The 27th annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest is under way, and entries will be accepted for another seven weeks, until June 30, 2015. First prize winner will receive an eight-day photo expedition for two, to Costa Rica and the Panama Canal. National Geographic was once again 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 massive wild brown bear captured in the Finnish Forests. This image was made in very low light conditions during the midnight sun making the atmosphere quite mysterious.
On an expedition at Todos Santos in South Baja California, Mexico I was searching for big predators feeding on sardine baitballs; marlins, sharks or tunas, but instead of it I found this little but very beautiful sea bird, the Hawaiian Petrel. It was feeding on crustaceans. Luckily I was able to capture the moment it submerged its head to feed on the tiny food source.
This photo was taken in Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia. I joined a sunrise tour starting at 2am. First of all I saw a star-filled sky, then early in the morning about 5am, this scene I had never seen before appeared through the window. That was an amazing view that I could not put it into words. Such a calm and silent morning, I walked away from people and took this photo in absolute silence.
Takstang Monastery, Bhutan, also know as the Tiger's Nest. It is believed to be where the second Buddha brought Buddhism to Bhutan. A steep three hour climb, the Tiger's Nest was shrouded in mist the entire day. On our way back the mist parted briefly, and looking back I took this shot.
I found this Arabian Red fox cub outside a den just a side of a small hill. There were 3 cubs with their mom. I got closer and put camouflage netting over me and waited their for two hours straight, then they came out one by one and i started to shoot with my camera. This cub started to clean himself, and I got this picture while he was looking straight at the camera!
While freediving in the Bahamas, close to Tiger Beach, I decided to swim away from all the "action" and have some alone time away from both the divers and the sharks. While I was taking deep breaths on the surface, a lemon shark came to investigate swimming below me. I was able to dive down and take this picture.
As technology shrinks the world around us, it becomes more and more difficult to find ourselves truly lost in the outdoors. This makes those particular moments and scenes that much more special. Getting to the Diving Board was quite a challenge, as there is no official trail. For anybody who is prepared, careful, and respectful of nature, the reward is one of the most breathtaking views in all of Yosemite, in my opinion.
People relaxing in hammocks around 40 meters (130 ft) above the ground. This took place in an annual highline meeting in Monte Piana, in the Italian Dolomites last autumn. For some it might look like a nightmare to dangle so far above the ground but for some this was just the way to take a rest.
On way to Antarctica via Drakes Passage we came across this amazing, almost six-mile-long, tabletop iceberg and swimming alongside was this humpback whale. The sheer size of the iceberg can be seen as you imagine the size of this huge whale just swimming aside it.