Whilst on a road trip in Iceland, we stumbled across a sea of old lava flows that has, over the centuries, been blanketed in thick, green layer of moss, © Dylan Shaw / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
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)
Spring season in japan, People love to walk in this blue carpet flowers (Nemophila blue flowers) at Hitachi seaside park Ibaraki, © Danilo Dungo / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
During a snow storm I decided to head over to Bryce Canyon NP and enjoy the freshly fallen snow. Visibility was down to almost zero, but then I found this single tree right next to a snow drift and knew this would be my shot, © Photo and caption by Yvonne Baur /National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
This picture was taken during Mt. Bromo eruption, the horse seems a little agitated due to the sound of the eruption, © Reynold Dewantara / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
Stunning peaks & thousands of King Penguins on South Georgia in soft early sunrise. The photography challenge was to resist shooting only Penguin close-ups (very tempting for sure) & step back occasionally to be equally amazed by the landscape in which they live. Special Bonus: It was 100 years to the month that Shackeltonís boat (Endurance) finally went under the Antarctic pack ice (Nov 1915), precipitating his epic traverse of South Georgia, before finding help at nearby Stromness (1916), © Photo and caption by Shivesh R. / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
This image was captured very early in the morning after climbing Yellow Mountain at 3 am and waiting for few hours in the cold and wind at -4 degrees. No HDR and no Photoshop was used for the effect of this image, everything is 100% natural. The magic of the nature did its work and I have been lucky, © Thierry Bornier / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
An hours walk on a cold Winter’s morning was needed to get to this location. Looking back over the Trotternish Ridge from the Quirrang on the Isle of Skye is one of my favourite locations, © Photo and caption by Andy Dines / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
Performances of Chinese opera are usually held in a mat-shed at the Pak Tai Temple in Taipa village.
In this small temporary make-up room built solely with bamboo and iconic red-blue-white plastic bags, over 10 performers are preparing for the show, © Photo and caption by Antonio Leong / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
Devotees carrying the palki, sedan chair, of Shiva. The Shiva’s Temple, known as Khandoba locally, is a very famous temple situated in the town of Jejuri, in Maharashtra, India. Every year on the day of Somvati Amavasya – a no moon day – thousands of devotees arrives at the temple. The festival’s main ritual is offering of turmeric powder by the devotees. Such large quantities of turmeric powder are used that all the devotees and the temple ground are covered in yellow colour of the turmeric, © Photo and caption by Aashit Desai / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
This amazing stacked architecture of Hong Kong shows the housing of its rather dense population. It’s visually striking to understand that your whole horizon is built from people’s lit windows. It shocks you that each life so big and important to the person himself and his close circle looks just like a tiny star in a huge sky next to millions of the same stars, © Photo and caption by Julia Wimmerlin / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
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.
Gyeongju, South Korea
Gyeongju, South Korea
Gyeongju, South Korea
All photographs courtesy Jorge Saenzs / Caters News
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)
All photos © Ryan Deboodt Photography
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 river 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)
Grand Prize and Nature Winner. Photo and caption James Smart / National Geographic 2015 Photo Contest. “DIRT” Jaw-dropping, rare anti-cyclonic tornado tracks in open farm land narrowly missing a home near Simla, Colorado.
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.
Places Winner. Photo and caption by Francisco Mingorance / National Geographic 2015 Photo Contest. “Asteroid” On the occasion of the preparation of a report on Ríotinto from the air, I decided to include phosphogypsum ponds located in the marshes of red and whose radioactive discharges has destroyed part of the marsh. As an environmental photojournalist had to tell this story and report it but had to do with an image that by itself attract attention of the viewer. I discovered this on a low-flying training that caught my attention for its resemblance to the impact of an asteroid on its green waters. Location: Cardeñas, Andalusia, Spain.
People Winner. Photo and caption by Joel Nsadha / National Geographic 2015 Photo Contest. “At The Play Ground” Bwengye lives in a slum called Kamwokya in Kampala, Uganda’s capital city. He cherishes his bicycle more than anything else. He brings it to this playground in the slum every evening where he watches kids playing soccer. Location: Kampala, Central Region, Uganda.
Honorable mention. Photo and caption by Hideki Mizuta / National Geographic 2015 Photo Contest. “Hill of Crosses” There are many hundreds of thousands of crosses, the Hill of Crosses has represented the peaceful resistance of Lithuanian Catholicism to oppression. Standing upon a small hill is the place where many spirits of the dead lives. When I visited this place, a girl in the pink dress ran through as if she brought the peace, hope, love. Location: Šiauliai, Siauliu Apskritis, Lithuania.
Honorable mention. Photo and caption by Yanan Li / National Geographic 2015 Photo Contest. “Overlooking Iraq from Iran” There are relics left along the Iran-Iraq borders. A group of Iranian female students play around an abandoned tank. Among them, one girl stands on the tank with her arms open. Location: Shalamcheh, Khuzestan, Iran.
Honorable mention. Photo and caption by Mohammed Yousef / National Geographic 2015 Photo Contest. “Changing Shifts” In Masai Mara, the cubs of the famous cheetah called Malaika became young enough to start hunting. They moved from one hill to another scanning the lands. Here, they seemed to change shifts as one cheetah leaves the hill while the other takes her place. Location: Masai Mara, Rift Valley, Kenya.
Honorable mention. Photo and caption by Bence Mate / National Geographic 2015 Photo Contest. “Colorful chaos” White-fronted Bee-eaters getting together on a bough before going to sleep to their burrows, scraped into a sand wall. I was working on this theme for 18 days, as there were only 5-10 minutes a day, when the light conditions were appropriate, 90% of my trying did not succeed. I used flashlights to light only the ones sitting on the branch, and not to the others, flying above. When in the right angle, the backlight generated rainbow colouring through the wings of the flying birds. Location: Mkuze, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Honorable mention. Photo and caption by Lars Hübner / National Geographic 2015 Photo Contest. “Nothing to Declare” In the countryside, the funerals are usually accompanied by local chapels. When a family member dies, their body is kept in the house, or in a tent built specifically for this purpose. After a set period of time, the deceased, accompanied by a funeral procession is buried. Location: Douliu, Taiwan, Taiwan.
Honorable mention. Photo and caption by Tugo Cheng / National Geographic 2015 Photo Contest. “Surrealist painting in nature” As the largest mountain ranges in Central Asia, Tian-shan (‘sky-mountain’ in Chinese), has one of the best collections of natural landscapes in the world and is seen by many as a paradise for outdoor adventures. Thanks to the richness of sediments compounded with the power of erosion by rivers flowing down the mountains, the north face of Tian-shan is carved into stunning plateaus and colorful canyons hundreds of meters deep, resulting in this surrealist painting in nature.
Honorable mention. Photo and caption by Alessandra Meniconzi / National Geographic 2015 Photo Contest. “Acrobat of the Air” A flocks of Alpine choughs (Pyrrhocorax graculus), mountain-dwelling birds, performs acrobatic displays in the air. I was able, during a windy day, to immortalize their impressive flight skills.
Long gone are the days when our first instinct is to migrate to a spinning globe to track the destinations around us or find a specific country. Now we have the power to digitally zoom in and out of the entire earth, utilizing mapping tools like Google Earth. The romanticism tied to these newer forms however, does not match the art of the ancient globe, the earliest dating back to the mid-2nd century B.C. Nowadays globes are either modern and massively produced, or antiquated models unsuited for casual browsing.
Frustrated by this lack of quality options when trying to find a globe as a present, Peter Bellerby started Bellerby & Co. Globemakers in order to produce globes that exist somewhere in-between the two options. “I did this as a direct result of looking, searching for a globe for my father for his 80th birthday, and I couldn’t find anything,” said Bellerby. “Initially my plan was to make one for him and maybe one for me if I had the budget.”
After spending tens of thousands of dollars more than he had originally predicted on the process, he decided to use what he’d learned to set up a company in 2008, eventually moving into their current location in Stoke Newington, London. The company employs a small team of makers that fastidiously work in an open environment with large windows, nestled between test sheets of watercolor paints and hanging strips of paper twirling from clothes pins. To master the process of applying paper to the sphere globes (called “goring”) can take up to a year or more.
“It’s been something that’s been an incredible challenge. The whole design process, the whole way of making anything using a sphere at its base, at its centerpiece is fraught with different problems and issues because you are multiplying every error by pi,” said Bellerby.
Bellerby & Co. Globemakers’ globes have been featured in Hollywood movies and BBC productions as well as used in installations by established artists. The company has also had support from the Royal Geographic Society and was able to host their first ever globe exhibition in 2012. To see more images of the daily life at the Bellerby & Co. studio, visit the company’s Instagram or their blog. (via My Modern Met)