The National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest is currently taking submissions, with entries for the prestigious competition accepted until May 27, 2016. Here we were able to share some of the spectacular early submissions, images that range from lonely snow covered hills to jam-packed metropolises without room for green space. The grand prize winner of the contest will receive a seven-day Polar Bear Safari for two in Churchill, Canada. (via The Atlantic and This Isn’t Happiness)
We’ve long be fans of illustrator Thomas Lamadieu's quirky depictions of people inhabiting the strange spaces between buildings in his original photographs of the sky. His latest pieces are set against backdrops above South Korea, Italy, Germany, Austria and Spain, some of which also incorporate trees as hairstyles from various landscapes. In a peculiar move Lamadieu utilizes one of the most basic drawing platforms possible to create his artworks: Microsoft Paint. You can see more of his ongoing ‘SkyArt’ series on his website.
Over the last few years we’ve seen several series where people use toys, pets, and unwitting significant others as props to liven up their travel photos. Photographer Jorge Saenz decided to pounce on the idea with his “#dinodinaseries” that incorporates a small herd of plastic dinosaur toys turned tourists who join him on his adventures. It all began when Saenz purchased a green brachiosaurus toy at a flea market in La Paz, Bolivia and shared a few shots of it exploring the local surroundings. The miniature reptiles have since accompanied him to other South American countries like Paraguay and Peru where they’ve braved rapids, climbed mountains, and explored Incan ruins. You can see many more on Saenz’s Instagram. (via Lost at E Minor)
Beijing-based photographer Ryan Deboodt (previously) recently returned from a trip to Laos where he spent two days exploring Tham Khoun Xe, one of the largest active rivers caves in the world. Stretching nearly 4.5 miles (7km) underground, the cave system is extraordinarily remote and Deboodt was permitted to photograph and film beyond where tourists are normally allowed to visit. The immensity of the subterranean space is staggering, with an average ceiling of almost 200 feet (60m) and width of 250 feet (76m) it’s hardly imaginable a space like this could exist underground.
Deboodt brought an arsenal of camera and video equipment as well as a drone to capture the expansive interiors of Tham Khoun Xe, much of which he edited into a short video included below. You can follow more of his cave photography from around the world on Facebook or Instagram, and read an interview about the endeavor on Smithsonian.
North Carolina-based goldsmith Ola Shekhtman designs these fun skyline rings that wrap entire cityscapes around your finger. So far she’s managed to encapsulate the architectural highlights of over a dozen cities including Paris, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Berlin, Hong Kong and many more. All are available in various materials from bronze and silver to gold or platinum. See more in her shop. (via My Modern Met)
The winners and honorable mentions of the 2015 National Geographic Photography Competition have just been announced, and as usual it’s an astonishing collection of brilliant images captured around the world from the streets of Iran to the skies above Spain. The grand prize winner is “DIRT” by Australian photographer James Smart who photographed a dusty tornado as it just barely misses a house in Colorado. We’ve gathered our favorites here, but to see a few more honorable mentions and explore tens of thousands of submissions, head over to National Geographic.