This Is the Best Way to Turn Your Knack For Capturing Amazing Moments Into International Recognition

By Jack Day

At some point we all want to be validated in life.  Whether it is a simple compliment on your hard work or an award and all expense paid trip to a foreign country that gets you going, we all need a little recognition.  Well if you have an eye for what will look good through the lens of a camera, then this is for you.

Every year National Geographic holds a contest for best Traveler Photos.  The contest has four categories: Travel portraits, outdoor scenes, sense of place, and spontaneous moments. You can check out the rules of the contest and get your entry in by June 30, 2015.  The winner gets an 8 day trip for two to Costa Rica and the Panama Canal.  Plus, it will probably give your ego a boost and open other doors of opportunity.

Check out some of the current photos that have been submitted so far and see what you are up against.

1. Lighting Up the Night

I was out in the Arches National park to take night pictures but the clouds moved in. I waited for about 2 hours in the car and finally the sky cleared and I got this image. This Selfie Image was shot at the windows section.
I was out in the Arches National park to take night pictures but the clouds moved in. I waited for about 2 hours in the car and finally the sky cleared and I got this image. This Selfie Image was shot at the windows section.

Photograph and caption by Manish Mamtani/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

2. Ocean World

Birdview of a surfer in the famous beach of Praia Mole located in Florianopolis, Brazil. This image has been made with the help of a drone.
Birdview of a surfer in the famous beach of Praia Mole located in Florianopolis, Brazil. This image has been made with the help of a drone.

Photograph and caption by Chris Schmid/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

3. Frozen In Time

Ice cave at the Vatnajokull Glacier in Iceland.
Ice cave at the Vatnajokull Glacier in Iceland.

Photo and caption by Shane Wheel/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

4. Jal Mahal During Sunrise

Beautiful view of Jalmahal during sunrise.  I wanted to capture the palace and other two water structures also in the frame. Thats why I have used an ultra wide angle lens to capture this frame. Not many tourists visit the place at dawn, so the location is bit peaceful early in the morning. And locals visit the lake in the morning and feed the pigeons and fish in pond. These pigeons keeps flying across the lake once in a while, which I used to fill my frame.
Beautiful view of Jalmahal during sunrise. I wanted to capture the palace and other two water structures also in the frame. Thats why I have used an ultra wide angle lens to capture this frame. Not many tourists visit the place at dawn, so the location is bit peaceful early in the morning. And locals visit the lake in the morning and feed the pigeons and fish in pond. These pigeons keeps flying across the lake once in a while, which I used to fill my frame.

Photo and caption by Ravikanth Kurma/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

5. Colors Of Earth

People in Dharavi slum in Mumbai work hard, producing mostly recycled articles and pottery. The posture of these two women at the local pottery store, taking a short break for conversation, express dignity, while the colours of their saris perfectly blend with the scenery.
People in Dharavi slum in Mumbai work hard, producing mostly recycled articles and pottery. The posture of these two women at the local pottery store, taking a short break for conversation, express dignity, while the colours of their saris perfectly blend with the scenery.

Photo and caption by Maja Bednas/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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6. Camping On The Diving Board

As technology shrinks the world around us, it becomes more and more difficult to find ourselves truly lost in the outdoors. This makes those particular moments and scenes that much more special. Getting to the Diving Board was quite a challenge, as there is no official trail. For anybody who is prepared, careful, and respectful of nature, the reward is one of the most breathtaking views in all of Yosemite, in my opinion.
As technology shrinks the world around us, it becomes more and more difficult to find ourselves truly lost in the outdoors. This makes those particular moments and scenes that much more special. Getting to the Diving Board was quite a challenge, as there is no official trail. For anybody who is prepared, careful, and respectful of nature, the reward is one of the most breathtaking views in all of Yosemite, in my opinion.

Photo and caption by Matthew Saville/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

7. When Conditions Are Right

Giant waves converge and jump together along the napali coast of Kauai. An early season northwest swell and the position of the autumn sun made this shot possible, but what really makes it special to me is the bird flying in the corner of the frame. This little moment of life adds balance to the image and reminds me that the mundane often make the spectacular.
Giant waves converge and jump together along the napali coast of Kauai. An early season northwest swell and the position of the autumn sun made this shot possible, but what really makes it special to me is the bird flying in the corner of the frame. This little moment of life adds balance to the image and reminds me that the mundane often make the spectacular.

Photo and caption by Lee Scott/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

8. Tribal Makeup Artist

Taken at a Karo Village in the Omo Valley of Ethiopia.  The Karo are famous for their body-paint culture and skill.  Away from the crowded village square, I found this "make up artist" focused on applying make-up on a young woman.  Using a q-tip as a brush he used a Georges Seurat like Pointillism technique !  The calm focused look of the artist is contrasted by the nervous, perspiring client - perhaps unsure about the results (or my camera :-)
Taken at a Karo Village in the Omo Valley of Ethiopia. The Karo are famous for their body-paint culture and skill. Away from the crowded village square, I found this “make up artist” focused on applying make-up on a young woman. Using a q-tip as a brush he used a Georges Seurat like Pointillism technique ! The calm focused look of the artist is contrasted by the nervous, perspiring client – perhaps unsure about the results (or my camera 🙂

Photo and caption by S. Ram/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

9. Last Light on Godafoss, Iceland

I had a tripod set up on Godafoss waterfall in Iceland last month. I used a 10 stop ND filter to capture the movement of the water as the sun set in the distance.
I had a tripod set up on Godafoss waterfall in Iceland last month. I used a 10 stop ND filter to capture the movement of the water as the sun set in the distance.

Photo and caption by Ed Graham/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

10. White Rhinos

The night before this photo, we tried all day to get a good photo of the endangered white rhino. Skulking through the grass carefully trying to stay 30 feet away to be safe, didn't provide me the photo I was hoping for. In the morning however, I woke up to all three rhinos grazing infront of me.
The night before this photo, we tried all day to get a good photo of the endangered white rhino. Skulking through the grass carefully trying to stay 30 feet away to be safe, didn’t provide me the photo I was hoping for. In the morning however, I woke up to all three rhinos grazing infront of me.

Photo and caption by Stefane Berube/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Alright, so now that you have your work cut out for you, what are some ideas you might have to take these other photos out? Please tell us your ideas and comments and share this awesome story!

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