The Independent Photographer, an international network of photography enthusiasts & photographers, has announced the winners of its Travel Photography contest.

The renowned photographer Matthieu Paley, National Geographic photographer and member of The Photo Society, was the judge of the competition.

Over the last 15 years working as a photographer, Matthieu’s passion for human nature has taken him all over the world, from sharing the life of the last true hunter-gatherers in Tanzania to documenting the isolation of Nauru, the world’s smallest republic in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Exploring themes of remoteness and isolation, his passion to always look “over the next ridge” has provided him with countless opportunities to witness our common humanity.

Congratulations to the Winners & Finalists! Let’s travel together!

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Kushti wrestlers at sunset

Image credits: sandramorante

1st place – $1000 reward.

Sandra Morante, Guru Jasram Ji Akhara, New Delhi, India.

The ancient art of Indian wrestling, known as ‘kushti’, still thrives in wrestling gyms, or ‘akhara’. Akharas are one of the few places in India where Hindu men who come from different castes are considered equals. Most akharas are associated with a guru, called a Palawan. This venerated teacher is a holy man who trains the wrestlers with the assistance of older wrestlers. Guru Jasram Ji Akhara in New Delhi is one of the most reputed Akharas in India. Here we see young wrestlers training in the sandpit at sunset time.

Colors of Life

Image credits: sujonadhikary

2nd place – $600 reward.

Sujon Adhikary, Bangladesh.

Bangla Rail is the state-owned rail transport agency of Bangladesh. It operates and maintains all railways in the country with a total length of 3,600 kilometers. In 2014, Bangladesh Railway carried 65 million passengers.

Haldi Festival

Image credits: donell_gumiran_photography

3rd place – $400 reward.

Donell Gumiran, India.

Every year for four days, the village of Pattan Kodoli in Maharashtra’s Kolhapur district turns yellow with clouds of turmeric. Such is the festival of Vittal Birdev Yatra, which marks the birth anniversary of the community’s deity, Vittal Birdev Maharaj.

Journey of the Monks

Image credits: alexzyuzikov

Alex Zyuzikov, Mandalay, Myanmar.

Two young monks on their daily walk to collect food in Mandalay, Myanmar.⁠

Golden offshores

Image credits: alexocsmiley

Alexander Smiley, Sydney, Australia.

Sunrise, double overhead, and glorious offshore – Surfers awaiting the next wave in Bronte Beach in Sydney, Australia.

Folk Song

Image credits: danieleesposito

Daniele Esposito, Kyoto, Japan.

Folk Song – A sudden eye-crossing amid the energy of a folk parade, celebrating the cherry blossom season in Kyoto, Japan.

Street vendor

Image credits: djamilkemal

Djamil Kemal, Comoros.

Portrait of a street peanut vendor by the road between Moroni and Iconi – Comoros.

Herder at Lake Tuz

Image credits: fdilekuyar

F.Dilek Uyar, Lake Tuz, Turkey.

Lake Tuz has turned pink for a while. A kind of algae called Dunaliella salina gives the lake this color. This really makes a surreal impression.

On the edge of the lake, there is an old fountain where the shepherds occasionally bring their herds during the day. Then they go back to grazing again. I was lucky to get a photo of this shepherd bringing his herd here.

Being Wes Anderson

Image credits: efactsphoto

Frank Lassak, Saltburn Pier, United Kingdom.

Saltburn Pier is a pier located in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Redcar and Cleveland in the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire, England. It is the last pier remaining in Yorkshire.

Mundari camaraderie

Image credits: alternativevisions

Trevor Cole, Khartoum, Sudan.

Two Mundari herders walk hand in hand into the dusk and dust in the blue hour – Khartoum Cattle Camp in South Sudan.