Beauty Found In Everything From Killer Bears To Bins

Travel Photographer of the Year ★★★★☆

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 36 months ago
Beauty Found In Everything From Killer Bears To Bins Travel Photographer of the Year 4
A red-faced polar bear looks up after devouring a seal. Copyright Joshua Holko / www.tpoty.com

Londonist Rating: ★★★★☆

As soon as we saw the polar bear with the bloodied face — capturing both the power and beauty of this majestic predator — we knew Travel Photographer of the Year had won us over.  

Other highlights of the Royal Geographical Society's annual exhibition include a motorcyclist riding through a plague of locusts, and daredevil honey extractors toiling in the Himalayan Foothills. Culture and religion are also on show; we particularly admired the composition of a man reading a bible, with the light filtering through a cruciform hole in the wall.

And although there are plenty of sweeping landscapes and vivid characters, beauty is also found in the mundane; one young photographer has a great eye for colour composition, capturing a visually striking image of a purple dustbin against a bright red wall.

This isn't a perfect exhibition. Images of local customs have great stories to tell, but aren't always as arresting as other categories. And on a practical note, we would have liked some of the images to be larger. Minor nitpicking aside, we enjoyed this incredibly diverse display — another great year for this annual extravaganza.

Travel Photographer of the Year is on at The Royal Geographical Society, Kensington Gore, SW7 2AR until 5 September. Entrance is free.

Nearby at the Natural History Museum there are corals, butterflies and wildlife photography. The Science Museum has exhibitions looking at revelations in photography, Churchill's scientists and a new information age gallery. Plus the V&A features photography with facing history and the historical photographs of Linnaeus Tripe, plus a look at shoes and an exhibition asking what is luxury?.

The Kukulkan Cenote cave in Mexico is a favourite of divers for obvious reasons. Copyright Terry Steeley / www.tpoty.com
The Kukulkan Cenote cave in Mexico is a favourite of divers for obvious reasons. Copyright Terry Steeley / www.tpoty.com
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The extreme lengths that people go to in the Himalayan foothills to extract honey from beehives. Copyright Andrew Newey / www.tpoty.com
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A monk walks through a monastery and a sudden gust of wind billowing out his robes gives a dramatic flourish to this image. Copyright Manuel Librodo / www.tpoty.com
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We're impressed these cyclists manage to focus on the climb and don't stop to admire the sweeping Norwegian landscape. Copyright Piotr Trybalski / www.tpoty.com
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The Tatio geysers in the Atacama desert, Chile don't look like they belong on this planet. Copyright Ignacio Palacios / www.tpoty.com
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Whooper swans in Hokkaido, Japan are ready for take off. Copyright Marsel van Oosten / www.tpoty.com
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Fog is rare in the Namib desert, and combined with these dead trees it creates a ghostly scene. Copyright Marsel van Oosten / www.tpoty.com
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This wildebeest rejoins its herd by jumping back into the river. Copyright Nicole Cambre / www.tpoty.com
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These freshly caught octopuses are hung out to dry. Copyright Georgia Mulholland / www.tpoty.com

Last Updated 04 August 2015