Each Saturday, our travel pages carry thousands of words designed to inform and inspire the traveller. We also use a few good photographs - like Tom Pilston's evocative study of Hong Kong, above. Our belief that there are many other excellent photographers out there was confirmed last year, when The Independent joined forces with Wanderlust magazine to stage our first Travel Photo of the Year competition. The quality of the entries was outstanding. So this year, we have expanded the competition to four categories: the Natural World, Action, Face-to-Face and Black & White. We have also brought in one of the most famous names in photography: Nikon. The top 40 entries will be displayed at Destinations '98, the travel exhibition to be held at London Olympia from 26 February to 1 March next year. All entrants will receive a free pass for two to the event - at which the winning photographs will be announced.
The overall winner will earn valuable prizes, including one that money can't buy: a photographic commission from The Independent. Nikon will provide the winner with an F70 SLR with 24-120mm AF-D lens - worth more than pounds 1,000 - while Bellingham will provide a 335 camera bag and Ventile photo vest (total value over pounds 300). The three winners of the other categories will each receive a Nikon F50 with 35-80mm lens, plus a Billingham Photo Hadley bag.
You can enter at any time before the end of the year, but take the first step now by writing in for an application form, which includes the competition rules. The address is Wanderlust (Photo of the Year), PO Box 1832, Windsor SL4 6YP. Alternatively, you can complete the form in the new edition of the magazine, price pounds 2.80.