The Independence Day

The 2014 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest, received more than 18,000 entries featuring exotic locations and cultures throughout the world.   Take a look at the winners…

Above:  Grand Prize – The Independence Day, by Marko Korošec, Julesburg, Colorado, USA.  “While on storm chasing expeditions in Tornado Alley, USA, I have encountered many photogenic supercell storms. This photograph was taken while we were approaching the storm near Julesburg, Colorado on 28 May 2013. The storm was tornado-warned for more than one hour, but stayed a low precipitation (LP) storm through all its cycles, and never produced a tornado: just occasional brief funnels, large hail and some rain.   Credit Marko Korošec / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Second Place – “First Time”

First Time

Credit Agnieszka Traczewska / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest. Mea Shearim, ultra Orthodox district of Jerusalem. Newly married, Aaron and Rivkeh after the wedding ceremony are to stay together for the very first time, alone. Their marriage was arranged by families. 18 years old candidates confirmed the choice in result of the one meeting only. Since then until the wedding day they were prohibited to meet or even talk. Mea Shearim, Jerusalem, Israel


Third Place – “Diver in Magic Kingdom”

Diver in Magic Kingdom

Credit Marc Henauer / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest. Green Lake (Grner See) is located Tragss Austria. In spring snowmelt raises the lake level about 10 meters. This phenomenon, which lasts only a few weeks covering the hiking trails, meadows, trees. The result is magical to watch diving landscapes. Grner See at Tragss – Austria


Merit Winner – “End of the World”

End of the World

Credit Sean Hacker Teper / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest. 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. Banos, Ecuador


Merit Winner – “LightSource”


Credit Marcelo Castro / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest.  Young Monk finds a perfect light source to read his book inside of his pagoda – Old Bagan, Burma


Merit Winner – “A well earned rest in the Sahara”

A well earned rest in the Sahara

Credit Evan Cole / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest. This photo, of Moussa Macher, our Touareg 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 10 minutes of rolling, running and jumping to get to get back down. Summit of Tin-Merzouga, Tadrat, Tassili N’Ajjer National Park, Algeria


Merit Winner – “Divine Makeover”

Divine Makeover

Credit Mahesh Balasubramanian / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest. Taken during “The Mayana Soora Thiruvizha” festival takes place every March in the small village of Kaveripattinam, the day after Mahashivarathiri (The great night of Shiva). The festival is devoted to Angalamman, a fierce guardian deity worshipped widely in Southern India. Kaveripattinam, Tamilnadu, India


Merit Winner – “Foggy Small Town”

Foggy Small Town

Credit Duowen Chen / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest. This photo was captured at noon, 25.12.2013, 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. South Bohemian, Czech Republic


Merit Winner – “Ladies in Waiting”

Ladies in Waiting

Credit Susie Stern / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest. 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. Burough Market, London, England


Merit Winner – “Khotso Peace at Devil’s Knuckles”

Khotso Peace at Devil's Knuckles

Credit Byron Inggs / National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest. 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 afternoons glow how could i not take advantage of these magnificent creatures rejoicing in the afternoons glow. Jonathans Lodge, Qachas Nek, Sehlabathebe National Park, Lesotho


source 2014 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest