The 24th annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest is over and the judges are about to announce the winners. When I look at these spectacular photos I start to think that maybe my photography teacher was wrong after all. During my daily assignments as a local press photographer, I need to find an interesting images to improve my own photography skills. A newly emerging paradise sits in the northwestern coast of Cebu, the Philippines’ tourist capital.
National Geographic Traveler magazine received more than 18,000 entries from around the globe for its 2014 photography contest.Now the judges have chosen the winners.
Grand Prize – The Independence Day, by Marko Korosec, Julesburg, Colorado, USA: "While on storm chasing expeditions in Tornado Alley, USA, I have encountered many photogenic supercell storms. New York Daily News 2014 National Geographic Traveler's Best of the World 2014 National Geographic Traveler's Best of the World Maybe it's time for a vacation. Young swimmers leap into turquoise waters off a pier in Fakarava.Writer Andrew McCarthy journeyed to Moorea and nearby isles to dive for a black pearl for his mother’s birthday. One of the traditionally dressed dancers at the Tiki Village Theatre on the island of Moorea pauses to pose for a photograph.Read “In Search of the Black Pearl” in the October 2010 issue of National Geographic Traveler. A diver checks the oyster line at the Havaiki Guest House and pearl farm on Fakarava, one of the atolls in the Tuamotu Archipelago in French Polynesia.Read “In Search of the Black Pearl” in the October 2010 issue of National Geographic Traveler.
Black pearls, which actually grow in a variety of shades, shimmer in the hands of Ron Hall, a shop owner on Moorea, an island in French Polynesia.Read “In Search of the Black Pearl” in the October 2010 issue of National Geographic Traveler. Sharks prowl the waters off the Fakarava atoll—home to a laid-back Polynesian community where visitors can escape the hubbub of modern life—as the tide carries a circus of reef fish through the South Pass.
Hugo Dariel, a Fakarava diver, chose an apt tattoo, which, typical for Tahitian men, covers a large area. On Fakarava, where the night skies are dark enough for stargazing, a bike and bungalow are visitor essentials. The 26th annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest is under way, and entries will be accepted for just one more week -- until June 30, 2014.
This photo, taken at the "end of the world" swing in Banos, Ecuador, captures a man on the swing overlooking an erupting Mt.
This is a Western Grey Kangaroo caught lounging in the wineries of the Adelaide Hills in South Australia.


While on storm chasing expeditions in the Tornado Alley in USA I have encountered many photogenic supercell storms.
On my trip to the small island Heligoland in the north sea, I was able to take a few pictures of these fantastic northern gannets. While on a trip off Baja, Mexico to unhook live sharks from fishermen's longlines, we were lucky enough to run into a massive school of mobula rays. I stood at the base of Niagara Falls in Ontario Canada with my camera, tripod and ND filter and 10 million gallons of water per minute. Taken during "The Mayana Soora Thiruvizha" festival takes place every March in the small village of Kaveripattinam, India, the day after Mahashivarathiri (The great night of Shiva). National Geographic will announce the winners next month and meanwhile we are sharing 25 of our favorite entries. First celebrated in 2008, the municipality of San Remigio commemorates its beautiful coastline with an annual event called the Lapyahan festival.
This photograph was taken while we were approaching the storm near Julesburg, Colorado on 28 May 2013.
The village is a Tahitian cultural center where visitors can watch demonstrations of weaving, tattooing, and other local arts, as well as seeing a dance show.Read “In Search of the Black Pearl” in the October 2010 issue of National Geographic Traveler. Divers and snorkelers equipped at local dive shops time their swims for these tidal surges, when the lagoons are at their liveliest.Read “In Search of the Black Pearl” in the October 2010 issue of National Geographic Traveler. The island has a mountainous, nearly impenetrable interior, white-sand beaches, and famous blue lagoon defined by an offshore coral reef. Hugo’s father, Joachim Dariel, is a Frenchman who opened a small-scale pearl farm here in 1990. Moorea, one of the Society Islands, is shaped like a south-pointing triangle cut by two deep bays on its northern side.Read “In Search of the Black Pearl” in the October 2010 issue of National Geographic Traveler. This past Autumn has been a spectacular time for wildlife viewing and I got lucky to spot this guy while mountain biking in the hills. This photograph was taken while we were approaching the storm near Julesburg, Colorado on May 28, 2013.
The rays were moving quite fast and it was hard enough keeping up with them from the surface, let alone dive down to take a closer look. My camera was soaking when I was done and didn't think I had achieved the effect I wanted, but later found out it was worth taking an involuntary shower compliments of mother nature to get this photo.


Children dress in colorful sea-themed costumes that highlight the town’s pearly-white coastline, which is also the longest one in the island. Their feature story for Traveler, “In Search of the Black Pearl,” appears in the October 2010 issue. Moorea is often seen in video footage depicting the ultimate South Seas paradise.Read “In Search of the Black Pearl” in the October 2010 issue of National Geographic Traveler.
He arranged for the author to dive for his own pearl.Read “In Search of the Black Pearl” in the October 2010 issue of National Geographic Traveler.
National Geographic was once again kind enough to allow me to share some more of the entries with you here, gathered from four categories: Travel Portraits, Outdoor Scenes, Sense of Place, and Spontaneous Moments. The storm was tornado warned for more than one hour, but stayed an LP storm through all its cycles and never produced a tornado, just occasional brief funnels, large hail and some rain.
The group portrait captures the well-coordinated and pompous nature of this event, as well as the sun-kissed faces of children immensely enjoying their presentation to tourists and travelers. The locals, mostly Polynesians, welcome an obvious stranger with a curious glance and a nod.”Read “In Search of the Black Pearl” in the October 2010 issue of National Geographic Traveler.
Minutes after the photo was taken, we had to evacuate the area because of an incoming ash cloud. The only way I could capture this special moment of the weeping walls was after an incredibly torrential rain.
The historic city makes the cut as National Geographic Traveler magazine rounds up its Best Trips of 2014.
This phenomenon, which lasts only a few weeks, covers the hiking trails, meadows and trees.
As I stood in awe of the scene, the sun broke through for a few seconds and cast God's rays into the side lit waterfall.



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