Winners of the 2013 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Winners of the 2013 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Last night, National Geographic Traveler announced the winners of their 25th annual photo contest, and as you can imagine, the images are nothing short of amazing. The prizes weren't bad either - the winning photographer received a 10-day Galápagos expedition for two - so one could assume there would be a lot of competition. The contest received over 15,500 entries. Of those, here are the top 11...

First Place: Brazil Aquathlon "I was in Manaus, Amazonas, during the Brazilian Aquathlon (swimming and running) championship. I photographed it from the water and my lens got completely wet, but there was so much energy in these boys that I just didn't worry about that." —Wagner Araujo

Second Place: Thunderstorm at False Kiva "I hiked out to these ruins at night hoping to photograph them with the Milky Way, but instead a thunderstorm rolled through, creating this dramatic image." —Max Seigal

Third Place: Say Cheese "Cheetahs jumped on the vehicle of tourists in Masai Mara national park, Kenya." —Yanai Bonneh

Merit Winner: Lady in Water "A lady collects water in the river by a village in Bagan, Myanmar." -Marcelo Salvador

Merit Winner: Portrait of an Eastern Screech Owl "Masters of disguise. The Eastern Screech Owl is seen here doing what they do best. You better have a sharp eye to spot these little birds of prey." -Graham McGeorge

Merit Winner: Children of Reindeer "Mikael Ánde, a child of Sámi reindeer herders, takes a break indoors after a long, cold day of rounding up the animals for vaccinations and slaughter. Children of reindeer herders learn to handle these animals and the land they thrive in from infancy - young Mikael here knew far more about the ways of nature than I could ever hope to learn." -Michelle Schantz

Merit Winner: Sakura "Cherry blossom is called Sakura in Japanese.Cherry blossom is Japanese symbolic flower.There are various kinds in a cherry tree and an especially old cherry tree has many kinds called Edo-Higan. The trees of the cherry tree exceeding hundreds of years are located in a line with a nebula this temple, and if spring comes every year,can looks at a powerful spectacle can do it. This photograph focused on Edo-Higan and photographed Beni-Sidare which is back together." -Hideyuki Katagiri

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Merit Winner: The Tata Honda Sect "The photographer could get inside of an enclosed sect named Tatahonda in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The ladies are preparing for their religious ceremony." -Gergely Lantai-Csont

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Merit Winner: Piano Play at Sunset "Streets of Queenstown, New Zealand at the end of one more day filled with adrenaline. Calming and doleful scene with piano sound in the background." -Nikola Smernic

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Merit Winner: Guanjiang Shou "Guanjiang Shou troupes are one of Taiwan most popular activities that may be seen all over Taiwan at traditional folk religion gatherings. With their fiercely painted faces, protruding fangs and powerful, choreographed performances, they are easily recognized, They may be described as underworld police or gods' bodyguards." -Chan Kwok Hung

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Viewers' Choice Winner: Another Perspective of the Day "The fisherman at Bira Beach." -Dody Kusuma

[National Geographic Traveler via Gizmodo]

Chris Knight's picture

Residing in New York City, Chris is an internationally published photographer whose work has appeared in Vogue, People, MSNBC, ABC, Ocean Drive, GQ and others. He is an instructor of Photography and Imaging at Pratt Institute and the New York Film Academy.

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increibles ! amazing !

superbh <3

There's something weird about that cheetah photo. Almost looks like it's painted or something

I think its the soft edges around the cheetahs that gives it that effect, but that's just due to the shutter speed not being quite fast enough for the movements of the cheetahs at the time.

Gorgeous pictures!

They are all incredibly images, but I think the best capture is definitely the Honda Sect one. Captured an amazingly humanistic moment.

I like the second place picture the best. Then cherry blossoms.