National Geographic Traveler Magazine has announced the winners of its 2013 photo contest, featuring breathtaking images that celebrate the earth’s incredible diversity.
This year, more than 15,500 professional and amateur photographers from around the globe entered their works in the prestigious competition.
Photographer Wagner Araujo won the winner of the 2013 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest, now in its 25th year, and was awarded a 10-day Galápagos Expedition with National Geographic Expeditions for himself and a guest.
The winning entry featured the Brazilian Aquathlon championship in Manaus, Brazil, in which the participants had to swim and run in the Rio Negro, or Black River, so named due to the dark color of its waters.
‘I photographed it from the water and my lens got completely wet, but there was so energy in this boys that I just didn’t worry about that,’ Araujo wrote in his submission.
Besides the exciting trip, Araujo’s prized photo will be published in the Dec. 2013/Jan. 2014 issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine, and he will also receive a one-year subscription to the publication.
The range of entries is inspiring and shows just how diverse the world is, from an owl hiding in a tree to traditional Taiwanese performers painting their faces in preparation for a show.
‘Every year the task of judging the contest gets tougher,’ Keith Bellows, National Geographic Traveler magazine’s editor in chief, said in a press release. ‘The quality of photos increasingly gets better — and the range of imagery more diverse. It’s exciting to see the emergence of such huge numbers of imaginative photographers.’
The second prize – a seven-day National Geographic Photography Workshop in Santa Fe – was awarded this year to Max Seigal, who hiked out to Canyonlands National Park, Utah, at night hoping to photograph ruins with the milky way in the backdrop, but instead captured a dramatic thunderstorm.
Yahai Bonneh became the lucky recipient of the third prize – a six-day cruise for two from Schooner American Eagle and Heritage – for his photo of cheetahs jumping on a jeep in Masai Mara National Park, Kenya.
The contest features images divided into four categories: Travel Portraits, Outdoor Scenes, Sense of Place and Spontaneous Moments. Judges review the submissions over two rounds, choosing the top three images along with seven merit choices. Another photo is selected by readers.