloned, added, deleted rearranged or combined. No manipulation or modification is permitted except re-sizing, cropping, selective lightening or darkening, and restoration of the original colour of the scene. No special effect filters can be applied. Any sharpening must appear natural.”

    The question is how we interpret the meaning “in its natural state”. I sent a photo of the salt flats in the Camargue to a travel comp and received a low mark, whereas I have seen images that are clearly constructed (faces in front of backgrounds) go away with a medal. Perhaps judges need more clear advice on how to judge this section?
    As to “Swift Justice” – it’s a great picture – I wonder if you should look for a photojournalism section, where it might be stronger. Will be interesting to see how it fares at Southampton.
    “Waiting for the Metro” could do well – it’s obviously “foreign” and has a simple theme…look forward to seeing your results!

  2. I find it hard to comment on pictures like these as I am never to sure as to what the Judges are looking for
    I look with interest as to what the other members have to say and of course the feedback from Southhampton
    Looking at Swift Justice I am looking for the crime and the reason for the swift justice!

  3. Hi,

    First of all thanks, Chris, for the definition. It made me start to think (no jokes about that not being easy, please!) Not having travelled much I’ve not actually thought about ever entering travel sections of competitions but I started to wonder, is this scenario acceptable: An image showing something typically English/British, eg the Morris Dancers, a local festival, typical landscape (with or without people) or ultra modern and recognisable architecture (eg. Urbis, I.W.M of North) entered into an English/British Salon by an English person.
    Anyone got any ideas?

  4. Hi MIke,

    Here goes ………….! I have to say that Waiting for the Metro gives me a few problems. I love the solitary figure in the lighted area, waing for his train; the viewer can weave all sorts of stories of their own around the situation. What detracts from it for me is the inclusion of so much of the rails and wall below the platform.

    Your other picture, Swift Justice, I think is great. The boy’s face and the hands landing on his head tell it all. The girl’s expression of apparent approval, directed at the owner of one of the hands, is the icing on the cake! I also like the diagonal ’tilt’ that you’ve given to the picture – I know you do this quite often and it always works for me.


  5. Hi Sheila, to answer your questiion re location. I entered a phototravel in UK last year, all shots were taken in UK, either landscape or recognisable locations, 2 out of the 4 were accepted, so no you do not need to travel halfway around the world for an acceptable PT shot. One was Ramsbottom Station with a goods train and one was the Coulins on the Isle of Skye.

  6. Thanks for the responses everyone.

    The description shown with the larger version gives a little more detail about the images. About “Swift Justice” the poor lad’s crime was to want his photo too. He was rushing towards me to have his photo taken, the girls (the one who’s face is seen is his sister, I think) decided he was far too excited and grabbed him by the hair.
    The shot in the underground station I did try cropping much tighter but it lost some of the feeling of isolation so I simply darkened the base. I do take your point Sheila and maybe there is a better crop in between.
    As Noel said it is possible to get acceptances in England with English scenes although most of the acceptances I have seen are obviously abroad. I have considered documenting some local situations and events like the morris men for entry into “Photo Travel”. There are many Salons abroad that also have a “Photo Travel” section.
    What I am convinced of is the standard of images in “Photo Travel” is generally considerably less than “Open” sections the difficulty is finding the right content.

  7. Hi,

    Thanks Noel and Mike for the comments on what is acceptable in Travel Sections. I suppose I’ve just mentally added the word ‘foreign’ and not thought about it any further!


  8. Hi All

    Just to give you an update. At the recent Southampton International “Swift Justice” got a measly 9 and “Awaiting last Metro” got a 12 and was accepted (the only Photo Travel acceptance I got).

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