Are you really fond of travel? Then these next 12 images will surely make you lose your mind.
National Geographic just announced the winners of its 2016 Travel Photographer of the Year Contest.
The winning frame --an Inner Mongolian horseman whipping his team of horses in the early morning mist called Winter Horseman -- selected from thousands of entries, has won the photographer Anthony Lau a well-deserved seven-day Polar Bear Safari for two at Churchill Wild-Seal River Heritage Lodge with airfare.
So without further ado, here are the winners of this year’s National Geographic Travel Photographer Of The Year.
Please click on the photos to view hi-resolution images.
Grand Prize winner: Winter Horseman
“The Winter in Inner Mongolia is very unforgiving. At a freezing temperature of minus twenty and lower with constant breeze of snow from all direction, it was pretty hard to convince myself to get out of the car and take photos. Not until I saw Inner Mongolia horsemen showing off their skills in commanding the steed from a distance, I quickly grab my telephoto lens and capture the moment when one of the horseman charged out from morning mist.” Photograph: Anthony Lau/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
First place, Nature: Wherever you go, I will follow you
Romance is in the air. It was the time of day immediately following sunset. I heard a voice. “Wherever you go, I will follow you” the voice says. Photograph: Hiroki Inoue/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
First place, Cities: Ben Youssef
Even though there were a lot of people in Ben Youssef, still here was more quiet and relaxing compared to the street outside in Marrakesh. I was waiting for the perfect timing to photograph for long time. Photograph: Takashi Nakagawa/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
Second place, Nature: Double trapping
Picture taken in the Brazilian Pantanal... when I downloaded the CF did not want to believe it... The nature knows we always give magnificent events but sometimes extraordinary. Photograph: Massimiliano Bencivenni/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
Second place, People: Rooftop dreams
I arrived at my guest house in Varanasi at 5:30 am. I instinctively climbed the seven sets of stairs to the rooftop (which happened to be the highest in the vicinity) to see the sunrise over the famous Ganges river. As the sun was rising I looked over the right hand side of the balcony and my jaw dropped with disbelief. Below were families -- mothers, fathers, children, brothers, sister and dogs all sleeping on the top of their houses. It was mid-summer in Varanasi and sleeping sans AC was difficult. Photograph: Yasmin Mund/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
Second place, Cities: Silenced
This photo was taken on my last trip to GuangZhou, China. This place is a school dormitories of South China Normal University. When I was hanging around, most of them were taking a break. After the lunch time, they need to go back to study. The dormitories were smelly and messy. Photograph: Wing Ka H/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
Third place, Nature: Lagunas Baltinache (Atacama Desert)
The Baltinache Ponds, also called Hidden Ponds are a set of seven salt ponds located in the area of the Salt Cordillera, near San Pedro de Atacama, in the second region of northern Chile, in the Atacama desert. After much research, I believe to be the first photographer to publish night photos of this place, but it is still necessary to confirm this information. Tech Details: Photography done in one shot. Foreground was illuminated by the moonlight. Photograph: Victor Lima/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
Third place, People: Remote life at -21 degree
Kinnaura tribal old women in remote village in Himachal Pradesh carrying big logs back home to warm up her house. Photograph: Mattia Passarini/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
Third place, Cities: Celestial Reverie
Lightning seemingly strikes Komtar Tower, the most iconic landmark of George Town, capital of Penang state in Malaysia. It is symbolic of the rejuvenation that the city, famous for a unique blend of centuries-old buildings and modern structures, has enjoyed in recent years. While many of its old neighbourhoods fell into neglect in the 1990s and early 2000s, UNESCO World Heritage listing in 2008 sparked a transformation, and today, they are all part of a vibrant tourist destination. Photograph: Jeremy Tan/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
Honourable Mention, People: Muscle Beach Gym
A weightlifter lifts a barbell loaded with heavy plates while a bodybuilder performs an aerial handstand at the Muscle Beach Gym in Venice Beach, California. Photograph: Dotan Saguy/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
Honourable Mention, Cities: Divide
In the helicopter looking south on Central Park West -- dividing the architecture and Central Park, on November 5th 2014, a day before my 27th birthday. The flight was my birthday gift. Photograph: Kathleen Dolmatch/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
Honourable Mention, Nature: Bears on a Berg
This photo was taken far out on the sea ice in the Davis Straight off the coast of Baffin Island. This mother polar bear and her yearling are perched atop a huge snow covered iceberg that got “socked in” when the ocean froze over for the winter. To me, the relative “smallness” of these large creatures when compared to the immensity of the iceberg in the photo represents the precariousness of the polar bear’s reliance on the sea and sea ice for its existence. Photograph: John Rollins/National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest