The 24th annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest is over and the judges are about to announce the winners.
Over 12,000 amazing images were submitted from all over the world in these four categories: Travel Portraits; Outdoor Scenes; Sense of Place; and Spontaneous Moments. National Geographic will announce the winners next month and meanwhile we are sharing 25 of our favorite entries.
When I look at these spectacular photos I start to think that maybe my photography teacher was wrong after all. He used to say that we should leave our DSLRs at home when traveling.
“Take point-and-shoot camera instead – it’s either a holiday or you are working,” he said.
“My husband and I, along with a tour guide and a group of friends, hiked up to what was formerly the Royal Gardens subdivision above Kalapana, Hawaii, where the last standing house was just recently taken over by the active lava flow. While waiting for the rain to pass, we started taking back-lit portraits of each other in front of the lava flow after I set up my camera on the tripod. For the last photo, my husband spontaneously dipped me in a kiss. It was a truly once-in-a-lifetime moment!” (© Dallas Nagata White)
Good Bye Old Friend
“Elephants are legendary for their memory and intelligence including attributes associated with grief, making music, altruism and compassion. We came across this elephant whose corpse was overcome by vultures and jackals. From a distance we heard and then saw another elephant approaching at a fast pace. She was successful at chasing away the predators and then very slowly and with much empathy wrapped her trunk around the deceased elephants tusk. She stayed in this position for several hours guarding her friend.” (© John Chaney)
“This photo was taken on the ice near Arctic Bay last month. As far as we know, it is the highest latitude passenger flight on a hot air balloon ever. It was quite the sight to see a hot air balloon fly between the iceberg columns — it is one iceberg but looks like two.” (© Michelle Valberg)
“The beautiful spiral staircase at the Vatican Museum.” (© Syaza Mohammed Shakharulain)
See the rest of 25 Stunning Entries for National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest 2012