Outbound Photo Competition 2020-21

Sam Herring
Wednesday 2 June 2021

This year’s outbound photo competition produced a series of fantastic photos, some of which are presented below! There were two main categories: “Reflection of your learning experience abroad” and “Most scenic photograph”. All comments are provided by the photographers themselves.

Georgia (Bergen, Norway) – Winner for most scenic photo

Narnia or Bergen? 

This photo was taken in quarantine at the start of January on Mount Fløyen. I literally could not believe how beautiful Bergen was, like something out of a fairy tale. I’ve learned to appreciate nature in a completely different way than before; I’ve swapped walks along East Sands for hikes in the snowy mountains, and it’s changed me.


This photo was taken during a road trip to Flåm with a group of friends. Although the weather was less than perfect, I think the clouds add to the photo – it’s an honest reflection that it rains a LOT in Western Norway. From being in Norway, I’ve definitely learned to love a pair of waterproofs. 

The only tourists 

This picture was taken on the Stegastein Viewpoint in Aurland on our road trip. For three days, the only person we saw was the local shopkeeper, and the viewpoint which is normally packed with coachloads of tourists was completely deserted. The only time being in a pandemic has come in handy. 

Josh (Kefalonia, Greece) – Winner for best learning reflection

Snorkelling Partner

I spend a lot of my free time snorkelling around Kefalonia looking for a variety of different marine animals. On these trips I often encounter sea turtles such as this young Loggerhead (Caretta caretta). It is very rare for them to approach you like this individual did.

Searching for Air

This little hatchling is slowly ascending to the surface in search of air. The lighting is what really made this moment memorable highlighting both the detail on the hatchling as well as the beautiful colour of the ocean surrounding him.

Playful Monk Seals  

I spotted these two individuals on my way home from data collection. They are extremely rare and therefore being able to see them made me feel extremely lucky. I made sure to keep my distance while these two seals played in the shallows.

Andrew (Tokyo, Japan)

Lazy Sunday at Tōdai-ji, Nara 

Spent the afternoon reading in the shade of Tōdai-ji, one of the most ancient temples in Japan and home to the world’s largest bronze Buddha statue. 

Getting a real Zen going

 A large part of my studies at Keio focused on Japanese Buddhism. So grateful for the chance to meditate at many of Japan’s most famous temples.

Suffering for the Instagram

 I was able to get this picture after a three-hour hike in knee-deep snow to the peak of a mountain opposite Fuji. Worth the climb!

Amy (Hamburg, Germany)

Außenalster Sunset  

The Außenalster in the centre of Hamburg offers such gorgeous views including the iconic Fersehturm (TV tower). An 8km (5 mile) walk around the Binnen- and Außenalster is definitely a favourite pastime for Hamburgers! 

Hamburg’s rural side 

During my year in Hamburg, I had a project to visit all of Hamburg’s 104 districts. What people may be surprised to hear from the second largest city in Germany is that you don’t have to go far at all until you feel in the countryside! This is a farm café in Neuenfelde, a district of Hamburg.  

Schwerin tourist photo with a twist 

I was so happy to be able to still travel a little despite Covid-19 but if you had forgotten its existence, a peculiar reminder is suspended overhead (?!)  

Rol-J (Cave Hill, Barbados)

A Boulder’s Bath

Being on External Placement in a foreign country during a pandemic, reeling from the effects of a volcanic eruption in another country, and just facing mounting academic pressure, one can feel like a boulder stuck at sea. However, each day is different, and each wave can only carve a refined being, renewed and beautiful.  Taken at Bathsheba, Barbados, this boulder, just off the shore, is one of the iconic scenes associated with the rugged East Coast of Barbados. The boulder changes on almost every visit, as it is carved or covered by the tides of this picturesque beach.  

An Environmentally-Friendly Reminder

Though weathered and battered, the message is cogent: ‘leave nothing but your footsteps.’ This sign serves as a gentle reminder to visitors of Bathsheba, Barbados that they can enjoy the beauty of the rugged East Coast, but they should also leave the beauty of the island for others to see, exactly as they were able to see it.  Similarly, my research this year focuses on sustainable marine biotechnology. While this decrepit sign might seem simple, it bears an important message for me: “Think of future generations in your science.”

Ambivalence in Bim

On what appears to be a directionless road trip, my ambivalence to return home arises out of the myriad directions I am pointed towards. Out of the City or Soup Bowl?  Taken in St. Joseph, Barbados, the characteristic Barbados Bus Stop sign indicating ‘Out of the City’ is juxtaposed with a number of signs pointing in various directions including, ironically, into the City. This level of uncertainty characterises the times we live in; we are faced with so many choices and have had to make so many decisions and sacrifices.  

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