2015 Travel Photography That Will Knock You Socks Off

It seems that each year another publication starts a new travel photo contest. It is not much of a surprise. Travel photos are beautiful, exotic, and create a sense of intrigue. The cool part about all these photo contests is how many more great travel photos make it into our feeds. Each year it seems that travel photography is played out, and each year I am surprised by the stunning photography I see.

This year is no different. We’re doing you a favor and compiling a selection of rockin’ pics from contests across the Web. Make sure to check out the links with the photos so you can see even more.

Photo and caption by Anuar Patjane Diving with a humpback whale and her newborn calf while they cruise around Roca Partida … in the Revillagigedo [Islands], Mexico. This is an outstanding and unique place full of pelagic life, so we need to accelerate the incorporation of the islands into UNESCO as [a] natural heritage site in order to increase the protection of the islands against the prevailing illegal fishing corporations and big-game fishing.

Photo and caption by Anuar Patjane

Diving with a humpback whale and her newborn calf while they cruise around Roca Partida … in the Revillagigedo [Islands], Mexico. This is an outstanding and unique place full of pelagic life, so we need to accelerate the incorporation of the islands into UNESCO as [a] natural heritage site in order to increase the protection of the islands against the prevailing illegal fishing corporations and big-game fishing.

via: Nat Geo

Photo and caption by Eduard Gutescu Romania, land of fairy tales. White frost over Pestera village.

Photo and caption by Eduard Gutescu

Romania, land of fairy tales. White frost over Pestera village.

via: Nat Geo

Photo and caption by Stefane Berube The night before this photo, we tried all day to get a good photo of the endangered white rhino. Skulking through the grass carefully, trying to stay 30 feet away to be safe, didn't provide me the photo I was hoping for. In the morning, however, I woke up to all three rhinos grazing in front of me. Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Uganda.

Photo and caption by Stefane Berube

The night before this photo, we tried all day to get a good photo of the endangered white rhino. Skulking through the grass carefully, trying to stay 30 feet away to be safe, didn’t provide me the photo I was hoping for. In the morning, however, I woke up to all three rhinos grazing in front of me. Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Uganda.

via: National Geographic Photo Contest 2015

Photo and caption by sarah woutersTwo boys are trying to catch a duck at the stream of the waterfall. Nong Khai Province, Thailand.

Photo and caption by Sarah Wouters
Two boys are trying to catch a duck at the stream of the waterfall. Nong Khai Province, Thailand.

via: National Geographic Photo Contest 2015

Photo and caption by Bartłomiej Jurecki Traditional haymaking in Poland. Many people continue to use the scythe and pitchfork to sort the hay.

Photo and caption by Bartłomiej Jurecki

Traditional haymaking in Poland. Many people continue to use the scythe and pitchfork to sort the hay.

via: National Geographic Photo Contest 2015

Photo and caption by Anuar Patjane Surrounded by a swarm of jack fish in Cabo Pulmo National Park, Mexico. Cabo Pulmo is the best example of a recovered reef in Mexican seas. A few years ago the fisherman of Cabo Pulmo fished all the reef to the point that fishing stopped being a way to sustain their households and life in the reef was obliterated. So they decided to totally stop fishing and few years latter the reef recovered to an astonishing level, and it is today the best example of what the Sea of Cortes used to be like

Photo and caption by Anuar Patjane

Surrounded by a swarm of jack fish in Cabo Pulmo National Park, Mexico. Cabo Pulmo is the best example of a recovered reef in Mexican seas. A few years ago the fisherman of Cabo Pulmo fished all the reef to the point that fishing stopped being a way to sustain their households and life in the reef was obliterated. So they decided to totally stop fishing and few years latter the reef recovered to an astonishing level, and it is today the best example of what the Sea of Cortes used to be like.

via: National Geographic Photo Contest 2015

Photo and caption by Khalid Al Hammadi I was waiting for this scene a long time ago, The master piece Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque floating and embracing by nature creates a magical rare scene during sunrise with its shadows reflected over the fog. I took this shot from the rooftop of 31 floor building in the first day of January, 2015, the first light of the new year was magical. I was chasing the weather everyday, after dozens of times I found what I was looking for, the moment that I can see how nature can embraces the architecture. Photo in Abu Dhabi

Photo and caption by Khalid Al Hammadi

I was waiting for this scene a long time ago, The master piece Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque floating and embracing by nature creates a magical rare scene during sunrise with its shadows reflected over the fog. I took this shot from the rooftop of 31 floor building in the first day of January, 2015, the first light of the new year was magical. I was chasing the weather everyday, after dozens of times I found what I was looking for, the moment that I can see how nature can embraces the architecture. Photo in Abu Dhabi

via: National Geographic Photo Contest 2015

Photo and caption by kaushal patil The very famous "Shri Vittal Birdev" yatra at Pattankodoli in Kolhapur district.It’s very important ceremony of this fare Bhaknuk(Future predictions of Rains,Nature) of Shri Farande Baba(Vishvanath Waghmode) seen with the sword in the picture. This yatra is of Shepherds & the yellow colour is Bhandara thrown on the baba. He tells about the rains,Nature in the following year which is very useful for the farmers.He comes all the way from Anjan village in Vidharba region.

Photo and caption by Kaushal Patil

The very famous “Shri Vittal Birdev” yatra at Pattankodoli in Kolhapur district.It’s very important ceremony of this fare Bhaknuk(Future predictions of Rains,Nature) of Shri Farande Baba(Vishvanath Waghmode) seen with the sword in the picture. This yatra is of Shepherds & the yellow colour is Bhandara thrown on the baba. He tells about the rains,Nature in the following year which is very useful for the farmers.He comes all the way from Anjan village in Vidharba region.

via: National Geographic Photo Contest 2015

Photo and caption by Evan Foster Upon landing in Jakarta for a visa run, I learned Ramadan was about to begin. I quickly dropped my bag off and bolted for Masjid Istiqlal. To be honest while I had no idea what to expect, I knew I had to be there. Inside, thousands of devout Muslims were preparing for Tarawih. And over the course of the next two hours, I witnessed one of the most epic events that I've ever seen. This image, I believe, poignantly conveys my otherwordly experience and its ethereal beauty.

Photo and caption by Evan Foster

Upon landing in Jakarta for a visa run, I learned Ramadan was about to begin. I quickly dropped my bag off and bolted for Masjid Istiqlal. To be honest while I had no idea what to expect, I knew I had to be there. Inside, thousands of devout Muslims were preparing for Tarawih. And over the course of the next two hours, I witnessed one of the most epic events that I’ve ever seen. This image, I believe, poignantly conveys my otherwordly experience and its ethereal beauty.

via: National Geographic Photo Contest 2015

Photo and caption by Hidetoshi Ogata This is the one scene of the fire festival. This festival called "Yassai-Hossai" is founded on a fact that fisherman helped their god "Ebisu" who was drifted on Iwatsuta Shrine. They warmed Ebisu by burning of one hundred eight pieces of fire wood bundles.

Photo and caption by Hidetoshi Ogata

This is the one scene of the fire festival. This festival called “Yassai-Hossai” is founded on a fact that fisherman helped their god “Ebisu” who was drifted on Iwatsuta Shrine. They warmed Ebisu by burning of one hundred eight pieces of fire wood bundles.

via: National Geographic Photo Contest 2015

Photo and caption by Anna Hally New Year's eve celebrations in Erg Chigaga, Sahara desert - the night sky was spectacular but freezing cold. So we surrounded the campfire in order to stay warm and enjoy the local Berber music.

Photo and caption by Anna Hally

New Year’s eve celebrations in Erg Chigaga, Sahara desert – the night sky was spectacular but freezing cold. So we surrounded the campfire in order to stay warm and enjoy the local Berber music.

via: National Geographic Photo Contest 2015

Photo by Turi Calafato A fast-food restaurant in Japan. In some modern cultures, the activity of eating is often a solitary experience: in single seats at solo tables.

Photo by Turi Calafato

A fast-food restaurant in Japan. In some modern cultures, the activity of eating is often a solitary experience: in single seats at solo tables.

via: World Press Photo

Photo by Giulio Di Sturco Actors prepare for a new scene, at Hengdian World Studios. The studio is the largest in Asia, and houses the largest indoor Buddha in China. The Chinese film industry is booming, and China already forms Hollywood’s largest export market. The Chinese Ministry of Culture and rich local investors see the industry as an instrument of soft power. Films made in China can shape how the country is viewed abroad, as well as uphold traditional values at home. For its part, and in order to circumvent restrictions in China that permit the screening of only 34 foreign films annually, Hollywood has embarked on major co-productions with Chinese studios. In these films, additional characters may be introduced, and scenes tailored, to meet the tastes and censorship requirements of the Chinese market.

Photo by Giulio Di Sturco

Actors prepare for a new scene, at Hengdian World Studios. The studio is the largest in Asia, and houses the largest indoor Buddha in China. The Chinese film industry is booming, and China already forms Hollywood’s largest export market. The Chinese Ministry of Culture and rich local investors see the industry as an instrument of soft power. Films made in China can shape how the country is viewed abroad, as well as uphold traditional values at home. For its part, and in order to circumvent restrictions in China that permit the screening of only 34 foreign films annually, Hollywood has embarked on major co-productions with Chinese studios. In these films, additional characters may be introduced, and scenes tailored, to meet the tastes and censorship requirements of the Chinese market.

via: World Press Photo

Photo by Ami Vitale A group of young Samburu warriors touch a black rhino for the first time in their lives, at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, in northern Kenya. Black rhinos are almost extinct in Kenya. This young calf had been orphaned when poachers killed its mother, and was hand-raised at Lewa. Most people in Kenya never get the opportunity to see the wildlife living around them, especially at such close quarters. Attention is often given to the effect of poaching on wildlife, but there is little focus on indigenous communities, who are on the frontline in the clash between poachers and armed game wardens.

Photo by Ami Vitale

A group of young Samburu warriors touch a black rhino for the first time in their lives, at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, in northern Kenya.
Black rhinos are almost extinct in Kenya. This young calf had been orphaned when poachers killed its mother, and was hand-raised at Lewa. Most people in Kenya never get the opportunity to see the wildlife living around them, especially at such close quarters. Attention is often given to the effect of poaching on wildlife, but there is little focus on indigenous communities, who are on the frontline in the clash between poachers and armed game wardens.

via: World Press Photo

Photo by Christian Ziegler The flask-shaped pitcher plant (Nepenthes ampullaria) is unusual in that the enzymes in its digestive liquid are best suited to breaking down plant matter. The pitchers collect and digest falling leaf litter. Carnivorous plants have evolved in a number of different parts of the world, generally in response to low-nutrient environments. While other plants are struggling to find nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen, carnivorous plants gather food in ingenious ways. Until recently, scientists thought all carnivorous plants operated in a similar way, catching insects and digesting them. But we are now discovering plant-animal interaction to be more complex, and to involve all manner of sophisticated symbiotic relationships.

Photo by Christian Ziegler

The flask-shaped pitcher plant (Nepenthes ampullaria) is unusual in that the enzymes in its digestive liquid are best suited to breaking down plant matter. The pitchers collect and digest falling leaf litter. Carnivorous plants have evolved in a number of different parts of the world, generally in response to low-nutrient environments. While other plants are struggling to find nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen, carnivorous plants gather food in ingenious ways. Until recently, scientists thought all carnivorous plants operated in a similar way, catching insects and digesting them. But we are now discovering plant-animal interaction to be more complex, and to involve all manner of sophisticated symbiotic relationships.

via: World Press Photo

 

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