• title
    First Place Winner: The Independence Day
    field_photo_location
    Julesburg, Colorado, USA
    field_title
    First Place Winner: The Independence Day
    field_keywords
    supercell, spaceship, chasing, chaser, tornado alley, colorado, storm, spring
    field_caption
    While on storm chasing expeditions in Tornado Alley in the U.S. I have encountered many photogenic supercell storms. This photograph was taken while we were approaching a storm near Julesburg, Colorado, on May 28, 2013. The storm was tornado warned for more than one hour, but it stayed an LP [low precipitation] storm through all its cycles and never produced a tornado, just occasional brief funnels, large hail, and some rain.

    National Geographic Traveler Director of Photography Dan Westergren, one of this year's judges, shares his thoughts on the first-place winner:

    "This winning photo of a supercell over the plains of eastern Colorado stopped the judges in our tracks. When we first saw the picture we guessed that the photographer probably had dedicated quite a bit of time chasing storms to capture such an amazing sight. But what makes the picture particularly strong is that except for the cloud, the rest of the scene is quite ordinary. The crazy UFO-looking shape gives the impression that it's going to suck up the landscape like a tablecloth into a vacuum cleaner. The unresolved tension in the image makes me want to look at it over and over."

    Photo and caption by Marko Korošec

    Location:

    Julesburg, Colorado, USA

    Category: Outdoor Scenes

    Download wallpaper for:

    iPhone 4
    iPad
    Desktop

  • title
    Second Place Winner: Mea Shearim, Jerusalem, Israel
    field_photo_location
    Mea Shearim. Jerusalem, Israel
    field_title
    Second Place Winner: Mea Shearim, Jerusalem, Israel
    field_keywords
    Chassids, Ultra Orthodox, Wedding, Jerusalem
    field_caption
    Mea Shearim, the ultra-Orthodox district of Jerusalem. Newly married couple Aaron and Rivkeh will be alone together for the first time after their wedding ceremony. Their marriage was arranged by their families. The 18-year-olds met once to confirm the choice; since then they have been prohibited to meet or even talk.

    National Geographic Traveler Director of Photography Dan Westergren, one of this year's judges, shares his thoughts on the second-place winner:

    "Photography is a powerful tool for showing the ways that people around the world are clearly different but in many ways the same. The Orthodox fur hat and wedding dress are clues that this picture was taken in a very distinctive place. But the smile and laughter of the bride and groom indicate that these are teenagers reacting to a new situation.

    "When I look at the image I can't help but think about the nature of love and marriage around the world. Here is a scene that in many parts of the world could be a young couple on their first date. Because of the clothes they are wearing I know that this is not a lighthearted encounter but the beginning of a lifelong commitment. Any photograph that can make me think that much deserves to be a winner."

    Photo and caption by AGNIESZKA TRACZEWSKA

    Location:

    Mea Shearim. Jerusalem, Israel

    Category: Spontaneous Moments

  • title
    Third Place Winner: Diver in Magic Kingdom
    field_photo_location
    Grüner See at Tragöss – Austria
    field_title
    Third Place Winner: Diver in Magic Kingdom
    field_keywords
    austria,green,scubadiving,see,tragoss,nature,gruner,lake,underwater
    field_caption
    Green Lake (Grüner See) is located in Tragöss Austria. In spring snowmelt raises the lake level about 10 meters. This phenomenon, which lasts only a few weeks, covers hiking trails, meadows, and trees. The result is a magical diving landscape.

    National Geographic Traveler Director of Photography Dan Westergren, one of this year's judges, shares his thoughts on the third-place winner:

    "This shot at first seems like just another diver swimming by underwater. But after viewing it for a few seconds the truth begins to sink in. That is not an aquatic plant! How is it possible for a tree to grow leaves underwater? And that looks like a trail—what creature could create a hiking trail at the bottom of a lake? When we chose this picture we didn't know the particulars of why a view like this exists, but we really wanted to reward the photographer for bringing it to our attention."

    Photo and caption by Marc Henauer

    Location:

    Grüner See at Tragöss – Austria

    Category: Outdoor Scenes

    Download wallpaper for:

    iPhone 4
    iPad
    Desktop

  • title
    Merit Prize Winner: Light Source
    field_photo_location
    Old Bagan
    field_title
    Merit Prize Winner: Light Source
    field_keywords
    Burma, Myanmar, Bagan, monk, young, Old Bagan, travel
    field_caption
    A young monk finds a perfect light source to read his book inside of his pagoda in Old Bagan, Burma.

    Photo and caption by Marcelo Castro

    Location:

    Old Bagan

    Category: Sense of Place

  • title
    Merit Prize Winner: End of the World
    field_photo_location
    Banos, Ecuador
    field_title
    Merit Prize Winner: End of the World
    field_keywords
    eruption, swing, end of the world, ecuador
    field_caption
    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.

    Photo and caption by sean hacker teper

    Location:

    Banos, Ecuador

    Category: Spontaneous Moments

    Download wallpaper for:

    iPhone 4
    iPad
    Desktop

  • title
    Merit Prize Winner: A Well Earned Rest in the Sahara
    field_photo_location
    Summit of Tin-Merzouga, Tadrat, Tassili N'Ajjer National Park, Algeria
    field_title
    Merit Prize Winner: A Well Earned Rest in the Sahara
    field_keywords
    Tin-Merzouga, Tadrat, Tassili N'Ajjer National Park, Algeria, Touareg, Sahara, Desert, Erg
    field_caption
    This photo of Moussa Macher, our Tuareg guide, was taken at the summit of Tin-Merzouga, the largest dune (or erg) in the Tadrat region of the Sahara desert in southern Algeria. Moussa rested while waiting for us to finish our 45-minute struggle to the top. It only took ten minutes of rolling, running, and jumping to get back down.

    The Tadrat is part of the Tassili N'Ajjer National Park World Heritage area, famous for its red sand and engravings and rock paintings of cattle, elephants, giraffes, and rhinos that lived there when the climate was milder.

    Photo and caption by Evan Cole

    Location:

    Summit of Tin-Merzouga, Tadrat, Tassili N'Ajjer National Park, Algeria

    Category: Sense of Place

    Download wallpaper for:

    iPhone 4
    iPad
    Desktop

  • title
    Merit Prize Winner: Divine Makeover
    field_photo_location
    Kaveripattinam, Tamilnadu, India
    field_title
    Merit Prize Winner: Divine Makeover
    field_keywords
    Kaveripattinam, Mahashivarathiri, Travel Portraits, Portrait
    field_caption
    Taken during the Mayana Soora Thiruvizha festival, which takes place every March in the small village of Kaveripattinam the day after Maha Shivarathiri (the great night of Shiva). The festival is devoted to Angalamman, a fierce guardian deity worshipped widely in Southern India.

    Photo and caption by Mahesh Balasubramanian

    Location:

    Kaveripattinam, Tamilnadu, India

    Category: Travel Portraits

  • title
    Merit Prize Winner: Ladies in Waiting
    field_photo_location
    Burough Market, London, England
    field_title
    Merit Prize Winner: Ladies in Waiting
    field_keywords
    bridesmaids, ice cream, white dresses, Cafe Little Dorrit, London, girls, four Brides, high heels
    field_caption
    While exploring Burough Market in London, I was delighted to come across four lovely young women dressed in vintage white dresses, eating ice cream as the local shopkeeper looked on. Are they brides? Or bridesmaids. I don't know, but they are obviously enjoying a very special day.

    Photo and caption by Susie Stern

    Location:

    Burough Market, London, England

    Category: Spontaneous Moments

  • title
    Merit Prize Winner: Foggy, Small Town
    field_photo_location
    Český Krumlov, South Bohemian, Czech Republic
    field_title
    Merit Prize Winner: Foggy, Small Town
    field_keywords
    foggy; historical small town;
    field_caption
    This photo was captured at noon on December 25, 2013, from the castle which is located on the edge of the small town and is the perfect viewpoint for the panorama of the almost intact historical town. The fog and mist suffused and gave the town a sense of mystery.

    Photo and caption by Duowen Chen

    Location:

    Český Krumlov, South Bohemian, Czech Republic

    Category: Outdoor Scenes

    Download wallpaper for:

    iPhone 4
    iPad
    Desktop

  • title
    Merit Prize Winner: "Khotso" Peace at Devil's Knuckles
    field_photo_location
    Jonathans Lodge, Qachas Nek, Sehlabathebe National Park, Lesotho
    field_title
    Merit Prize Winner: "Khotso" Peace at Devil's Knuckles
    field_keywords
    Horse, Lesotho, Drakensberg, Mountains, Sehlabathebe National Park.
    field_caption
    On arrival at Jonathan's Lodge our horses took to celebrating liberation from their heavy burdens. With the backdrop of "The Devil's Knuckles" and the afternoon's glow, how could I not take advantage of these magnificent creatures rejoicing? This was the end of the first of a three-day horseback ride through Bushman's Nek, up the Drakensberg escarpment and into Lesothos' Sehlabathebe National Park.

    Photo and caption by Byron Inggs

    Location:

    Jonathans Lodge, Qachas Nek, Sehlabathebe National Park, Lesotho

    Category: Travel Portraits

    Download wallpaper for:

    iPhone 4
    iPad
    Desktop

  • title
    Viewer's Choice Winner: Among the Giants
    field_photo_location
    Sequoia National Forest, CA
    field_title
    Viewer's Choice Winner: Among the Giants
    field_keywords
    Trail, Hundred Giants, Sequoia, Redwood, National Forest, California
    field_caption
    Capturing a brief moment of wonder and awe during a trip to Sequoia National Forest and the Trail of 100 Giants.

    Photo and caption by James Eimmerman

    Location:

    Sequoia National Forest, CA

    Category: Outdoor Scenes

    Download wallpaper for:

    iPhone 4
    iPad
    Desktop