August, 2012 Archives

49 Phenomenal Photos from National Geographic Traveler Photography Contest

August 25th, 2012 Permalink

National Geographic Traveler magazine reported receiving more than 12,000 entries from 6,615 talented photographers in 152 countries around the globe for its 24th annual traveler photo contest. Photos, like music, are subjective and stir up different emotions for different people. What makes each of us unique also guides us to individually interpret art as it influences us. The winners have been chosen, but it must have been extremely difficult to select the best from four travel photography categories: Sense of Place, Outdoor Scenes, Travel Portraits, and Spontaneous Moments. Over the 14 weeks of the contest, the editors picked their favorites among the many awesome shots and turned them into wallpaper. Here’s a look at few of those winning photos and many more that seemed like winners to us. While National Geographic often runs various photo contests in different categories, did you know that it also has photography guides and free tips like the “Ultimate Field Guide to Photography” to help photographers take better photos? Even if you don’t travel, if you keep your camera handy then you might be ready to snap a spontaneous moment that happens around you. Maybe next year you can enter the traveler’s photo contest? We can’t encourage you strongly enough to browse through the 12,000 traveler photo entries. You can be awed while virtual globe hopping and have a ‘staycation’ if you can’t afford a vacation to travel right now . . . all thanks to National Geographic which is kind enough to share these images with all of us. Congratulations and thank you to all the talented photographers! Keep up the great work and fantastic captures! [49 Phenomenal Photos]

Family Time Outdoor Scenes a mother's love

Family Time: One of the Outdoor Scenes in the National Geographic Travel Photo Contest. The winners have been chosen, but all of these photos seem like winners to us! There’s nothing like a father’s and a mother’s love. “A lion and lioness share some quality time with their cubs.” Location: Governor’s Camp, Kenya. Photo #1 and “quoted” caption by © Brandon Harris/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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Breathtaking Baatara Gorge Waterfall & Cave of the Three Bridges [31 PICS]

August 23rd, 2012 Permalink

In Lebanon, the beautiful Baatara gorge waterfall cascades 837 feet (255 m) down in a thunderous roar during spring as the snow melts. Although a sign cautions not to climb around too close to the possibly slick edges at the risk of slipping and plunging to your death, nothing prepares a person to be so in awe of nature as the cavern opens up to house magnificent three-tiered natural bridges. This wonder of nature is also called the “Cave of the Three Bridges,” an abyss, “Three Bridges Chasm”, sinkhole, “pothole” and “hole in the wall.” During spring and early summer, the wildflowers are in full bloom making it a great time to hike the Tannourine Cedar Forest Reserve, part of the Lebanon Mountain Trail, that takes adventurers to the immense and breathtaking Baatara gorge waterfall. [31 Photos]

Beautiful Baatara gorge waterall in the Tannourin mountains of Lebanon

When snow melts in the spring, the water forms this huge Baatara gorge waterfall in the Tannourin mountains of Lebanon. Photo #1 by Eli+

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Celebrating World Photography Day with Wikimedia Commons Pictures of the Year

August 14th, 2012 Permalink

August 19, 2012, is World Photography Day. This is great opportunity to say thank you to photographers. Without photographers licensing their awesome captures as Creative Commons, we wouldn’t be able to share so many awesome works of art. Once upon a time there were not nearly so many quality images licensed under Creative Commons, but that continues to change. We wanted to celebrate World Photography Day by showcasing the Wikimedia Commons Pictures of the Year, decided at the last part of June 2012. There were all sorts of categories in this Sixth Annual Wikimedia Commons POTY Contest, so here are extremely varied subjects that were declared Picture of the Year winners. Congratulations! [31 Photos]

WORLD PHOTOGRAPHY DAY, Wikimedia Commons Picture of the Year 1st place: View of Lake Bondhus in Norway, and in the background of the Bondhus Glacier, part of the Folgefonna Glacier

Wikimedia Commons Picture of the Year 2011 #1 with 143 votes in Final. A view of the lake Bondhus in Norway. In the background a view of the Bondhus Glacier as a part of the Folgefonna GlacierView of Lake Bondhus in Norway, and in the background of the Bondhus Glacier, part of the Folgefonna Glacier. Photo #1 by Alchemist-hp (

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Predators Prowling the Sea: Scary or Stunning, Sharks are Jawesome! (60 Pics/10 Vids)

August 7th, 2012 Permalink

For 25 years, the Discovery Channel has been showing Shark Week, a week’s worth of shark-orientated programming meant to educate but with plenty of fear factor. For some people, divers, scientists and people who hang out at the beach, sharks are a reality every day of the year. Like big, bad, beautiful wolves, people have long feared the predators prowling the deep and some shark species were hunted until their numbers were threatened. Sharks both fascinate us and fill us with fear, so here’s an up-close look at great whites, hammerheads, tiger sharks, bull sharks, whale sharks, lemon sharks, gray nurse sharks, and other sharks . . . all sprinkled with shark facts. We think sharks are jawesome and swimming with sharks is a pure adrenaline rush! [60 Photos, 10 Videos]

When you see sharks, like this Jaws type, wouldn't you get out of the water?

When you see sharks, like this Jaws type, wouldn’t you get out of the water? For a quarter of a century, the Discovery Channel has been showing a week’s worth of shark-orientated programming. We’ve gathered 60 shark photos and 10 videos to celebrate Shark Week, but for some divers and researchers who deal with the underwater world every day, every week is Shark Week. Photo #1 by free wallpaper

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Sensational Sand Sculptures: From Creative Castles to Adorable Dragons [47 PICS]

August 4th, 2012 Permalink

When a person builds a castle, it’s a strong fortress meant to last hundreds of years. Yet some people build temporary, fragile castles of sand. In fact, most sandcastles are not castles at all but, amazing works of sand sculpture art. This is a mixture of nature, of art, of science. Physicists theorize that even more massive sand castles could be built underwater. While that would be cool, it would be much harder for the masses to enjoy the sandy works of art by masters of sand sculpting. We really liked these and imagined what it might be like to walk along the beach, enjoying nature, but taking in giant cultural pieces of sand art at the same time. While it’s still summer hot in the USA and some “kids” will soon start school, let’s globe hop and enjoy a summer day on the beach and these sensational sand sculptures. [47 Photos]

Dragon Dwellers - Amazin' Walter and William Lloyds entry in the Tournament of Sand Sculpting Champions at Harrison Hot Springs, British Colombia

Dragon Dwellers – Amazin’ Walter and William Lloyds entry in the Tournament of Sand Sculpting Champions at Harrison Hot Springs, British Colombia, Canada. Photo #1 by © Amazin Walter

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Dry Tortugas: Coastal Fortress, Coral Reefs, Marine Life, Shipwrecks & Sunken Treasure

August 3rd, 2012 Permalink

About 70 miles west of Key West, Florida, lies Dry Tortugas National Park which is world-renowned for picturesque blue sea waters, white sands, brightly colorful coral reefs, abundant marine life, and legends of shipwrecks and sunken treasures. There are seven small islands in the 100-square mile park, but it is mostly open water that is accessible only by boat or seaplane. Dry Tortugas is also famous as the home of magnificent and historic Fort Jefferson, the largest masonry building in the Western Hemisphere. Though it was not finished, the fort has more than 16 million bricks that make up the massive 45-foot-high, three-level hexagon, coastal fortress that has 2,000 architecturally beautiful arches. [44 Fabulous Photos]

Fort Jefferson aerial looking east

Aerial of Fort Jefferson on Garden Key, part of Dry Tortugas National Park. The park is located at the farthest end of the Florida Keys, closer to Cuba than to the USA mainland. NPS says, “To reach this remote ocean wilderness one must travel by boat or plane over 68 nautical miles of open sea.” Garden Key is the second largest island in this chain. Photo #1 by National Park Service

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