Zenfolio | gary pullar photography | The Big Picture reader travel photo competition winner announced, June 2015

The Big Picture reader travel photo competition winner announced, June 2015

June 25, 2015  •  1 Comment


Varanasi pulses with life, but it is also the place where Hindus prefer to die. Where the city meets the sacred Ganges River, is a line of ghats (steps) along which you can walk. Most of the ghats provide access to the river for bathing and for puja ceremonies, while a few are used exclusively as cremation. Holy men line the ghats (steps) and give blessings, and life's daily body and spiritual cleansing rituals are practised all day and night. You can hire a boat and guide and take a boat ride on the Ganges and watch the wonder of Varanasi, unfold, silently, before your eyes.  Photo: Gary Pullar

Selecting from the best of more than 2500 images received over the past six months, Sydney Morning Herald photo editor Mags King, The Age photo editor Leigh Henningham, traveller.com.au editorial producer Kylie McLaughlin and Fairfax Media's Clique Photographers Association manager Louisa Kirby have chosen a winner.

Congratulations to Gary Pullar for his winning image of Varanasi, in The Big Picture, a competition for amateur photographers. Pullar and a friend will travel to the Maldives for five nights, with return flights courtesy of Singapore Airlines and Singapore Airlines Holidays and the Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa.

A picture that captures the mystery and romance of India, a world that doesn't look to have changed over the centuries, is shown here in the face of the oarsman, the architecture and the river. It has perfect composition, soft, beautiful light and colour, with the bird being the icing on the cake. - Leigh Henningham.
This photo does not particularly depict a novel scene. Its narrative is not so much about the Ganges but about the man rowing the boat. Intentional or not, the composition is effective; the rich colours of the buildings on the banks of the Ganges - a biblical scene in itself - do not detract from the bird in flight hovering, drawing your eyes to the the man rowing the boat and to his facial expression. - Mags King
This image tells a story as a good photo should, a perfectly composed image with no shortage of muted colour and chaos, placing it firmly in Varanasi. Isolated in the foreground, the main point of focus is the subject's expressive face, and his gaze rests on the opposite side of the river to that we cannot see, and one can only assume it is the cause of the man's dark expression. - Kylie McLaughlin


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