Image: Jonathan Gregson/Lonely Planet Traveller

Jonathan’s feature in Lonely Planet magazine earned him the Photographer of the Year award at the Travel Media Awards 2018 – for the second year in a row! We find out his winning formula

What’s the story behind your winning photograph?
My winning story this year was photographed for Lonely Planet magazine, in Patagonia, Chile. Myself and deputy editor, Amanda Canning, travelled in May 2017, arriving in the flush of their autumn. The leaves were fiery-red and the mountains snow-capped which set the perfect backdrop for our story following in the footsteps of Lady Florence Dixie, a Scottish traveller who ventured to Patagonia in 1878 ‘precisely because it was an outlandish place and so far away’, as she recounts in her memoirs, Across Patagonia.

What makes a destination a great place to photograph?
There are very few places in the world which aren’t great to photograph – you just need to approach each destination with fresh eyes and an open mind. Travel photography encompasses all disciplines so look for the character of a location and tell its story through the full spectrum of images: landscapes, details, portraits, wildlife, culture, architecture etc.

What’s your favourite destination in the whole world and why?
An impossible question!  However, there are a few places which stand out to me, one being Costa Rica. Geographically and culturally it’s such a diverse country; within the space of a day you can start on the western Pacific coast which feels very Latin American and then travel east passing rainforests, volcanoes and lush lowlands before arriving at the Caribbean coast which has a completely different vibe. The nature is exotic and vibrant with humming birds, sloths and jaguars to name but a few of the native species.

If you could travel back in time to anywhere, when and where would you choose to go?
I would love to have witnessed the building of one of the great man-made wonders of the world, perhaps the pyramids, or the Great Wall of China. I think to see such great feats of engineering would be truly awe-inspiring. I would have to be allowed to take my camera with me though!

What’s on your travel wish list for 2019?
Top of my wish list are Antarctica, Borneo and Tibet. If you know of anyone who needs them photographing, please let me know 🙂

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