Winners of the National Geographic Photo Contest 2014

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First Place Winner: “The Independence day”. While on storm chasing expeditions in the Tornado Alley in USA I have encountered many photogenic supercell storms. This photograph was taken while we were approaching the storm near Julesburg, Colorado on My 28th, 2013. The storm was tornado warned for more than one hour, but stayed an LP storm through all its cycles and never produced a tornado, just occasional brief funnels, large hail and some rain. Photo location: Julesburg, Colorado, USA. (Photo and caption by Marko Korošec/National Geographic Photo Contest)

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Second Place Winner: “First Time”. Mea Shearim, ultra orthodox district of Jerusalem. Newly married, Aaron and Rivkeh after the wedding ceremony are to stay together for the very first time, alone. Their marriage was arranged by families. 18 years old candidates confirmed the choice in result of the one meeting only. Since then until the wedding day they were prohibited to meet or even talk. Photo location: Mea Shearim. Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo and caption by Agnieszka Traczewska/National Geographic Photo Contest)

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Third Place Winner: “Diver in Magic Kingdom”. Green Lake (Grüner See) is located Tragöss Austria. In spring snowmelt raises the lake level about 10 meters. This phenomenon, which lasts only a few weeks covering the hiking trails, meadows, trees. The result is magical to watch diving landscapes. Photo location: Grüner See at Tragöss, Austria. (Photo and caption by Marc Henauer/National Geographic Photo Contest)

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Merit Prize Winner: “Light Source”. Young Monk finds a perfect light source to read his book inside of his pagoda – Old Bagan, Burma. Photo location: Old Bagan. (Photo and caption by Marcelo Castro/National Geographic Photo Contest)

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Merit Prize Winner: “End of the World”. This photo, taken at the “end of the world” swing in Banos, Ecuador, captures a man on the swing overlooking an erupting Mt. Tungurahua. The eruption took place on February 1st, 2014. Minutes after the photo was taken, we had to evacuate the area because of an incoming ash cloud. Photo location: Banos, Ecuador. (Photo and caption by Sean Hacker Teper/National Geographic Photo Contest)

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Merit Prize Winner: “A Well Earned Rest in the Sahara”. This photo of Moussa Macher, our Tuareg guide, was taken at the summit of Tin-Merzouga, the largest dune (or erg) in the Tadrat region of the Sahara desert in southern Algeria. Moussa rested while waiting for us to finish our 45-minute struggle to the top. It only took ten minutes of rolling, running, and jumping to get back down. The Tadrat is part of the Tassili N’Ajjer National Park World Heritage area, famous for its red sand and engravings and rock paintings of cattle, elephants, giraffes, and rhinos that lived there when the climate was milder. Photo location: Summit of Tin-Merzouga, Tadrat, Tassili N’Ajjer National Park, Algeria. (Photo and caption by Evan Cole/National Geographic Photo Contest)

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Merit Prize Winner: “Divine Makeover”. Taken during “The Mayana Soora Thiruvizha” festival takes place every March in the small village of Kaveripattinam, the day after Mahashivarathiri (The great night of Shiva). The festival is devoted to Angalamman, a fierce guardian deity worshipped widely in Southern India. Photo location: Kaveripattinam, Tamilnadu, India. (Photo and caption by Mahesh Balasubramanian/National Geographic Photo Contest)

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Merit Prize Winner: “Ladies in waiting”. While exploring Burough Market in London, I was delighted to come across four lovely young women dressed in vintage white dresses, eating ice cream as the local shopkeeper looked on. Are they brides? Or bridesmaids. I don’t know, but they are obviously enjoying a very special day. Photo location: Burough Market, London, England. (Photo and caption by Susie Stern/National Geographic Photo Contest)

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Merit Prize Winner: “Foggy small town”. This photo was captured at noon, 25 December 2013, from the castle which is located on the edge of the small town and is the perfect viewpoint for the panorama of the almost intact historical town.The fog and mist suffused and gave the town a sense of mystery. Photo location: Český Krumlov, South Bohemian, Czech Republic. (Photo and caption by Duowen Chen/National Geographic Photo Contest)

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“Merit Prize Winner: “Khotso. Peace at Devil’s Knuckles”. On arrival at Jonathan’s Lodge our horses took to celebrating liberation from their heavy burdens. With the backdrop of “The Devil’s Knuckles” and the afternoon’s glow, how could I not take advantage of these magnificent creatures rejoicing? This was the end of the first of a three-day horseback ride through Bushman’s Nek, up the Drakensberg escarpment and into Lesothos’ Sehlabathebe National Park. Photo location: Jonathans Lodge, Qachas Nek, Sehlabathebe National Park, Lesotho. (Photo and caption by Byron Inggs/National Geographic Photo Contest)

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Viewer’s Choice Winner: “Among the Giant”. Capturing a brief moment of wonder and awe during a trip to Sequoia National Forest and the Trail of 100 Giants. Photo location: Sequoia National Forest, CA. (Photo and caption by James Eimmerman/National Geographic Photo Contest)

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