Mark Unrau of Ontario, the first-prize winner in National Geographic Traveler magazine's Our World in Focus photo contest, snapped an image on the train that runs from Beijing, China, to Lhasa, Tibet.
The rail line—one of the world's highest railroad routes—had been completed just a month earlier. Many Tibetans feel the train is bad for their people and culture, but the Chinese have hailed it as a major technological achievement and said it will promote tourism.
Unrau wanted to document the controversial new train, and took the photograph early in his 26-hour journey.
"The woman was sitting in front of me for the duration of the ride," says the photographer, "and was glued to the window staring out at the expansive scenery."
So that his subject wouldn't feel uncomfortable, Unrau angled the camera toward the window rather than pointing it directly at her.
"That is why she's tucked way into the corner of the image," he explains.
Unrau, who works in the Canadian mining industry, has been taking photographs for about ten years. He used a Canon 5D digital camera, 24-105mm L- lens, exposure at 1/125 second at F/9.0, ISO 640. The prize is courtesy of Lindblad Expeditions.
This year's 19th annual photo contest received over 27,000 entries, up some 12,000 from last year. Start polishing your skills early with one of Traveler's photo seminars and look for the announcement of our next contest in May 2008.
To see the rest of this year’s contest winners visit www.nationalgeographic.com/traveler/photos/photocontest0801/photocontest_gallery.html.