A photographer from Hong Kong has won first prize in the 2016 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest.
The photograph, which shows a horseman in Inner Mongolia, brought Anthony Lau the prestigious title of top travel photographer. The photo, titled “Winter Horseman” was taken in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China after an early morning hike. On the way back to the hotel, Lau and his travel companions saw a team of riders.
“The snow was getting heavier, the wind was getting stronger, the morning snow was getting thinner and the light was moving away from its optimal position,” Lau said in a statement. “I knew I only had a couple of shots to get the best out of this encounter. With a bit of luck, one of my final attempts managed to capture the moment when one of the riders charged out from the morning mist along with his horses.”
The top prize is a seven-day Polar Bear Photo Safari for two at Churchill Wild–Seal River Heritage Lodge, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World, where Lau will head out on guided excursions to photograph polar bears and other wildlife.
The photography contest also recognises the top photographers in the categories of nature, people and cities. Lau’s photo was the first in the people category, while Takashi Nakagawa of Tokyo won in the cities category for “Ben Youssef” and Hiroki Inoue of Hokkaido, Japan took first place in nature for a photo entitled “Wherever you go, I will follow you!!”
“We are thrilled to name Anthony Lau as our first-ever National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year,” said George Stone, editor in chief of National Geographic Travel. “We were blown away by the entries we received from around the world, and it’s clear our passion for visual storytelling is shared by our readers.”