Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Get inspired: National Geographic Traveler awards

“all our dreams can come true…if we have the courage to pursue them” (Walt Disney)

Dear horse lovers, always believe in yourself and never give up because your dreams can come true! This is what happened to eleven photographers selected among more then 18,000 images from around the globe for the annual’s awards of the National Geographic Traveler photo contest. They are breathtaking and will leave you awe inspired. So how could I resist without sharing with all of you these magnificent shots?

Merit Prize Winner: “Khotso Peace at Devil's Knuckles”, Sehlabathebe National Park, Lesotho, by Byron Inggs

The photographer was awarded with the merit prize for his shot of a horse at the Devil's Knuckles hills after a horseback ride into the Sehlabathebe National Park, a beautiful corner of Lesotho’s South-Eastern African highlands. He said: “On arrival at Jonathan's Lodge our horses took to celebrating liberation from their heavy burdens. With the backdrop of the Devil's Knuckles and the afternoon's glow, how could I not take advantage of these magnificent creatures rejoicing?”

First-placed Winner: “The Independence day”, Julesburg, Colorado, USA, by Marko Korosec

A dramatic spaceship-like cloud formation reminded Korosec of the 1996 film. He said "While on storm chasing expeditions in Tornado Alley in the U.S. I have encountered many photogenic supercell storms. This photograph was taken while we were approaching a storm near Julesburg, Colorado, on May 28, 2013. The storm was tornado warned for more than one hour, but it stayed an LP (low precipitation) storm through all its cycles and never produced a tornado, just occasional brief funnels, large hail, and some rain”.

Third-placed winner: “Diver in Magic Kingdom”, Tragoss, Austria, by Marc Henauer.

“Grüner See, literally Green Lake, is a lake in Styria, Austria, near the town of Tragoss, located at the foot of the snow-capped Hochschwab mountains. In spring, snowmelt raises the lake level about 10m (33ft). This phenomenon, which lasts only a few weeks, covers hiking trails, meadows, and trees. The result is a magical diving landscape”, says Henauer.

Merit Prize Winner: “End of the World Swing”, Banos, Ecuador.

Sean Hacker Teper was also a merit-prize winner. He says: "This photo, taken at the End-of-the-World in Banos, Ecuador, and captures a man on the swing overlooking an erupting Mount Tungurahua. The eruption took place 1 February 2014. Minutes after the photo was taken, we had to evacuate the area because of an incoming ash cloud."

Merit Prize Winner: “A well earned rest in Sahara”.

"This photo of Moussa Macher, our Tuareg guide, was taken at the summit of Tin-Merzouga, the largest dune in the Tadrat region of the Sahara desert in southern Algeria," says the merit-prize winner Evan Cole. "Moussa rested while waiting for us to finish our 45-minute struggle to the top. It only took 10 minutes of rolling, running, and jumping to get back down."

Merit Prize Winner: “Foggy, Small Town”, Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic, by Duowen Chen.

The photographer said: “this photo was made at 12:00, 25 December 2013, from the castle located on the edge of the small town of Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic”This photo was captured at noon on December 25, 2013, from the castle located on the edge of a small town. The fog and mist suffused gave the town a sense of mystery”.

Viewer's Choice: “Among the Giants”, Sequoia National Forest, California, by James Eimmerman.

“Capturing a brief moment of wonder and awe during a trip to Sequoia National Forest and the Trail of 100 Giants”.

Not awarded: “Are you here for the Winery Tour?”, Adelaide, Australia, by Greg Snell

The photographer said: “this is a Western Grey Kangaroo caught lounging in the wineries of the Adelaide Hills in South Australia. 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. Such a funny stance it just begs the question... Have you been drinking? ...and or... Are you here for the Winery Tour?” 

I hope you enjoyed these images. I think they are a wonderful way of sharing unique meaningful experiences. They offers a refreshing antidote to the craze of our age: the selfie :-)


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