A photographer from England has won the chance to photograph Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, as first prize in the Travel Photographer of the Year (TPOTY) competition.

London-based photographer Cat Vinton was named overall winner of the contest, giving her the opportunity to spend up to two days photographing His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, the Tibetan settlement in Northern India.

The winning portfolio included panoramic images of a snowy Norwegian landscape (pictured).

The Dalai Lama is a Buddhist monk who went into exile in 1959 after a failed uprising against Communist Chinese rule in Tibet.

The assignment will enable the photographer to document a ‘day-in-the-life-of’ photo-essay. Cat also bags prizes including a £2,500 bursary, an Apple computer and Adobe CS3 imaging software.

This year?s Young TPOTY title went to 14-year-old Luna Malka from Canada.

The competition?s judges included renowned landscape photographer Charlie Waite.

Full details of other winners will appear in a forthcoming issue of AP.

The winning images are on show at www.tpoty.com.

Picture credit: Cat Vinton

UK photographer lands TPOTY prize