Verge Magazine and Rough Guides are proud to present the finalists in our 2013 Travel With Purpose Photo Contest. First showcased at the 2013 Go Global Expos, it's now time to vote for your favourite images online!
Thank you to all the photographers who submitted entries that demonstrated your meaningul travels worldwide. The shortlist was selected by a panel of professional photographers and Verge editorial staff and represent the very best of more than 1,500 entries submitted by Verge readers.
A veteran salt farm worker gathers salt for storage in a nearby warehouse before the end of the day.
Samuel De Leon
Quezon City, Philippines
5. "Morning Song"
Somewhere on the Oregon coast, USA
Cameron plays guitar while we eat our breakfast near the beach. Road tripping, we took a chance and decided to sleep on a turn in the road, just facing the ocean. While cooking our quesadillas, this magic yellow Westfalia came to join us. Together, we spent a wonderful night talking about education and life. Life is beautiful when you only have to enjoy every second. We split just after breakfast; they were heading south.
6. "Morning Commute"
West Bengal, India
This photo was taken in a village of West Bengal, India, in a pleasant morning of the spring. Women from this fishing community set off with their nets for another day of work.
7. "Morning Tea"
Puskar, Rajasthan, India
Camel-sellers relish morning tea in the camel fair ground at the Puskar camel fair. These men have travelled a distance of 400 kilometres or more, on foot, to attend the festival.
8. "The Postcard Collector"
Mohammed Harif, a retired auto rickshaw driver, shows off his postcard collection sent to him from past visitors to India. These cards and photos come from all over the world, and represent his connections with visitors to Udaipur spanning more than 20 years.
Rays of light pierce through a nearby window falling on a novice Buddhist Monk and his book.
Golden, British Columbia
10. Maasai Wisdom
Village of Olofosokwan, northern Tanzania
11. "Pacu Jawi"
The pacu jawi (cow race) is held on rice fields as a celebration of good harvests. Jockeys also bite the animals’ tail to increase speed.
12. "Friends for Life"
Best friends and pretty much brothers, these two are inseparable. They spend their days working hard in school, and in the afternoon you will only find them running around playing soccer, or taking a break and sitting together watching the sunset and talking about their hopes and dreams. They live at a children’s home called Baba Nyumbani.
13. "Old Monk"
Pushkar Fair, Rajasthan, India
An old monk at the Pushkar Fair, a five-day camel and livestock fair, held each year in the state of Rajasthan. It is one of the world’s largest camel fairs, and has become an important tourist attraction. Competitions
such as the “longest moustache” and “bridal competition” draw thousands of tourists.
New Delhi, India
14. "Waiting for Supper"
Maya Mountains, Belize
Everyone is hungry - including the family cat! Since 1994, I have often visited this Maya family, staying with them in their home in the Maya Mountains tucked away in southwestern Belize. My circumstances are different from theirs, but I have learned that as humans we all want the same things: health, happiness, and
prosperity for ourselves and our families. Here the matriarch of the family prepares tortillas for her grandchildren – and the family cat.
Lola Reid Allin
15. "Mumbai's Dahi Haandi Fest"
Govinda players try to catch and then break an earthen pot, in order to break it and win prizes. Dahi Handi is celebrated every year in Mumbai.
16. "Rakher Upobash"
Sylhet City, Bangladesh
Thousands of Hindu devotees seated praying at this ashram and temple during their fast.
Md. Akhlas Uddin
17."Within the Twilight"
Midnapore, West Bengal, India
The Silabati River, flash flooded due to summer rains. The very shallow river bed that is created draws local young people, who enjoy playing along the river’s shores.
To me, this photo symbolises and mirrors the collapse of the Greek economy. A staircase ends erratically in mid-air. At the top of the stairs, there is the remnants of an abandoned building. At the bottom, an abrupt ending.
19. "Northern Lights"
This display of Northern Lights in Norway was the strangest I have ever seen!
20. "Calm Xuanwu"
Xuanwu Lake, Nanjing, China
The sun rises through the thick fog over Xuanwu Lake, Nanjing. To me, this image typifies the morning experience around the lake: calm, tranquil, serene. Integral to this scene is the eerie, dense, fog (more
likely smog) that is omnipresent in modern Chinese cities. So while this image paints a picture of a more traditional China, it is also, in fact, representative of the conflict of modern progress with the Chinese natural environment.
St. John’s, Newfoundland
21. "Petra by Candlelight"
Candlelight illuminates the cavernous city of Petra on a cloudless night, during a musical performance in front of Petra’s most recognizable monument, The Treasury.
22. "Facing My Fears!"
Mission Beach, Australia
During my semester break at Southern Cross University in Lismore, I travelled up to Cairns, Australia. Within two days, I went from scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef at 52 feet below sea level to jumping out of a plane that was 14,000 feet up, right over the reef as well! Personally I have a great fear of heights and no one thought I would be able to do it; I was shaking the entire time and was so scared I really don’t even remember jumping out of the plane. I came too halfway through the free-fall (which lasted 1 minute). We landed right on that beach shown in the picture (Mission Beach).
23. "A Starry Night"
Abraham Lake, Alberta, Canada
An unforgettable night. The sky was clear, and the ice was beautiful; I enjoyed a great camping moment on the ice, watching the stars pass by.
24. "Standing in the Waves"
Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada
A lone tree stands in the snow waves with light and shadows. I feel like I am sailing the sea, watching from a distance, and all of sudden, there is an island, standing in the waves, just as beautiful as this lone tree.
25. "Osaka, A City of Lights"
Umeda, Kita-ku, Osaka, Japan
The view from the top of the Umeda Sky Building at night. In every direction you look, as far as the eye can see, light. A representation of how populated and developed Japan is. The country and its population are not slowing down anytime soon, especially at night.
Sackville, New Brunswick
27. "Beyond Bagan"
A novice monk looks out over the 2200 ancient temples and pagodas of Bagan. This photo was taken mid morning after the novice monks finished collecting alms.
Golden, British Columbia
Reflection in a mountain pool showing India’s famous Taj Mahal and some visitors.
29. "Sign of Life"
Nadia District, West Bengal, India
This shot depicts jute fiber raring from jute stem. The jute, being biodegradable, does not pollute river water. Bunches of jute stems are suspended in river water for fermentation; here they form a pattern of sickle—the tool of cultivation in the fields for the farmers.
30. "Agricultural Map of India"
This paddy field looked to me like a map.
Shaikh Jan Mohammad
31. "Fishing at the Chilika"
Chilika Lake, Orissa, India
Fishermen on countryboat in Chilika Lake. This is the largest brackish water lagoon in India, and has been identified as a priority site for conservation. Large-scale fishing has been banned to protect wide assemblage of marine, brackish and freshwater flora and fauna including a number of rare, threatened and endangered species.
32. "The Rush Hour"
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
Cyclists and locals travel during the rush hour in Varanasi.
33. "Victims of Merapi Eruption"
Magelang City, Indonesia
This photo was taken after the 2011 eruption of Mount Merapi, in Central Java, Indonesia. Residents are wearing face masks to help protect them from the rain of ash. A flood of cold lava destroyed school
buildings, mosques, health centres and infrastructure; many people fled their homes and lost everything they had. Recovery is not likely to be quick. This site had been a tourist desintation, but all economic activity has ground to a halt.
Java Centre, Indonesia
34. "A Daily Dose of Death"
Gutri Village, West Bengal, India
Jiten Sakhari, 74, drinks water from an arsenic affected tube-well in Gutri village, north of Kolkata. Arsenic occurs naturally in groundwater in many parts of the world, but is particularly severe in this region,
where more than 20 million people are exposed to unacceptably high levels in their drinking water. Lack of other water supplies leave the residents with little alternative.
Durku, West Bengal, India
Durku is small tribal village, home to a few hundred people. The village is poor, and young children often work in the fields to earn daily bread and butter. Many families here struggle for even basic necessities, such
as food, clothing and a basic education. This shot depicts a little girl offering an evening prayer to the sacred tusli herb, while her companions return from the fields.
Instead of just repainting the walls of a school in Korovou, Fiji, as part of our volunteer trip, we decided to add some fun to the walls. Each classroom got a different mural. In this one, we painted a giant tree and all the kids and volunteers placed their handprints on the wall for leaves.
37. "The Ways of Kalinga"
Kalinga, Cordillera Administrative Region, Philippines
A young Kalinga woman tells us about her people’s traditions. The Kalingas were born warriors. Despite the Spanish, Japanese and American occupations of the Philippines, their culture remains strong, with most traditional customs still being adhered to.
Samuel De Leon
Quezon City, Philippines
38. "Watering Point"
Kereyu watering point in Fentelle Region, Ethiopia
In March 2008, the Fentelle Region, like much of the Eastern part of Ethiopia, was suffering from a severe drought. Water catchments, ponds and even rivers were rapidly drying up. Here in Gulcha, a diesel pump worked to supply well water for thousands of waiting animals. Some Kereyu herdsmen travelled for two days to bring their animals—cows, goats, donkeys, camels—to the water point. Yet, the animals waited patiently for their turn, and for the signal of their small keeper to go up to the trough and slake their thirst. “The animals understand the problem,” we were told.
39. "Pinki Devi"
Kochla village, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
Pinki Devi is a member of a microfinance self-help group established by Seva Mandir, a non-profit organization. Her group is one of the best-run in the district. The bars in seen in the photo are actually to keep out pesky monkeys, but the initial jail-like imagery represents the struggle of rural Indian women. Rural women do half of the farm work and all of the domestic work, but only receive a fraction of the household income.
Michael A. Jarosz
40. "Authentic Gimmick"
Chiang Mai, Thailand
People of the “Longneck village” wait around for tourists to arrive. There have been ongoing debates about the human rights of residents in five villages set up in Chiang Mai, where tourists pay a fee to visit and to take pictures. As a tourist, I admit, I went to visit these places with little knowledge of the controversy until I arrived and talked to a villager. She explained to us how she was stranded in this village, with nowhere to go and no way of leaving because the Thai police had taken away all forms of identification.
41. "Stilt Fisherman"
Unawatuna, Sri Lanka
A stilt fisherman finishes up his morning fishing near Unawatuna, Sri Lanka. Stilt fishing is a unique, unobtrusive style of fishing; fishermen sit atop small poles that protrude from the reefs and rocks over the water. Today, it is a dying art; it seems there are as many “pretend” fishermen doing demonstrations for tourists as real stilt fisherman. Tourism is a double-edged sword in that it may help preserve the image of stilt fishing and bring in tourism dollars for the fishermen yet it may result in stilt fishing being a completely unauthentic experience (purely for show) in the near future.
Golden, British Columbia
42. "Queens of a Cold Desert"
Nubra Valley, North Ladakh, India
The caravan route through the Nubra Valley was closed during the India-Pakistan partition, hitting the economy hard; limited resources here are still strained. But the economy in western Nubra received a shot in the arm when restrictions were lifted and the entire valley on the Indian side was opened for tourists. Communication with the outside world has started to transform the society. The majority of students of the high school at Turtuk are girls; they are now truly on the threshold of a new life.
43. "How Dragon Will Travel"
This elderly manual labourer was captured from a speeding cab just outside Qin Emperor’s tomb mound at Mount Li, east of Xi’an. The blurred image captures the unseen working class, overlooked by the advancing momentum of Chinese economic growth. As China races to the future, a vast majority are left behind.
Learn Chinese with a small group, full-immersion language program