Travelsnapped! The winning pic
Every traveller has a story, and every traveller takes a picture.
We asked you for your best travel images - photos that captured the essence of elsewhere and included an animal or human being. You flooded us with great shots, and it was tough to select a winner.
Our chief judge, Mark Round, is a Fairfax Picture Editor and knows a good shot when he sees one. From a shortlist of 20 selected by Travel Editors, he picked one that stood out from the crowd.
The winner receives a Canon PowerShot SX260 HS travel camera, a thoroughly capable image-capture companion with a stack of state of the art features.
Melanie Hawkins grabbed the winning image - a Venetian mask peering our from a shop window display.
"I love the surreal feeling of this picture, it sums up the spirit of Carnival in Venice," said Melanie, and Judge Round agreed.
"This picture is not obvious. It's not a typical travel snap like many of the others. With its glowering face and the crowd milling in the background in front of siena and terracotta coloured buildings of an Italian piazza, it's exotic and alluring.
"Technically, it's quite accomplished too - the photographer has definitely thought about how to capture this image."
Said Melanie: "We were in Italy in the middle of winter and I'd tried to photograph these masks from inside the shop. I grabbed this one as I left - the mask was really looking at me -- and it became one of my favourite images from the trip.
Auckland-based Melanie works in e-learning training and design, and travels overseas every couple of years. Next time she leaves, she'll be packing a new Canon SX260 HS to capture her travel images.