Winner of Cathay Pacific Travel Photographer of the Year Award

The Cathay Pacific Travel Media Awards are organised by Travcom (New Zealand Travel Communicators) to celebrate excellence in travel writing and photography.

The photography awards were judged by a panel of three; Rob Lile, director of One Shot image library, Jenny Nicholls, Art Director for North & South magazine and Tessa Chrisp, past winner of the Cathay Pacific Travel Photographer of the Year Award. The Travel Photographer of the Year is judged on the entire portfolio of published work.

Rob Lile said: “This year a clear and unanimous favourite appeared amongst the many images put forward for the scrutiny of a tough judging panel. While there were many images that caught our eye and invited second and third viewings, one series stood out, indicating the work of a master visual storyteller. Ilan’s images transported us to centuries-old locations to examine modern lives intertwined with layers of time. They displayed patience and sensitivity as a storyteller becomes immersed in the worlds of people going about their ordinary daily lives, as unobtrusively as possible. His presence is accepted; images are not overtly posed nor awkward and each subject is entirely comfortable with the interaction. The creative journey continued through careful post production, printing and mounting, all reflecting the skills of a professional determined to present his vision as perfectly as possible. This was a powerful series that will live in our minds for a long time.”

Award winning photography

 A merchant is surrounded with souvenirs waiting for tourists to visit his shop. Notice that ‘Palestine’ is replacing ‘Israel’ on the map behind him. The old city of Jerusalem, Israel.
Travcom Cathay Pacific Travel Media Awards Best Travel Image with People runner up Ilan Wittenberg 104B

A hunched nun is walking briskly across the busy platform in front of the dome of the Rock Mosque. The old city of Jerusalem, Israel.

Award Winning Photography


Man praying outside the Dome of the Rock the old city of Jerusalem, Israel. This is one of the oldest works of Islamic architecture.



Teenager transporting gas bottles down the main alley at the old city of Jerusalem.  He steps on the tyre dragging along the ground in order to slow down the trolley when descending downhill.

Silver Award - Documentary category - NZIPP 2015 Iris Awards


A man preparing Turkish coffee for his customers at the back of his Shishas smoking shop.  The old city of Jerusalem, Israel.

Auckland Portrait Photography


A man brushing the brass souvenirs to shine the merchandise.  The old city of Jerusalem, Israel.

Award Winning Photography

A merchant is smoking his Shisha, while his apprentice is cleaning the fish at Acre Street Market, Israel.

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