Grass Valley photographer, writer wins third place in Washington Post Travel photo contest |

Grass Valley photographer, writer wins third place in Washington Post Travel photo contest

Therese Iknoian, co-founder at the Grass Valley-based travel blog HI Travel Tales, has placed third in the 21st-annual Washington Post travel photo contest with a sunset photo from the Sahara Desert.

“What an unbelievable honor this is to be third from so many great photos,” said Therese, a former daily newspaper journalist. “I take my photography seriously, and am quite passionate, but have always considered myself in first order to be a writer. To be recognized by the journalism pros at the Washington Post for a photograph means more than anything.”

Therese, also an award-winning travel writer, won third for her photo of a young camel driver at sunset in the Sahara of Morocco where he and his camel framed another group on a sand dune in the background. Therese and her husband and partner at HI Travel Tales, Michael Hodgson, spent nearly a month in Morocco in September 2019, taking endless photos of the culture, people, vistas, and cities to create meaningful stories about the North African country and to post photos on the HI Travel Tale’s Instagram feed.

The annual Washington Post Travel photo contest in 2020 attracted 1,200 entries. Each photographer may enter only one photo, with the sole qualification being that entrants are amateurs. In adhering to photojournalism standards, photographs may only be adjusted “to achieve color balance that reflects the scene as” it was observed.

Three winning photos and 10 honorable mentions were selected based on originality, creativity and skill as judged by Washington Post Travel staff and photography professionals. Normally, judges sit in a room together and analyze all of the entries. This year, however, with staff mostly working remotely, the judging was done virtually and electronically, making the process very different from the prior two decades.

Both Therese and Michael have won numerous writing and photography awards, plus was named one of the top six independent blogs in 2019 by the North American Travel Journalists Association. To find out more about HI Travel Tales, go to this link: Subscribe to the HI Travel Tales newsletter by clicking on this link:

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User