Source: [Unsplash]

The 2023 Boar Travel Photo Competition

We launched the 2023 Boar Travel Photo Competition last October to showcase the amazing photos taken by talented Warwick students and to spice up the Travel Instagram page. We weren’t expecting much engagement, in part because we couldn’t think of a catchy acronym for the competition, but mainly because the Travel section is one of The Boar’s smaller, lesser-known sections. We were therefore surprised and delighted when the competition’s announcement became our most viewed Instagram post, and messages from Warwick students started to fill up our DMs. By the time entries closed at the end of December, we had received over a hundred submissions.

Overall, 21 Warwick students submitted a total of 115 photos to the 2023 Boar Travel Photo Competition. The photos themselves were extremely varied, covering 24 different countries and spanning all continents except Antarctica, with an almost even split of rural and urban images. The most photographed countries were Italy and Thailand (15 photos each), the most photographed rural area was the Dolomites (six photos), and the most photographed cities were Rome and New York (four photos each). The Boar Travel Instagram page is now bursting with vibrancy and colour!

Before we reveal the highly commended photos, the editors’ choices, the runner up and the overall winner, I must extend a huge thanks to my fellow judges: Ethan Dougall, Ayse Oltan, Erin Wallace, and my Mum and Dad for helping me differentiate between the many impressive images and choose the winners. I must also thank The Boar Editorial Board for letting me run this competition, and of course, the biggest thank you goes to all the students who sent in submissions. Without your enthusiasm, the 2023 Boar Travel Photo Competition would have never got off the ground. You are all winners in my eyes!

Highly Commended Urban

Mirrored Zebras by Francisca Tome

Photographer’s Comments

I took this photo in Amboseli National Park in Kenya last August whilst staying in a safari lodge located in the park. One afternoon, we drove past a small herd of zebras in a flooded grassy area, and I loved the reflective effect the water gave and the zebras’ attention to the camera. I also found the mostly barren and dry landscape in the background an interesting contrast to capture, including the several other animals dotted in the distance.

Judge’s Comments

This photo fills me with intrigue. The two zebras, are they glaring at the camera? Or are they posing?

Keage Rail Couple by Gabrielle Goutet

Photographer’s Comments

I took this photo whilst on my year abroad in Kyoto, Japan. During a walk with a friend around the Philosopher’s Path, we stumbled upon a rail track that was surrounded by cherry trees. I noticed this couple and framed the composition around them and the guiding lines of the rail tracks. I snapped the picture very quickly as the subjects were moving around. Tourists usually take photos of women in kimonos, but rarely do we get to see couples. I thought it would be interesting to shine the light on them as well.

Judge’s Comments

Alongside its skilled framing and beautiful balance of colour, this photo is fascinating due to is unique mood creation, telling a thought-provoking story through its human subjects.

Holy Trinity Church by Hannah Colechin

Photographer’s Comments

In this photo, you see the Holy Trinity church located in Stratford-Upon-Avon. I decided to take this picture on the banks of the River Avon, as I felt that the distance gave the church an impressive beauty: being positioned within the trees, made it look grand yet hidden. The effect I was going for was one of presenting the church as a magnificent piece of architecture whilst also appreciating its surrounding nature.

Judge’s Comments

A fantastically framed image that perfectly captures the elegance of nature and man’s striving attempt to match it.

Highly Commended Rural

La Mercè by Abi McDonnell

Photographer’s Comments

La Mercè is a four day long festival and one of the largest in Barcelona. Originally intended to celebrate the ‘Lady of Mercy’, the festival includes  parades, human towers and ‘Correfoc’ (fire runs), as pictured. These fire runs are especially chaotic, with people running in all directions so to avoid a sparkler to the face. Therefore, in taking this photo, I aimed to capture this sense of chaos, but also the fun that the festival represented. I am very proud of the photo and the memories that I managed to frame.

Judge’s Comments

This photo fizzes with excitement. Abi expertly captures the moment sparks fly, creating a great sense of vibrancy and making the viewer feel part of the parade.

Burano’s Colourful Houses by Hannah Colechin

Photographer’s Comments

This photo was taken on the island of Burano in Venice, Italy. Legend says that the fishermen painted their houses in bright colours so they could be spotted during the thick fog that often covers the island during winter. I was particularly drawn to how the houses popped with colour – I really wanted to capture the fairytale vibes that the island emanated. The effect I was going for was that of a rainbow: I honestly think that everyone should paint their houses outrageous colours.

Judge’s Comments

The vibrant colours are portrayed really well in this shot. The calmness of the water contrasts nicely with the popping paint of the houses, generating a fun atmosphere.

16:02 by Angel Sun

Photographer’s Comments

I took this photo near the Clifton Observatory in Bristol. Last November, I visited Bristol with my cousin, who is doing her year abroad in the UK, and I have not seen her in person since 2022! I took the photo because we got to the observatory right before the sky turned dark, and the sunset was just gorgeous. I took it with my Samsung phone without any special effects.

Judge’s Comments

A vibrant photo depicting the overpowering beauty of the natural world and man’s impositions on it: a well-timed shot with impressive scale and depth

Editors’ Choice

Ayse’s Pick: Katsiki Beach by Abi McDonnell

Photographer’s Comments

Taken on a family holiday in Lefkada, Greece, this photo aims to capture the essence of a Mediterranean summer. Clear, blue waters and lush greens highlight the island’s natural beauty, while simple pastimes, such as sunbathing and swimming, represent the slowing down of daily life. The use of an analogue camera helps give the photo its desired nostalgic feel.

Ayse’s Comments

The colours of this image create a feeling of serenity and a sense of nostalgia as I’m transported to a Greek summer along the coast! I love the angle of the image which allows us to see the liveliness of the beach.

Erin’s Pick: Marsaxlokk Fishing Village by Matthew Randell

Photographer’s Comments

I took this photo in Marsaxlokk, a fishing village in the south of Malta. Every Sunday, Marsaxlokk hosts a huge market, with nearly the entire waterfront covered with stalls, tables, and tents. I feel like photos of the sea usually show a broad horizon, but that’s not how it feels during the Marsaxlokk market. The ocean is part of the market, visible only through gaps in the market stalls!

Erin’s Comments

I love how the angles of the canvases frame the boats and the rest of the harbour; it’s almost like the boats are peeping out from the harbour. The light hits the background perfectly creating a lovely contrast between the boats and the buildings.

Runner Up

Eagle Rock Sunrise by Abi McDonnell

Photographer’s Comments

Whilst volunteering in Tanzania for nine weeks, climbing Eagle Rock to catch the sunrise became an important ritual of mine. Not only was it my favourite place to appreciate the beauty of Musoma, Tanzania, but it was also the perfect spot to reflect before the day began. I worked for a charity called ‘GoMAD’ (Go Make a Difference) and it was often difficult to process how poverty-stricken the local area was. These morning reflections became crucial to fully understand the charity’s work and the importance of helping others less fortunate than ourselves.

Judges’ Comments

‘The use of the natural lighting of the sun creates a dramatic contrast between the darkened hills and the trees. Looking at this picture makes me feel calm: there’s a certain stillness and warmth to it that is captured by the deep colours and dark silhouettes.’

‘The beautiful colours of the sun contrast elegantly with the dark shadow of the land. An atmospheric sunrise that reminds me of tranquil moments.’

‘A perfectly executed image of sunrise, evoking both a sense of awe and calmness, there was no doubt in the judges’ minds that Abi’s Eagle Rock Sunrise deserved the  runner-up spot.’


The Golden Bridge by Tra My Insua Luu

Photographer’s Comments

I took this photo during my summer holiday back home in Vietnam last year. The image shows the iconic Golden Bridge in Da Nang which is designed to look like it is held up by giant marble hands. In this photo, I framed the marble hand in the middle because it was the most impressive feature of the bridge, and you can also spot the spectacular landscape in the back showing how high up we were in the mountains – we had to get a cable car to the top! The photo was taken in late afternoon which was good timing beacause most people had gone home, and the soft, gentle sunlight hit the shiny gold on the bridge. It was the most serene moment of our trip. Da Nang is wonderful: anyone visiting Vietnam should definitely add it to their list of destinations!

Judges’ Comments

‘With its majestic backdrop of clouds and rolling mountains, the giant hand of mythological beauty, radiant with reflected sunlight, reaching to the heavens, and the colourful excitement of each individual on the bridge, this photo captures a moment both intensely grand and touchingly intimate.”

‘This image is so dramatic because of how the hand emerges from the bottom of the photo and into the clouds. The use of natural lighting is very effective, from the way it enters from the left frame and illuminates the landmark from the left.’

‘This image captures such a unique landmark! It looks like the bridge is really being held up in the clouds amongst the mountains by this enormous hand.’

‘A terrifying contrast between the peeling hand of man’s industrial endeavour and nature’s giant sky.’

‘One of the rare images that reveals something new at every glance, The Golden Bridge is an outstanding photo and a worthy winner of the 2023 Boar Travel Photo Competition. Congratulations Tra My.’





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