Photos of the Week: 6/13/2019: National Geographic’s 2019 Travel Photo Contest Winners Announced!

Some of the most amazing Photo Contest Winners seem to always come from National Geographic. And here we show them, as they were shown on the Travel Website. Here is the winning Photos and the details of the winners:

Grand Prize Winner, Cities: GREENLANDIC WINTER
“Upernavik is a fishing village on a tiny island in west Greenland. Historically, Greenlandic buildings were painted different colors to indicate different functions, from red storefronts to blue fishermen’s homes—a useful distinction when the landscape is blanketed in snow. This photo was taken during my three-month, personal photo project to present life in Greenland.” — Photograph and caption by Weimin Chu

Second Place Winner, Cities: IN THE AGE OF AVIATION
“There are four runways at San Francisco’s International Airport (SFO). This is a rare look at the approach end of runways 28 left and right. I had dreams of documenting the motion at SFO and [arranged] permission to fly directly overhead. What a windy day it was. Winds at SFO were 35-45 miles per hour, which meant a bumpy flight, and it was much harder to control the plane while photographing. The flight was challenging, but it was also so thrilling that I couldn’t sleep for several days afterward.” — Photograph and caption by Jassen Todorov

Third Place Winner, Cities: STREETS OF DHAKA
“People pray on the street in Dhaka, Bangladesh during Ijtema. Bishwa Ijtema is one of the major Islamic religious gatherings which is [observed] annually in Dhaka and millions of Muslims visit [during this time]. Dedicated prayer grounds are not [large] enough to handle this huge number of people, so large numbers of people come to [Tongi], the main street of Dhaka. All the ground transportation and [pedestrian crossings] are suspended during that time.” — Photograph and caption by Sandipani Chattopadhyay

People’s Choice Winner, Cities: FOLLOW THE LIGHT
“This photo was taken at Seda Larung Gar Buddhist Academy. It’s around a 14-hour drive to get to Larung Gar [from the nearest city], and the journey is quite tough due to the mountainous roads. This view [shows] small red homes on the left side, while empty green roads [curve] on the other side. The monks follow the lights to [return] home. I was lucky to document [the area] and was deeply moved by [the monks] faith. I plan to [return] to Seda next summer [to make] more photos.” — Photograph and caption by Junhui Fang

First Place Winner, Nature: TENDER EYES
“A gorgeous griffon vulture is seen soaring the skies in Monfragüe National Park in Spain. How can anyone say vultures bring bad omens when looking at such tenderness in this griffon vulture’s eyes? Vultures are important members of the environment, as they take care of recycling dead matter. Vultures are noble and majestic animals—kings of the skies. When looking at them flying, we should feel humbled and admire them.” –– Photograph and caption by Tamara Blazquez Haik

Second Place Winner, Nature: DREAM CATCHER
“What happens before a wave breaks? That question has been my assignment this past year. On this particular day, I decided to shoot the sunset on the east side of Oahu, Hawaii. About 100 photographers were out in the morning, but I had the evening to myself. The textures from the trade winds [created] subtle colors from the west and blended well using my 100mm lens. I had to look into my viewfinder while this wave was breaking. Not an easy task when a wave is about to crush you.” — Photograph and caption by Danny Sepkowski

Third Place Winner, Nature: DUSKY DOLPHINS
“Dusky dolphins often travel together in great numbers in the deep canyons of the Kaikoura, New Zealand in search of food. They glide through the ocean effortlessly, coming up only to breathe. Dusky dolphins are fast and will often keep pace with a speeding boat. I waited on the bow of the boat as the Dusky dolphin almost broke [through the surface]. Their elegance and streamlined bodies are built for speed and maneuverability—accentuated by the smooth, clear water of the New Zealand coastline.” — Photograph and caption by Scott Portelli

Honorable Mention, Nature: KING OF THE ALPS
“A herd of ibexes in Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland cross a ridge above Lake Brienz. Their powerful and impressive horns show who the king of the Alps are. Ibexes are ideally adapted to live at dizzying heights. The continuing ridge path and the rising fog show the natural habitat of these animals. After a few hours of observing the animals, I spotted the ibex herd on one side of the ridge. Several ibexes stopped at the transition [to view the world around them].” — Photograph and caption by Jonas Schäfe

People’s Choice Winner, Nature: COLORADO RIVER
“The Colorado River is very shallow due to the active withdrawal of water from it for agricultural purposes. When [the river] meets the ocean in Mexico, it is almost dry. This aerial photo was taken from a Cessna [airplane].” –– Photograph and caption by Stas Bartnikas

First Place Winner, People: SHOWTIME
“Actors prepare for an evening opera performance in Licheng County, China. I spent the whole day with these actors from makeup to [stage]. I’m a freelance photographer, and the series ‘Cave Life’ is a long-term project of mine. In China’s Loess Plateau, local residents dig holes in the loess layer [to create cave living spaces, known as yaodongs] and use the heat preservation properties to survive cold winters. This series mainly records the life, entertainment, belief, labor, and other [daily] scenes of the people living in the caves.” — Photograph and caption by Huaifeng Li

Second Place Winner, People: DAILY ROUTINE
“This photo was taken at a public park at Choi Hung House in Hong Kong. When I visited during the afternoon, it was very crowded with many young people taking pictures and playing basketball. But when I visited at sunrise, it was quiet and a different place. [The area] is [designated] for neighborhood residents in the early morning, and there was a sacred atmosphere. I felt divinity when I saw an old man doing tai chi in the sun.” — Photograph and caption by Yoshiki Fujiwara

Third Place Winner, People: HORSES
“Every year on the feast of Saint Anthony the ceremony of the purification of animals, called Las Luminarias, is celebrated in Spain. In the province of Avila, horses and horsemen jump over bonfires in the ritual that has been maintained since the 18th century. The animals [are not hurt], and it is a ritual that is repeated every year. To make the photo, I moved from Seville to San Bartolomé de Pinares because I am very interested in photographing ancestral rites.” — Photograph and caption by José Antonio Zamora

Honorable Mention, People: MOOD
“I captured this layered moment during sunrise along the banks of the Yamuna River in Delhi, India. This boy was thinking silently, and visitors were enjoying the loud musical chirping of thousands of seagulls. The early morning golden light from the east mixed with the western blue light, creating a [ethereal atmosphere]. I am a regular visitor [here] and have photographed this place for the past three years. Now, many national and international photographers have begun visiting [too].” — Photograph and caption by Navin Vatsa

People’s Choice Winner, People: HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON
“People in Meizhou, China perform a fire dragon dance, showered by molten iron spewing firework-like sparks to celebrate the Lantern Festival. Showered by molten, firework-like sparks, people in Meizhou, China performs fire dragon dance to celebrate the Lantern Festival. This celebration has been performed since the Qing Dynasty and was listed as Intangible Cultural Heritage in China in 2008. [The festival] marks the first full moon night in the Chinese lunar year, symbolizing unity and perfection.” — Photograph and caption by Léo Kwok


This presentation was courtesy of :

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Composition is considered the main key to a beautiful and high quality landscape image. Be aware that shooting landscape will demand a very difficult way of working as opposed to photographing people. It is usually taken with a camera mounted on a tripod. Also, more attention is being given to the aperture in order to ensure that the image will be sharp from front to back.

what are the rules of thumb for landscape photography
Photo by daveynin; ISO 100, f/4.0, 1/60-second exposure


1. If you are confronted with a beautiful scene, isolate the elements that say something about the environment and complement the panoramic view. Avoid capturing everything in your composition.

landscape photography rules
Photo by john mcsporran; ISO 100, f/25.0

2. You must have a point of interest in the landscape. This is a main feature that will hold the attention of viewers.

rules landscape photography
Photo by Marina del Castell; ISO 200, f/6.3, 1/1000-second exposure.
3. When shooting landscapes, your aperture must be the priority. Consider using the depth of field preview button of your camera to make sure you’re getting the desired effect.

4. Choose your lens wisely. Wide-angle lenses increase the foreground and sky content, make the subjects smaller, and exaggerate sweeping lines. On the other hand, telephoto lenses allow you to flatten the perspective, which then makes the foreground and background elements appear closer to one another. What you are focusing on will become larger.

landscape photography easy rules
Photo by Alfie Ianni; ISO 100, f/22.0, 1/50-second exposure.

5. On windy days, know that slow shutter speeds will record movement in the scene.

6. Horizons must be straight. But if you can’t make it straight, consider eliminating the horizon altogether by zooming in.

learn landscape photography rules
Photo by Ken Douglas; ISO 1000, f/5.6, 1/400-second exposure.


Forests. Dark forests may be one of the most difficult landscapes to photograph. Usually, the light is too low which may cause automatic flashes to fire. The best time to take pictures in a forest is after it has rained or perhaps in light drizzle. Cloudy skies guarantee even lighting, and the water on the leaves adds life and emphasizes the color.

what to know about landscape photography
Photo by Thomas

Beaches. Sandy beaches are indeed great landscape subjects. A polarizing filter can improve the color and contrast in photographs taken around the waters by reducing the glare of the light.

landscape photography rules to learn
Photo by Crouchy69

Rivers and waterfalls. Flowing water can be interpreted in various ways through shutter-speed selection. For best results and depth of field, you have to use a tripod and a polarizing filter. The filter can improve the image by cutting out some reflections coming from wet rock and surrounding vegetation.

best landscape photography rules
Photo by Giuseppe Milo; ISO 200, f/11.0, 6.5-second exposure.

About the Author:
This article was written by Amanda Williams from Photographic artistry captured with passion.

This is blog #976

Some more great landscape photos to learn from:

Pexels photo

Julius Silver /pexels photos #870

Photo by Pixabay / a Pexel photo


Family portraits fall into three main categories: traditional family portraits, candid family portraits, and lifestyle family portraits. Most families have had their picture taken, but few have had a chance to have their portrait shot, because of the difference between the two. One is a quick snap, with little attention given to the technical aspects of the image; the other has more consideration given to how the final result should look.

photo by Harsha K R

It’s often said that a good portrait captures the personality of the subject(s), and that’s true, but what it also does is recordS the subject(s) in a way that’s different from other pictures they’ve had taken of themselves. By using a couple of simple techniques anyone can move from the realm of ‘snapshots’ to discovering how to deliver distinctive family portraits.


An essential for a successful family portrait? Expression. Capturing expressions portrays emotion and adds dynamics to the photograph. Portraits can be left feeling incomplete without capturing the expressions that make the image more engaging. While traditional family portraits are posed (think school pictures), I feel expressions are best captured un-posed in a candid portrait setting.

Some great tips on how to do this include avoiding using flash when possible and shooting from a distance. This isn’t to say that all successful family portraits are shot on a whim. It simply means that developing a rapport is important. Actively involve yourself in directing the subject(s) to pose naturally and comfortably, and you’ll find it can achieve a great deal!

Photo by Emma Bauso on


Whether taking individual portraits or group photos, creating a candid look is a great way to create a different type of image. Get them laughing; engaging people in a friendly, open manner will get you those shots where the subjects have stopped being self conscious

Candid family photo by Jaap Joris

Another easy way to achieve a great looking candid shot that has been posed is to have your subject(s) look away from the camera. This type of casual candid posing can also be used in larger group shots. Having everyone look at each other can create a unified mood to the photograph, a connection that the viewer can sense


Props are also a great tool to utilize when photographing children. A child’s honest reactions to their immediate environment make them the very best candid portrait subjects. Even when aware of the camera’s attention—candid shots from children shine.

Photo by Pixabay on


The general rule for family portraits is focus on the eyes and set a wide aperture to throw the background out of focus while keeping the faces/subjects sharp. While this is standard in the context of photography, consider occasionally photographing the subject from various angles and viewpoints. Sometimes changing your view helps emphasize mood and can help set the expression of the photograph.

Photo by on

Try photographing a family from behind, walking away. Perhaps a lifestyle type shot of everyone’s bare feet in the sand, etc.

photo by Eric Ward


Many people think of portraits as a vertical photograph. Instead, try holding your camera horizontally and offset your subject to one side rather than the middle. Being conscious of switching from one framing style to the other can provide some pleasing results from the same pose.

photo by Phillip Dodds

Most photography generally insists that the horizon be a straight line. The same is not always necessarily true in portrait photography! Using the horizon line to add creativity and a fun mood to the image can be a great way to step out of the box!

About the Author:
Renee Laurin ( has over a decade of experience in the graphic design industry and over six years of professional photography.

This is blog #975
Here is some more great ideas of family portraits. Hopefully, you can learn from these examples:
Photo by Heather Lilly Photography

Photo by Shine On Photography

Photo by:

Photo by C J Franks Photography