The winners of the National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest for 2012 have been announced. Here are three examples, reduced in size to fit this blog.
First place winner: 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.
Merit Winner: 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.
Merit Winner: Looking into Another World. This is the great Japanese maple tree in the Portland Japanese Gardens.
There are more winning photographs at the link, as well as galleries of all the entries. Fascinating viewing, and well worth your time to click over there.