Gangaramaya Viharaya shot takes first place in smartphone travel photo competition

Saturday, 14 December 2013 00:27 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} With 67% of us using our mobile phones as a camera on holiday, it was only a matter of time until a competition honoured the 21st Century photography phenomenon. The ‘Best Photo Taken on a Smartphone’ contest, launched by Celebrity Cruises, encouraged amateur photographers to submit their holiday snaps and has announced that a shot of the Gangaramaya Viharaya Temple, taken in Colombo, Sri Lanka, has taken top place. The photo, submitted by holidaymaker Zoe King, was judged to be the best by a judging panel of world-renowned photographers Stuart Franklin, Ian Berry, Art Wolfe and Massimo Vitali. The bright shot was described by Stuart Franklin as ‘colourful, exciting and compositionally well organised’. Art Wolfe added: ‘This is a very complex image, with a lot going on - colour, line, repetition and movement.  This complexity is what makes it interesting and draws me into the scene.’ King said she took the photo while on holiday with her boyfriend and could barely see the screen due to the bright sunlight. She explained: “My boyfriend and I were travelling around Sri Lanka and we were very lucky that when we visited the temple it was decorated with the Buddhist flags. “I remember crouching down to take the photo but couldn’t really see it on my phone until afterward as it was so sunny. Later on, whilst browsing through my photos, this one really stood out to me as I loved the contrast of the bright sky and flags with the Buddhist statues.” The Sri Lanka shot wasn’t the only smartphone image to be complimented by the professional judges. Five runners-up were also recognised for their efforts, along with three finalists. Pictures submitted included a snowy mountain landscape taken by runner-up Ashish Varma, seagulls on a promenade by Ewan Jamieson and a black and white image of a man at Matheran Hill Station, in the state of Maharashtra, in India, taken by Maulik Parmar. The runners-up win a personal photography tutorial with Stuart Franklin on board Celebrity Eclipse in Southampton, while King has been named Celebrity Cruises Photo Ambassador for 2014. As part of her prize, she will embark on a 14-night Scandinavia and Russia cruise, with her smartphone photos of each port added to the Celebrity Cruises blog. To see more smartphone entries visit