2012 National Geographic Photo Contest Winners Announced

For the last 24 years, National Geographic has held a photography contest to showcase the best images from around the world. The winners of the 2012 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest have just been announced, and every one of the 11 images, chosen from a pool of over of over 12,000, is incredible.

The National Geographic judging panel chose their winner from 12,000 entries sent in by 6,615 photographers from 152 countries around the world. The winner, Cedric Houin, will go onto a photography expedition to the Galapagos Islands. Other finalists will receive gift certificates or invitations to photography workshops.

Houin’s winning photograph, entitled “Butterfly,” shows a family inside a yurt in the Kyrgyz lands of the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan.

National Geographic contributing photographer Alexandra Avakian writes:

“The light and texture captured in this portrait are painterly, and the predominance of red is rich. The content of the photo is striking because the photographer captured both the nomads’ traditional way of life and some of their modern accouterments—the viewer gets the visual satisfaction of something that goes against cliché. Triangle shapes tend to add dynamism to photos. In this picture they appear in several places, including the main subject’s knee, elbow, and white scarf…. I’ve slept in the guest yurt of Kyrgyz nomads in remote mountains while on assignment for Elle magazine; the location is hard to reach and off the beaten path for most travelers, and therefore of educational as well as aesthetic value.”

Here’s the winning photo from the 2012 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest.

Cedric Houin

Second place: My Balloon By Vo Anh Kiet

Vo Anh Kiet

Third Place: Devotees by Andrea Guarneri

Andrea Guarneri

You can see all of the images from the 2012 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest here.