Travel Photographer of the Year 2013

You can buy this and other Travel Photographer of the Year prints online here.

In the 1990s, after beginning a part-time diploma in photography, Timothy Allen joined an aid convoy to Bosnia in order to shoot his first year reportage project. Six months later he had dropped out of college, moved to London and begun working for the Sunday Telegraph, later inspiring commissions from all the British broadsheet publications and finally, a 6-year position at The Independent working predominantly on features and portraits.  Timothy joined Axiom Photographic Agency in 2002 leading him to cover a dynamic and broad spectrum of global stories with subjects ranging from the civil war in the remote Spice Islands of far eastern Indonesia, to the intriguing subculture of The World Taxidermy Championships in Springfield, Illinois.

Beginning in 2009 Timothy spent almost 2 years shadowing BBC film crews during the production of the landmark television series Human Planet.

In recent years his work has diversified to incorporate DSLR cinematography and multimedia production and has taken him to every corner of the globe, from 19,000ft up in the Himalayas to 40 metres beneath the South China Sea as well as to projects within communities in the Arctic, tropical rainforest and remote desert locations.

Timothy Allen photographer1. Where are you from?
Tonbridge, Kent.

2. What first got you into photography and how old were you?
When I was 10 years old I received a small inheritance and decided to spend it on an SLR camera. When I left university 12 years later (with a BSc in Zoology) I spent three years travelling around Indonesia, which really sparked my passion for photography.

3. How do you look to approach and capture your next best shot?
I look for the most interesting people and stories, and then wait for the best light.

4. What has being involved with the Travel Photographer of the Year done for your photography career? 
TPOTY is the flagship awards of our industry worldwide, so it is important to be associated with it if you work in the travel/photography arena.

5. Tell us the story of your profiled pictures
They were both shot in Mali. The young boy is carry mud to the central Mosque in Djenne during La Fete de Crépissage, the annual replastering of the largest mud building in the world. For one day, men and boys collect mud in small baskets from locations just outside the city, and apply it to the walls of the Great Mosque amid a vibrant festival atmosphere.

The second shot is from Dogon Country, showing a group of ladies walking through the Sahel. Dogon country has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its rich culture.

Timothy Allen photographer

The replastering of the great mosque in Djenné, Mali | © Timothy Allen

You can buy this print online here.

Timothy Allen photographer

Dogon Country, Mali, Africa. Dogon people of the Sahel | © Timothy Allen

6. Where is your favourite place you have visited, and why? 
Mongolia. It is sparsely populated; 40 percent of the people are still nomads. The culture is vibrant and alive, and they are the friendliest people in the world.

7. What piece of advice would you give someone starting out on their photography ‘career’? 
Concentrate on creating a strong brand for yourself on the Internet.  Focus on the digital domain to publicise your photography. Expand your reach across as many social media platforms as you can.

8. What or who inspires you to take the pictures you do? 
People who live unusual lives. People who uphold cultural traditions. People who thrive in remote or harsh places.

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