For a word-based medium, we still can get across quite a lot using only pictures.
I only mention this because I’ve finally found the time to let all you dudes in on some amazing photographs.
It’s no secret that National Geographic Magazine has long been the place to go when you want to see stunning, thought-provoking and just plain knock-your-socks-off photographs.
And that’s just in the plain, everyday issue. Imagine what you’d get when you specifically sent out a call for the best photographs of the year.
Well, really, imagine no longer. They’re here. The winners of the National Geographic Traveler photo contest for 2013. And they are astounding.
The Eastern screech owl is a master of disguise. . .
(sorry, had to repress a shudder at using those words. That movie. . . That’s two hours of my life I’ll never get back and, yes, I’m still bitter.)
Anyway. The Eastern screech owl can blend into a lot of backgrounds. Like, for instance, this tree. Seriously, this is not only an amazing bird, but a beautiful photograph.
Photographer Graham McGeorge took this photograph in Georgia’s Okefenokee Swamp. The fact that he was able to see it at all, much less snap this amazing photo just blows my mind.
Moving on to nature of a more unbridled form. And, by unbridled, I mean furious and destructive. Not on purpose, you understand. That’s just what nature’s raw, unbridled fury does. It destroys stuff.
In this case, what it destroyed was my mind. Metaphorically speaking, of course.
Photographer Max Seigal went out to False Kiva in Utah, looking for one thing, but found something completely different. I hiked out to these ruins at night hoping to photograph them with the Milky Way, but instead a thunderstorm rolled through, creating this dramatic image.
Just beautiful. I love the way the photograph combines two very different things: The static remains of a human-built structure, now fallen to ruin, highlighted against the power and majesty of a fast-moving thunderstorm.
And these two weren’t even the winners. That’s right, these gorgeous photos didn’t even place first in the contest.
No, that honor goes to a more people-centric photograph. That honor goes to photographer Wagner Araujo, with the picture titled Brazil Aquathon.
I was in Manaus, Amazonas, during the Brazilian Aquathlon (swimming and running) championship. I photographed it from the water and my lens got completely wet, but there was so much energy in these boys that I just didn’t worry about that.
That’s some of the good stuff, no question.
Still, there’s tons of photographs I didn’t have space to show you, dudes. You should definitely head over to the site and check them out. You’ll be glad you did.