The 25th annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest is under way, and entries will be accepted for another six weeks, until June 30, 2013. First prize winner will receive a 10-day Galapagos expedition for two. National Geographic was once more kind enough to allow me to share some of the early entries with you here, gathered from four categories: Travel Portraits, Outdoor Scenes, Sense of Place, and Spontaneous Moments. Photos and captions by the photographers.
A raging sea dwarfs Seaham Lighthouse in County Durham in England, with 100 ft waves after a cold front moved down from the north bringing freezing temperatures to the North of England.
(© Owen Humphreys/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
Crater lake Segara Anak located in Mount Rinjani, Lombok, Indonesia.
(© Dodi Sandradi/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
A group of 12-14 hyenas were chasing a herd of 7-8 elephants. The elephant herd included 2 adult females, a few teenagers, and a baby that was a few days old (belonging to one of the adult females). The hyenas were trying to get at the baby. In this picture, the mother is kicking at the hyenas.
(© Jayesh Mehta/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
Sunset on top of Lao Zhai mountain at the bank of Li River, Xingping, Guangxi, China.
(© James Bian/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
The late morning fall air was just cool enough that the sap weeping from the trees would solidify in mid flight... creating beautiful marbles of amber falling to the ground. Kingston Mills Water Locks - Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
(© Jay Foulds/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
Masters of disguise. The Eastern Screech Owl is seen here doing what they do best. You better have a sharp eye to spot these little birds of prey.
(© Graham McGeorge/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
This tabular iceberg floats majestically in the Southern Ocean a few miles from South Georgia Island. Formerly a whaling station, the island is now an Antarctic research center. It was the ultimate destination of Ernest Shackelton's desperate rescue voyage in 1916.
(© Sue Volek/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
I have been traveling around the world and parts of Asia for the last six months and this is a shot I took at Tiger Palace in Bangkok, this is one of just a few tiger sanctuaries in Thailand that do not drug the animals, and because of this they sometimes get incredibly playful, here the tigers are having a play fight in some water. What was truly amazing was the speed at which they move, one minute they are 200 yards away, the next, they are right next to you staring down like they are deciding how you taste!
(© Daniel Sakal/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
A very hungry humming bird drinking from the mouth of a person in Wyoming during an extreme drought in 2012.
(© Sundell Larsen/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
This picture is not a photo of painting, landscape nor I have used any Photoshop except minor cropping, rotation and converting from raw to jpeg. It is colored threads/wool hanging from the wall in an amazing way with a nail head coming out in between. I tried to create a feeling of moon and sea.
(© Aditya Vardhan Tibrewala/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
King of the Hill: An American Bison on the National Bison Range, Moise, Montana.
(© Mark Mesenko/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
The view from our hotel room in the San Blas district of Cusco. This area of town overlooked the rest of the city and gave us a breathtaking view as the sun and rain mixed one evening.
(© Blake Burton/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
I have seen alligators and turtles together in ponds before, but never like this! I was at Bluebill Pond in Harris Neck NWR when I saw what I thought was an alligator sunning itself on a stump. As I got closer I realized that it was actually perched on the back of a turtle! I wish I had been there to witness how this surprising esprit de corps had came to pass!
(© Mary Ellen Urbanski/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
Imagine yourself as this lone tree, standing in the snow waves. Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.
(© Victor Liu/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
Living in Seattle I am spoiled by its beautiful skyline and the iconic Space Needle. This was not my first attempt capturing the moon with the Space Needle. After one failed attempt, I went back the next day for a second attempt and was treated with perfect conditions. As the moon rose above the horizon I was in disbelief as to how big it was, dwarfing the entire Space Needle observation deck.
(© Hai Nguyen/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
This picture was taken at the majestic Iguazu Falls, Misiones, Argentina. The flight of this flock of swifts across the huge waterfalls portrays the sense of freedom and wildness that belongs to this fantastic world wonder.
(© Francesco Filippo Pellegrini/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
Tearing down a super tanker on a shoe-string budget. A gas torch, a tow line and human labor force, Sitakunda, Chittagong, Bangladesh.
(© Lee Chong Kuang/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
While on safari in Kruger National Park we watched a coalition of four male cheetahs crossing the plain. This one got distracted and fell behind. Once he noticed the others were gone, he sprinted to catch up. I caught him nicely with a slow shutter pan.
(© Douglas Croft/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
Shooting New Taipei City night scene, in the distance, a huge, strange cloud, from time to time issuing a strange flash reflection like a a beautiful watercolor painting.
(© ?? ?/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
Long necked Padaung tribe woman wearing neck rings on Inle Lake, Myanmar. They come down from the mountains to sell their handmade jewelry and woven bags to tourists.
(© Cynthia MacDonald/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
Kauai is a wild and magical place. It invokes a sense of freedom, appreciation, and love. At this particular beach waves rebound and crash off of lava rocks and cliffs forming into interesting shapes.
(© Lace Andersen/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
A young bat and his mother in flight in Pardes Hanna-Karkur, Israel.
(© Gilad Guy/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
Bonobos...the unknown Ape. Most people do not even know what Bonobos are. I have been documenting their behavior for over 4 years now at the Jacksonville Zoo here in Florida and all I can say is this: "Minutes turn to hours when I am photographing Bonobos. I love to watch their mannerisms and interactions with each other. They are without a doubt our closest relative. It is my dream to one day get a chance to photograph them in the wild in their own world in the DRC."
(© Graham McGeorge/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
On the way to Ergaki, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia. Twilight away the lights of one of the bases.
(© Alexander Nerozya/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
A fascinating and breathtaking view of the Cappadocia morning breeze, in Turkey.
(© Reynaldi Herdinanto/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
Located in the heart of Siberian Russia, Lake Baikal freezes over ever year. Walking around on the ice at sunset, I got down low to the ground and took this shot of some ice with the beautiful sunset in the background.
(© Edward Graham/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
A child, captured by surprise, during shooting of a part of the old city (Sun City) of Jodhpur, India.
(© Bruno Tamiozzo/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
Eruption of the Cordon Caulle, Chile. This was taken from Antillanca mountain. However despite the distance, the sound was awesome and was the most incredible experiences of my life with my uncle, who accompanied me that night.
(© Rival Gustavo/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
I took this photograph near the spillway of Jordan lake dam shortly after the Osprey returned to my area for the 2013 season. Early in the spring, you can find them fishing at the base of the dam. I love photographing wildlife, but have a special place in my heart for any type of raptor.
(© Brad Lenear/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
A scientist climbs out of an ice cave formed by volcanic vents near the summit of Mt. Erebus, Antarctica.
(© Alasdair Turner/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
An impending storm moving in over a beautifully lit field in the evening in Montana.
(© James Lam/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
A one-horned gazelle looks up at just the right moment in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya.
(© Kellie Reifstenzel/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
"The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft; and gathering swallows twitter in the skies." (John Keats). The Duke of Westminster's Drive, in Chester, England.
(© Robert Reginald Williams/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
Cowboy, the real deal. Photo taken near J Bar L Ranch in Montana. This gentleman and his friends were riding across the state using only the real deal old school equipment.
(© Jesper Anhede/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
Pergamon was an ancient Greek city in Aeolis, today located 16 miles (26 km) from the Aegean Sea on a promontory on the north side of the river Caicus. Some ancient authors regarded it as a colony of the Arcadians, but the various origin stories all belong to legend.
(© Mehmet Fatih Yaldiz/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
Taken during the Belle Fouche prescribed burn at Devils Tower National Monument, Wyoming.
(© Drew Gilmour/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
This great white shark struck directly from below with such force that it leapt entirely clear of the water. Gansbaai, South Africa, where this image was taken, is one of the only places in the world where the sharks exhibit this behavior.
(© Thomas Pepper/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
This image is shot in Kampung Pulo in East Jakarta. This village is unique with their various colors and plenty and maze like alleyways. I waited for a perfect moment on this dark alley when a child went out of his home and ran through the alley to meet his friends to play.
(© Michael Ken/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
This church was built about 200 years ago on the banks of Hemavathi River near Hassan, India. About 25 years before, Gorur Dam was built, and every year the monsoons fill up the reservoir and flood the church, submerging it. Every Cycle takes away part of this holy place until nothing will remain. Hopefully this picture would provide a view of what man makes and how nature takes it away.
(© Gurdyal Singh/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)
Spring arrives in Sweden and the ice finally starts to melt on Lake Vättern. What started out as this year's first stand-up paddle trip with my best friend ended up as a weird photo shoot, in Hjo, Sweden.
(© Jesper Anhede/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest