30 Breathtaking Photos From The 2019 National Geographic Travel Photo Contest Finalists

Each year National Geographic opens its creative entrances to highlight talented photographers throughout the world through the National Geographic Travel Photo Contest and similar competitions. The travel photo game challenges challengers to “help us explore and experience countries around the world through your travels” – and this year’s images rose to the occasion. The entryway date for this years contest shut noon ET on May 3 and every submission selected presents breathtaking snapshots of the awe-inspiring world we live in.

Broken down into three categories nature, metropolis, and people – these images “tell the story of a place, show us the natural environment, or share imaginations of people from around the globe.” Scroll down to see the National Geographic editors’ favorites thus far and suffer the world seen through these unique lenses. You can check their site May 13 -1 7 is in favour of the People’s Choice winning photos. Final wins will be announced in June.

The grand prize winner will receive $ 7,500. Their winning image will be featured on the @natgeotravel Instagram account. Individual category prizes include: First place wins will receive $2,500, second place winners will receive $1,500, third place wins are able to obtain $750.

# 1 Tip Of The Iceberg, David Edgar, Nature

I took this photo of an adolescent humpback whale in the South Pacific, several miles off the coast of Tongatapu, Tonga. I captured this as a split-shot with half my dome port submerged, and the other above the surface. This playful whale came right up to me and appeared immediately into my eyes as the tip of his pulpit glistened in the afternoon sunlight. Looking closely, you can see Loni, our expert skipper, lining up a surface shot of this incredible encounter from the roof of our dive boat.

# 2 Glitz And Grit, Goncalo Lobo Pinheiro, Cities

Rundown neighborhoods differ with the glitzy Grand Lisboa hotel on Macau’s skyline

# 3 Motherhood, Sonalini Khetrapal, Nature

We were lucky to find new carry lion rookies in the plains of Masai Mara, Kenya. The mom is extremely protective of the rookie and was often seen hiding them behind the bush and away from predators. In this instance, as the rookie unknowingly sauntered very close to the side of a cliff, the mother lioness speedily tried to grab it from its chief to protect it from falling over. It looks dangerous, but it is an endearing way for the lioness to pick up the rookie and home it back to safety.

# 4 Leviathan, Eric Seidner, People

Xiapu is a giant mudflat in Fujian, China. Most famous for a battalion of bamboo spars stretching to the horizon and thrust into the mud to hang and dry seaweed, the field has saved traditional ways of coastal living. After having visited an ancient wood we got lost on the country roads back towards the highway. I happened to look out the passenger window and determine these giant cyberspaces floating in the breath like tentacles clawing at the boatman. I parked, slid down a muddied bank and took picture.

# 5 Hi-Five Polar Bear Cubs, Michelle Theall, nature

I rode an icebreaker along the Beaufort Sea in Kaktovik, Alaska to capture these two cubs are participating in the snow. I was fortunate to grab this high-five moment, among so many other favourites. It’s difficult to photograph the carries in snow at eye level on the frost and this close, because once the ocean freezes, the season is over for small skiffs. If you go to early, you merely capture polar endures on dirt.

# 6 Valley Of Dreams, Gokul Kanagarajah, Nature

Sunset at alpine meadows in Dolomites, Italy. I had to cycle 5kms uphill from the inn to catch the sundown, as I got to know at the last moment that guests were not allowed to drive in this conservation area, but it was worth it.

# 7 Let The Fire Fall, Daniel Yee, Nature

The famous “Firefall” of Yosemite National Park is a natural phenomenon that occurs when the Horsetail Falls waterfall glows orange due to the angle of sunlight hitting the ocean, and will merely occur when certain time and weather conditions are met. Some firefalls may glow a pale yellow, while others may glow like burning flaming. I was lucky to witness the latter be included with strong winds, creating a spectacular vision to see. I proceeded the extra mile up a snowy mountain to get the eye grade shot.

# 8 Close Up Of The Dalmatian Pelican, Damilice Mansur, Nature

On my recent trip to Lake Kerkini, Greece, I get up close and personal with the globally threatened Dalmatian Pelicans. Being the most important point of the Pelicans in the nations of the world, these chicks are amazing to photograph, especially during winter when their breed reddish/ orange colours brighten up the shot

# 9 Pachyderm Afire, Greg Davison, Nature

The mama elephant did not like our jeep get closer together, so she kicked up some bushveld grime at sunset.

#10 Milky Way From Chureito Pagoda, Yukihito Ono, Cities

I was able to see the Milky Way when the cherry-red buds at Chureito Pagoda were in full bloom, and I was able to shoot a rare landscape.

#11 The Odd One, Tihomir Trichkov, Nature

Some places like El Rosario National Reserve in Mexico, attain you feel humble, grateful you are alive and can see natures glamour. Like a time machine, the child in you has been awaken. I took a few cases photos, but then decided that the best word-paintings cannot be taken, you just maintain them in your heart. I put down the camera, sat on my rear end, and looked up quietly. The monarchs gather in Michoacan to spend the coldnes months, between November and March. Some of them make it all the way from Canada

#12 Caught In The Act, Michelle Theall, Nature

On safari in the Mara, these Maasai mortals were going to perform a morning dance for us, but before they did, I saw this man taking a selfie with his smartphone. It seems engineering infests every space of our world.

#13 Petra By Candlelight, Enrico Pescantini, Cities

Petra is a 2,000 -year-old city, engraved in the rock-and-rolls of Jordan–once a gateway on the Silk Road and now one of the 7 wonders of the world. The best experience is to walk the canyon that leads to the pink city in the night–just like ancient traders and merchants. From the dark, the Treasury is envisioned ignite by hundreds of candles. This is as close as you can get to time travel and a truly an unforgettable lifetime experience.

#14 The Importance Of Marine Reserves, Rachel Stewart, Nature

My best friend was surrounded by a school of blue mao mao fish as she took photos from above and I took photos from outside the sea cave. We were lucky enough to visit this marine stockpile off the east coast of New Zealand in April 2019. With several caves, passageways and an abundance of marine life, the Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve is a haven for many underwater species. It’s likewise a popular spot for divers. A reminder that more protection of our ocean is needed.

#15 Lava Under Plumes Of Smoke, Michael Perea, Nature

Looking down at the Kilauea eruption from Fissure 8, as it enters the atlantic provinces, and the plume of smoke opens the door to, exposing the newly created island underneath.

#16 Exhausted, Taylor Albright, Nature

The periods are much shorter in wintertime and the differences between elevations within Yellowstone National Park initiates even earlier sundowns. With the night closing in and temperatures dropping, a herd of bison stirred their behavior up and over a frozen mound in search of their next snack. As I watched the group fade out of sight the last bison in line paused, turn around in my directions, took a breather and breath creating a thick cloud of steam before continuing over the hill and out of sight with the others.

#17 The Dream, Naveen Srikantachari, Nature

It was a quiet morning at Nagarahole Tiger Reserve–the sun was opening up and the fog from the nighttime was clearing. As we made a drive through the lumbers, we saw this beautiful leopardess roosting on her favorite tree. Ever since I started wildlife photography, I wanted to photograph a leopard on the tree. It took over three years to find the photo. I love everything about this picture–a prowling leopardess, a beautiful tree with the lily-white flowers, soft sunlight–it was just a perfect specifying, lik

#18 Taj Mahal, Rainer Waelder, Cities

How to photograph one of the perhaps most iconic and most photographed sites in India and still do it justice? I travelled early in the morning and dove into the reed at the riverbank on the other side of the Yamuna River, sought for one spot where I could get simply a peek of the Taj Mahal , not quite revealing all of its majesty, but rendering it a mysterious and unknown mood to show its stunning charm. Of track, a giant python had to check on what I was doing in her hood.

#19 Great Migration Of Wildebeest, Penny Hegyi, Nature

Migrating wildebeest leap into the river, furiously trying to reach the banks on the other side. Many survive the expedition, but some are eaten by crocodiles.

#20 We Ride Together, We Fly Together, Tihomir Trichkov, People

Participants in the annual Golden Eagle Festival, show off their skills. The celebration is held in Bayan-Olgii aimag, West Mongolia. The eagle hunters are celebrating their Kazakh heritage and compete to catch small-time animals such as rabbits and foxes. Eagle hunting has been practiced in Central Asia for thousands of years, although nowadays it is preserved only in the Kazakh culture where the traditions are still alive and well kept.

#21 Winter Branch, Anna Onishi, Nature

Winter mountain. The leaves fucking dead and snow had fallen. Limbs and snow contrast. It was very impressive and art.

#22 Ascend, James Vodicka, Nature

A sea turtle ascends to the surface for a breath, near Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef.

#23 Sherbert Density – The Block Tower, Toby Harriman, Cities

Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, with an overall density of an estimated 6,300 people per square kilometer. I can’t say I’d live here, but I enjoy the colorings put into Japanese basic designs.

#24 Sunrise Behind The Taj Mahal, John O ., Cities

The sun rises behind the Taj Mahal in this photo taken from the north side of the Yamuna River. Built in Agra as a homage of his love for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj took virtually 20 times to build. The fields of this building are fittingly peaceful and relaxing, juxtaposed against the gyp and commotion of Indian life.

#25 Frozen Land ?, Alessandra Meniconzi, People

This winter, the stunning Khuvsgul Lake in Mongolia–called by neighbourhoods, the “dark blue pearl”–has signs of climate change. The frozen surface melts faster than usual and the frost was not very thick-skulled. The audios were scary: thundering, cracking, shaking, but locals keep moving across the ice as their means of transportation.

#26 Sogi-No-Taki Waterfall,( Truphotos) Weizhong Deng, Nature

On this day, temperatures dipped below freezing point. I was initially disappointed to see the entire spot are covered under a thick-skulled fog upon arriving before dawn. Having taken landscapes primarily with an ultra-wide angle lens, I opted for 85 mm on this occasion to frame the shooting. When the sunlight rose( out of frame on the right ), it lit up the autumns beautifully and cleared away some of the fog. Taken with a circular polarizer and camera on tripod.

#27 La Fleche De Notre Dame, Florent Serfati, Cities

The Arrow of Notre Dame: The flame Arrow had just fallen onto the structure below, creating an explosion.

#28 What Will Happen Next ?, Rita Kluge, Nature

On my last day in Antarctica, I was posting my last-place video update, I did you hear what I was waiting for and documented what was to come. A leopard seal was feeding on a penguin … I was in a 7mm free-diving suit to be more flexible to change positions promptly. A normal encounter “wouldve been” 20 minutes or so and I wouldn’t be too cold subsequentlies, but this day was different, as we swam with three different leopard seals–brrrr. I felt safe being so close to the action with my team. Simply amazing.

#29 Gathering Of Kukeri, Kristyn Taylor, Nature

As the sun gave, a group of Bulgarian Kukeri assembled on the hill above their village. This ancient pagan festival is still very active in the villages of Bulgaria, with all members of the community getting involved.

#30 Dramatic Literature, Thomas Martin Mcshane, Cities

An vacated theatre detects brand-new life as a bustling bookstore: This an inspirational lesson of urban development done right. Nestled deep in Buenos Aires’ inner city, the bookstore is now a popular place to loosen, enjoy a coffee, flick through the pages of journals old-time and new–and is without question–one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world.

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