National Geographic have announced the winners of their annual travel photography contest. Discover new destinations through the lenses of photographers from around the world.
From Lesotho in California to India, Jerusalem and London, travellers show off their talent for photography like never before! Like every year, National Geographic has awarded travellers for the most beautiful photos from around the world. The result? An interesting, colourful and moving montage of the world that makes us wonder why we’re still sitting at our computers and not exploring the globe…
First place: Independence Day
This photo was taken on May 28th, 2013 as a storm approached near Julesburg, Colorado. While the area had full tornado warnings, the storm didn’t actually produce any tornadoes, only brief funnels, large hail and intense rain. As for the judges, it was quite obvious that Marko Korošec had spent a lot of time chasing storms.
Second prize: Mea Shearim, Jerusalem, Israel
This photograph shows the scene of a newly married couple in the ultra-Orthodox district Mea Shearim in Jerusalem. The couple, Aaron and Rivkeh will be alone for the first time after the ceremony. Their marriage was arranged by their families and they have only met once, to confirm the choice, and since then have not spoken or seen each other. Photography can tell incredible stories, and what is obvious here is that this couple of giddy teenagers are happy to take on their next adventure. What a capture by Agnieszka Traczewska.
Third prize: Diver in Magic Kingdom
Springtime in Austria sees the water levels in the lakes and rivers rise dramatically as the snow in the mountains melt. At Green Lake in Tragöss, the water rises as much as 10 metres every year, covering hiking trails, meadows and even trees. It only lasts a couple of weeks but the result is a magical underwater world for divers who can swim along hiking trails and even see trees with their leaves still attached! This must have been an amazing experience for photographer Marc Henauer and his dive mate.
Sense of Place: Light Source
A young monk finds the perfect light for reading his book inside this pagoda in Old Bagan, Burma, photographed by Marcelo Castro.
Spontaneous Moments: End of the World
This photo was captured at the “end of the world” swing in Banos, Ecuador. It shows a man swinging towards Mount Tungurahua as it’s erupting. Minutes after this photo was taken, the photographer, Sean Hacker Teper, and his mates had to evacuate the area due to incoming ash clouds.
Sense of Place: A Well Earned Rest in the Sahara
Evan Cole captured their Tuareg guide, Moussa Macher, at the summit of Tin-Merzouga, the largest dune in the Tadrat region of the Sahara desert. He was taking a well deserved rest as he waited for the rest of the group to finish their 45-minute struggle to the top. It was a long hike up, and only took 10 minutes of rolling, running and jumping to get to the bottom again!
Travel Portraits: Divine Makeover
The Mayana Soora Thiruvizha festival is a very special one in India. It takes place every March in the small village of Kaveripattinam the day after the great night of Shiva. The festivities are devoted to Angalamman, the guardian deity that is widely worshipped in the southern part of India. Mahesh Balasubramanian captured this little girl getting ready for the festival.
Spontaneous Moments: Ladies in Waiting
You might recognise the setting for this photo by Susie Stern, it’s our very own Borough Market in South London. It’s a bit unclear whether these ladies are all brides or bridesmaids but it’s a really lovely scene of them all enjoying a bit of ice cream while the shopkeeper watches.
Outdoor Scenes: Foggy, Small Town
Christmas Day in a small town in the Czech Republic’s South Bohemian region. This photo by Duowen Chen was captured at noon from the castle, which is perched atop a hill at the edge of the small village. The fog and mist certainly gives the historic little town a sense of mystery!
Travel Portraits: “Khotso” Peace at Devil’s Knuckles
It’s pretty obvious this horse was happy to lessen its load as its rider and photographer Byron Inggs reached Jonathan’s Lodge on the first day of a 3-day ride through Bushman’s Nek in Lesothos’ Sehlabathebe National Park. That’s “Devil’s Knuckles” in the background.
Viewer’s Choice: Among the Giants
This photo was captured by James Eimmerman during a trip to Sequoia National Forest while hiking the Trail of 100 Giants.
What’s your favourite photo out of the bunch?