Tagged: travel

45 Sizzling Snaps & Pictures of the Year: Smoking Hot Photo Contest in the Commons

April 17th, 2014 Permalink

A decade ago, there were not tons of terrific photos to choose from in the Commons, but photographers have really stepped up by licensing their photos so people can share them along with knowledge. While you may or may not agree with the 12 Wikimedia Commons Picture of the Year winners, most everyone could agree the competition was smoking hot. Categories like animals, plants, people, panoramas, nature, space, architecture and even miscellaneous objects give us a chance to go globe hopping as we celebrate these 45 sizzling snaps. Congratulations winners and thank you to all photographers who make the Commons a fountain of beautiful knowledge! Why don’t you consider uploading your photos to the Commons and maybe we’ll see you listed as a winner next year? [45 Photos]

Wikimedia Picture of the Year 2013 winner, tungsten filament burning with a flame in the light bulb

1st place winner in the Wikimedia Commons Picture of the Year 2013 Contest. The photo description states, “The glass bulb of the lightbulb has been opened, causing the inert gas inside to escape. When turned on, the tungsten filament burns with a flame, due to oxygen entering the light bulb. The light bulb was screwed into a socket, which was replaced with the lamp base using image processing.” Photo #1 by Stefan Krause, Germany

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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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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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Paradise In The Devil’s Garden: Plitvice Waterfalls

July 13th, 2012 Permalink

Once upon a time in Croatia, this mysterious world was hidden deep in an enchanted forest and called “The Devil’s Garden.” For the few brave souls that dared to venture beyond the woods, they found a paradise of amazingly-colored lakes, spectacular karst and thunderous waterfalls. Together it creates the natural phenomena which can still be seen at Plitvice Lakes National Park. Every year, at least 1,200,000 visitors come to be awed by the geomorphology and natural beauty of changing lake colors. There are 16 cascading lakes in crystal-clear shades of blue and green. Plitvice waterfalls have been called some of the most beautiful to be found among UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Plitvicka Jezera National Park is spread out over 73,350 acres and some of the most amazing features are underground in the form of subterranean caverns. [37 Photos, 4 Videos]

Walking through Plitvice NP

Plitvice National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site where 16 gorgeous lakes from azure to green to gray are said to constantly be changing colors based on the quantity of minerals or organisms in the water and depending upon the angle of sunlight. It’s an amazing natural phenomena and just one of the many reasons people come to Plitvice. Photo #1 by Desktop Nexus

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69 Exquisite Infinity Pools That Will Blow Your Mind

July 5th, 2012 Permalink

It’s a hot, dry summer right now in America, so we’ll go globetrotting to stare at mind-blowingly beautiful infinity pools. Each ultra-modern design is a soothing slice of paradise and leaves us longing. Wow, I wish, life is good, and heavenly all sum up these incredible infinity pool views that combine the best of man-made and nature. Cool off and enjoy! [69 Photo]


Infinity Suites, slice of heaven at Anse Chastenet Resort at St. Lucia. Photo #1 by © PROCON

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Adrenaline Junkies Cave Diving Vortex Spring [Pics, Videos]

June 28th, 2012 Permalink

Vortex Spring produces 28 million gallons of crystal clear freshwater, not saltwater, and holds at a steady year-round temperature of 68 degrees. It’s located right outside Ponce de Leon, Florida. Yet instead of the famed Fountain of Youth, the commercial dive location is famous for teaching people how to cave dive . . . and a bit infamous for all the cave divers who have died there. We had not heard of this unusual yet beautiful piece of paradise, but we hope you find it as fascinating and mysterious as we do. From professional cave divers to curious adrenaline junkies, adventurers travel far and wide to dive the Vortex. There are more than 1,600 feet of underwater passageways. At 310 feet down, there is a locked steel gate that bars the way into the cave so the inexperienced and uncertified will not risk the underwater grim reaper. Sometimes even qualified divers get lost; sometimes they dive into the Vortex but they don’t come out. [32 Photos, 5 Videos]

Friendly fish at Vortex Springs

When you think of Florida and diving, “freshwater” might not be your first thought. But Vortex Spring is a popular diving area for professional, experienced and even beginning divers. It offers training classes for scuba diving as well as being a top ranked spot to become certified. The water is cool, a constant 68° and does not become stagnant due to the constant flow of water that also helps keep it clear. The photographer called this ‘Larry’s pets.’ Photo #1 by © Barry Shively

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Unsurpassed & Sublime Beauty of Grand Teton National Park [60 PICS]

May 3rd, 2012 Permalink

Grand Teton National Park is 310,000 breathtaking acres of wow! 40 miles of jagged peaks making up the Teton Range tower 7,000 feet above gorgeous Jackson Hole valley. The unsurpassed and sublime beauty of the natural landscape and the equally famous abundant wildlife have been called inspirational, stunning, spectacular and it will take your breath away. NPS describes the park as, “Rising above a scene rich with extraordinary wildlife, pristine lakes, and alpine terrain, the Teton Range stands monument to the people who fought to protect it. These are mountains of the imagination. Mountains that led to the creation of Grand Teton National Park where you can explore over 200 miles of trails, float the Snake River or enjoy the serenity of this remarkable place.” Located in Northwestern Wyoming the park is only 10 miles from Yellowstone. Grand Teton National Park is the 8th most visited national park in the U.S. We dare you to stare at the magnificent scenery of this national park and not be struck with desire to hop in your car and head out for an epic nature adventure. We love these pics! [60 Photos]

Rainbow Forever, Moulton Barn at Grand Teton National Park Wyoming

‘Rainbow Forever,’ Moulton Barn at Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. Everywhere you look, this park has stunning scenes, making it easy to understand why in 2011 this was the 8th most visited national park in America. Photo #1 by wallpapers5

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Acadia National Park: 9th Most Visited U.S. National Park in 2011 [40 PICS]

April 28th, 2012 Permalink

Acadia National Park along the rugged coastline of Maine may not be the first place that jumps to mind when thinking about America’s busiest parks, but maybe it should come to mind in the top 10 because it was the 9th most visited U.S. national park in 2011 with over 2,300,000 visitors. Acadia and Cuyahoga switched places from 2010, when Cuyahoga Valley National Park was ranked 9th in visitors. Acadia National Park protects more than 47,000 acres of lakes, ponds, woodlands, granite-domed mountains, and ocean shoreline along the coast of Maine. There are more than 140 miles of hiking trails, 45 miles of historic carriage roads, and scenic park roads for drivers. Diverse wildlife, waterfalls, cliffs, stone bridges and scenic vistas can all be found on this cluster of islands that make up Acadia. Hikers, bikers, horseback riders, kayakers, climbers, bird watchers and photographers are among the nature lovers who visit Acadia National Park. [40 Photos]

Mount Desert Island, Wild gardens of Acadia NP

The largest island along the rugged coast of Maine is Mount Desert Island. A cluster of islands make up Acadia National Park. The photographer called this the ‘Wild gardens of Acadia NP.’ Photo #1 by Liz West

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Cuyahoga Valley National Park: 10th Most Visited U.S. National Park in 2011

April 23rd, 2012 Permalink

Coming in as the 10th most visited national park in 2011 is Cuyahoga Valley National Park in northern Ohio. It offers adventurers a little bit of everything in the 20,339 acres of woods, water, wildlife and even caves. There are nearly 200 miles of trails within the park for visitors to hike, bike or for horseback riding. The Cuyahoga River, meaning ‘crooked river’ in Mohawk, is fed by more than 190 miles of other waterways to tempt fishermen of all ages. Millions of years ago, water etched out the 105-foot high sandstone Ritchie Ledges and Ice Box Cave, also carving other wonderful rock formations. More than 2 million visitors came to Cuyahoga Valley National Park last year to enjoy the wooded ravines, gentle rolling hills, 170 waterfalls, historic railway, buildings and paths. Welcome to Ohio’s only national park, welcome to Cuyahoga Valley National Park! [40 Photos]

Ledges with spring trees at Cuyahoga Valley National Park

The Ritchie Ledges, which formed more than 300 million years ago, with spring trees at Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The Ledges are found within the Virginia Kendall Park unit of Cuyahoga National Park. Photo #1 by © Tom Jones / NPS

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44 Fantastic Photos of Beautiful Cherry Blossom & Kite Festival in DC

March 29th, 2012 Permalink

Ah beautiful cherry blossoms, kites and love is in the Spring air. It’s that time again for the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. It would be a great time to see DC since there is also a Blossom Kite Festival, previously called the Smithsonian Kite Festival. An estimated 1 million people will come to witness the events while the cherry blossoms are blooming. With the cost of gas astronomical, here are 44 fantastic photos, a tour for those of you who won’t be able to attend the Cherry Blossom Festival and Blossom Kite Festival this weekend. [44 Photos]

Cherry Blossom Festival time -- Squirrel nibbling on cherry blossoms

Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C.: A squirrel nibbling on cherry blossoms. The National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C., commemorates the March 27, 1912, gift of Japanese cherry trees from Mayor Ozaki of Tokyo City to DC. Photo #1 by © Fumiko Yarita via National Geographic Wallpaper

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37 Out-of-this-World Photos: Earth from Above

March 22nd, 2012 Permalink

Aerial photography can give us awesome perspectives, but when we zoom out and then observe the Big Blue Marble from high above, such as the breathtaking views of Earth from the ISS, it’s an eye-opening experience for most of us. Internationally, many countries have satellites and spacecrafts with their unblinking eyes focused on the Earth. These amazing photos offer us a unique window overlooking our world; viewing the Earth from above offers a stunning opportunity to see our wonderful planet in out-of-our-world ways that most humans will never experience in their lifetime. [37 Photos]

Aurora Australis and Daybreak

Aurora Australis and Daybreak. The Aurora Australis, seen at right on Earth’s horizon, and daybreak (left) highlight this ‘busy’ photograph taken by one of the Expedition 30 crew members aboard the International Space Station. Photo #1 by NASA

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Ruggedly Beautiful Na Pali Coast: Tropical Paradise for Adventurers [43 PICS]

March 11th, 2012 Permalink

Anyone else thinking, come on Spring, I wanna go out and play in nature? The tropical beauty of Na Pali along the shore of Kauai, Hawaii, and the rugged coastline could give adventure seekers a case of spring fever all year round. Na Pali means “the Cliffs” and those characteristic sheer cliffs which drop 4,000 feet (1200 m) straight down into the ocean make much of Na Pali Coast inaccessible by car. Nā Pali Coast State Park has 6,175 acres and stretches for 16 rugged miles along the northwest side of Kauaʻi paradise. Honopū Valley has been made iconic from movies filmed on Na Pali. Are you tired of winter too? We love these gorgeous pictures which gave us a serious case of Spring Fever. Enjoy! [43 Photos]

Kauai paradise, Na Pali Coast

Kauai paradise, Na Pali Coast. Seen here is the iconic landmark Honopū Valley which is within Nā Pali Coast State Park along the northwest shore of Kauai , Hawaii. It’s known for its distinctive 90 feet (27 m) tall natural arch which is the tallest in Hawaii. Photo #1 by Walt K

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