National Geographic Traveler announced last week the winners of the 2012 Traveler Photo Contest. The grand-prize winner is Cédric Houin of Brooklyn, N.Y. He has won a 10-day Galápagos Photography Expedition for two with National Geographic Expeditions. His winning photo, “Butterfly,” captures a Kyrgyz woman and her daughter sewing with an old-fashioned-looking machine in a remote region of Afghanistan.
“The intimacy of this everyday life moment, shot inside of a family yurt, is in total contrast with the harsh environment these nomadic tribes live in,” said Houin. “These tribes live weeks away from any village by foot. In spite of being located at an altitude of 4,300 meters in one of the most remote areas of Afghanistan, they are equipped with solar panels, satellite dishes and cell phones.”
Vo Anh Kiet of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, placed second for the image “My Balloon” and wins a spot in an intensive two-and-a-half-day photo workshop at Santa Fe Workshops. Third place went to Andrea Guarneri of Sicily, Italy, for “Devotees.” His prize is to take part in a National Geographic Traveler seminar.
“I've judged this contest for 15 years and it increasingly thrills me. We had an avalanche of entries that clearly illustrate how powerful photography has become among those who aren't professional shooters. The range of subject matter, the excellence of composition, the pure surprise factor—everyone stepped up their game to make this our most competitive contest,” said Keith Bellows, National Geographic Traveler magazine editor in chief.
The 24th annual photo contest received more than 12,000 images from 6,615 talented photographers in 152 countries around the globe. Contestants submitted photographs in four categories: Travel Portraits; Outdoor Scenes; Sense of Place; and Spontaneous Moments. Judging consisted of two rounds of evaluation based on creativity and photographic quality.
The Galápagos Photography Expedition in which Houin will participate is a unique experience to join a National Geographic photographer aboard the National Geographic Endeavour and learn photography tips and techniques. The trip is part of National Geographic Expeditions, the travel program of the National Geographic Society, which provides guided trips spanning all seven continents and more than 60 destinations.
02: Second Place: My Balloon
H'Mong minority children were playing their ballons on the foggy day in Moc Chau - Ha Giang province Viet Nam Shooting time Jan 2012.
03: Third Place: Devotees
During the Easter holy celebration called ìMisteriî (mistery) in Trapani, the devotees carry the scenes of Christís passion on their shoulders all night long. When the day comes they take a break.
04: Merit, Sense of Place: Lost in Time - An Ancient Forest
Near the city of Morondava, on the West coast of Madagascar lies an ancient forest of Baobab trees. Unique to Madagascar, the endemic species is sacred to the Malagasy people, and rightly so. Walking amongst these giants is like nothing else on this planet. Some of the trees here are over a thousand years old. It is a spiritual place, almost magical.
05: Merit, Travel Portraits: Old Men with Djellaba
The Last Supper Of Da Vinci? No, They are just some old men of Chefchaouen with djellaba, sitting and talking each other.
06: Merit, Sense of Place: Swimming in the Rain
My sister in the south of Chile. We are sitting at home next to the fireplace in our southern lake house when it suddenly began to pour uncontrolably. Had to rush into the lake to take this snapshot!
07: Merit, Outdoor Scenes: The Village of Gásadalur
The village of G·sadalur and the island of Mykines in the background.
Until a tunnel was built in 2004, the 16 residents living in G·sadalur had to take a strenuous hike or horseback over the steep 400 meter mountain in order to make it to the other villages. It was a rare sunny day in the Faroe Islands and I had to wait until the clouds rolled in to provide some softer light. I decided to go with a long exposure (1 minute 10 seconds) to illustrate the force of the wind and a serene sea among the isolated islands.
08: Merit, Outdoor Scenes: The Village of Gásadalur
This is the great Japanese maple tree in the Portland Japanese Gardens. I tried to bring a different perspective of this frequently photographed tree.
09: Merit: Sense of Place: Bagan Bliss
More than 2,000 Buddhist temples and pagados fill the plains of Bagan. Once the capital of the Pagan Empire, farmers now raise their livestock within the centuries old complex. The best way to see Bagan, apart from a ride on a hot air balloon, is by bicycle. It's easy to get off the beaten path and live out your wildest Indiana Jones fantasy.
10: Merit, Sense of Place: Underwater Surf
Taken at Cloud Break at an outer reef in Fiji, a surfer duck dives his board to clear the rolling waves of the raw ocean.
11: Viewers Choice, Outdoor Scenes: Huset
A lonely cabin is illuminated under the Northern Lights in Finnmark, Norway.
01: First Place: Butterfly
This image was shot in the Kyrgyz lands of the Wakhan Corridor. The intimacy of this everyday life moment, shot inside of a family yurt, is in total contrast with the harsh environment these nomadic tribes live in. On the right we notice a television and a sound console. These tribes live weeks away from any village by foot. In spite of being located at an altitude of 4,300 meters in one of the most remote areas of Afghanistan they are equipped with solar panels, satellite dishes and cellphones. Ancestral ways of living, with touches of modernity.