May 28, 2014

12 Highlights from the 2014 Nat Geo Traveler Photo Contest



The 26th annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest is well under way, accepting submissions until June 30th, 2014. Official categories include: Travel Portraits; Outdoor Scenes; Sense of Place; and Spontaneous Moments. The grand-prize winner will receive an eight-day National Geographic Expedition to Alaska for two aboard the National Geographic Sea Lion or National Geographic Sea Bird.

The entry fee is $15 (USD) per photo, and there is no limit to the number of submissions per entrant. Judging consists of two rounds of evaluation based on creativity and photographic quality. The second-prize winner will receive a five-day National Geographic Photography Workshop for one in Santa Fe, N.M., and the third-prize winner will receive a six-day cruise for two on a Maine windjammer schooner. Seven merit-prize winners will receive a print of their photo, matted and framed by the National Geographic Imaging Lab, a $200 gift certificate to B&H Photo and “The Art of Travel Photography” course on DVD from National Geographic and The Great Courses.

The Sifter’s friends at Nat Geo were kind enough to share twelve impressive photos already entered into this year’s contest. Stay tuned for additional coverage of this amazing annual contest.


1. End of the World



This photo, taken at the ‘end of the world’ swing in Banos, Ecuador, captures a man on the swing overlooking an erupting Mt. Tungurahua. The eruption took place on February 1st, 2014. Minutes after the photo was taken, we had to evacuate the area because of an incoming ash cloud. Location: Banos, Ecuador


2. Northern Curtain



Stunning Aurora Borealis seen just on the outskirts of Tromsø in Norway. Location: Tromsø, Norway


3. Just hanging out



As full autumn hits the valley of Hallingdal in Norway, this bear chills out in a tree which seems to barely cover its weight. Location: Flå, Hallingdal, Norway


4. Allure



Seeing the shafts of light in the canyon is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. It was a surreal feeling being surrounded by the towering cliffs. The only way I could capture this special moment of the weeping walls was after an incredibly torrential rain. I knew I had to get to a shallow portion of the river to unfold my tripod. I was drenched from head to toe by the falling water. Mist and rain covered the camera, but I fired a few shots. As I stood in awe of the scene, the sun broke through for a few seconds and cast God’s rays into the side lit waterfall. Location: Columbia River Gorge, Oregon


5. Tree-like rivers



I took this shot flying on a trike ultralight over the coast of Baja California, México, where the sea joins the desert forming rivers of tree-like figures. Location: Baja Caifornia, México


6. Highlander Face



Beautiful head dress and face paint of the Highlands of Papua New Guinea. Location: Papua New Guinea


7. Going About His Business



Overlooking the beautiful vista of San Cristóbal in the Galapagos Islands, a male carpenter bee drinks nectar from one of the native Scalesia flowers. (It was also a windy day; I was afraid he was going to bump into my camera.) Location: San Cristóbal, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador


8. First Light over the Lake



In July in Alberta, Canada overlooking beautiful Lake Moraine. First light is around 6:15AM and the sun catching the top of the mountains surrounding the lake is magnificent. Shot with a Nikon D800E on a tripod with a 14mm lens. To capture this image, you need to climb to the top of the rock pile before sunrise. Location: Lake Moraine, Alberta, Canada


9. Heliskiers



Heliskiers make fresh tracks on a powder run in the Bugaboos, B.C., Canada. Location: Heli-skiing Bugaboos, Purcell Mountains, Canada


10. The world’s largest highly acidic lake



It is the world’s largest highly acidic lake (pH<0.5) and it lies inside a larger caldera of the Ijen Volcanoes. To capture this photo, I had to start climbing a steep 3km track before sunrise. Upon arrival, I waited until the sun was just behind Mount Merapi, allowing me to expose the lake's turquoise color in shadow while the rest of the environment was well-lit. Luckily, the wind had also swept across just in time, clearing the rising smoke to expose the wondrous landscape in-front of me. Location: Kawah Ijen, Mount Merapi, East Java, Indonesia


11. Looking at ants



A boy looking at a trail of ants, dwarfed by the magnificent redwood forest. Location: Redwood national park, California, USA


12. Your Curve



These two dolphins where playing out in the deeper ocean for some time, as the set of waves came through they followed the lump of swell towards the shore racing each other for the key position, as the wave started breaking one pulled off the back as to not ‘drop in’ on the other. Location: Point Danger, Tweed Heads



visit Traveler Photo Contest 2014 for more info




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