The 26th annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest is under way, and entries will be accepted for just one more week – until June 30, 2014. First prize winner will receive an 8-day Alaskan expedition for two. National Geographic was once again kind enough to allow me to share some more of the entries with you here, gathered from four categories: Travel Portraits, Outdoor Scenes, Sense of Place, and Spontaneous Moments. Photos and captions by the photographers.
1. Kilauea, Big Island, Hawaii. The most extreme place we put our kayakers to paddle to date.
2. A big lizard in Kuwait.
3. 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 1, 2014. Minutes after the photo was taken, we had to evacuate the area because of an incoming ash cloud.
4. Living in a Box is living in Hong Kong.
5. This is a Western Grey Kangaroo caught lounging in the wineries of the Adelaide Hills in South Australia. This past Autumn has been a spectacular time for wildlife viewing and I got lucky to spot this guy while mountain biking in the hills. Such a funny stance it just begs the question… Have you been drinking? …and or… Are you here for the Winery Tour?
6. While on storm chasing expeditions in the Tornado Alley in USA I have encountered many photogenic supercell storms. This photograph was taken while we were approaching the storm near Julesburg, Colorado on May 28, 2013. The storm was tornado warned for more than one hour, but stayed an LP storm through all its cycles and never produced a tornado, just occasional brief funnels, large hail and some rain.
7. On my trip to the small island Heligoland in the north sea, I was able to take a few pictures of these fantastic northern gannets.
8. Fierce Karo warrior with body paint, Omo Valley, Ethiopia.
9. While on a trip off Baja, Mexico to unhook live sharks from fishermen’s longlines, we were lucky enough to run into a massive school of mobula rays. The rays were moving quite fast and it was hard enough keeping up with them from the surface, let alone dive down to take a closer look. This photo was taken freediving to a depth of about 60 ft.
10. A female leopard resting on a tree branch in Kwai, Okavango Delta, Botswana.
11. Columbia River Gorge, Oregon. 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.
12. Seal Loungeroom, taken on Isabella, Galapagos.
13. Clew Bay Pipe Band Piper playing at the Achill Island, Ireland Saint Patrick’s Day Parade.
14. I stood at the base of Niagara Falls in Ontario Canada with my camera, tripod and ND filter and 10 million gallons of water per minute. My camera was soaking when I was done and didn’t think I had achieved the effect I wanted, but later found out it was worth taking an involuntary shower compliments of mother nature to get this photo.
15. Taken during “The Mayana Soora Thiruvizha” festival takes place every March in the small village of Kaveripattinam, India, the day after Mahashivarathiri (The great night of Shiva).
16. French Polynesia, Moorea, Tiahura.
17. After hiking for twelve hours out of a nineteen hour trek, it was time to watch the sunrise at Dinosaur Ridge. When we first looked out, the mountains were completely covered by clouds, but within an hour the clouds dropped and this was what we saw. It felt like heaven, and you could hear everyone present for this moment screaming and shouting for joy! I’d never seen something so incredible, I had to meditate and have gratitude to have experienced this. Some locals said that they’d never seen the mountains like this, even in their 40+ years of hiking there.
18. I captured this shot end of the day with this amazing color reflection in the water. Yuanyang Yunnan China.
19. In the afternoon, it was so hot at the bottom of the dune that the oryx ran to the dune top for coolness. When getting to the top, it stopped and posed for me to capture a shot. Sossusvlei National Park, Sossusvlei, Namibia.
20. The giraffes at Nairobi’s Giraffe Manor are totally at home with humans. They will eat out of your hand, or even off your plate.
21. These ladies are past 80 years old and swim together everyday in the morning at Cottesloe beach in Perth, Australia.
22. Aerial view of a kayaker in the Reuss river in Switzerland.
23. Overlooking the beautiful vista of San Cristobal 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.)
24. Taiwan Folk temple activities. Head police in the World of Dead.
25. Rivers forming tree-like figures in the desert of Baja California, Mexico
26. A returning Gentoo on the shores of New Island, Falklands with a belly full of Krill for its young ones.
27. Cowboy Josh Hoy keeps a close watch on the flames in the annual prairie burn on the Flying W Ranch in the Flint Hills of Kansas.
28. While watching her mother dive for salmon in the frigid glacier water of the Crescent River this young brown bear cub couldn’t contain her excitement and stood up on her rear legs and politely made a waving direction towards me. In a matter of one hour this young cub ate several salmon that were provided by her intelligent and fearless mother. Deep in the Alaskan wilderness this brown bear family provided my favorite image of the year.