The National Geographic Traveler Magazine 24th annual photo contest, received more than 12,000 entries from 6,615 talented photographers in 152 countries around the globe.
Using the power of photography, those people shared their lives with the magazine. The categories were: Outdoors scenes, sense of place,travel portraits and spontaneous moments.
Taken in locations ranging from Afghanistan to Vietnam, the winning pictures below show everything from peaceful landscapes to unexpected moments. However, all of them depict the beauty of the places and people that make traveling memorable.
Entries were judged on creativity and photographic quality by a panel of photographic experts, including National Geographic contributing photographer Alexandra Avakian.
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