Thursday, August 16, 2012

2012 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Finalists

Photo © Cedric Houin-All Rights Reserved

In Focus, the superlative photo blog of The Atlantic, features the winners of the 2012 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest in a much more satisfying format than the National Geographic. The finalists' photographs are shown in a 1280 pixel size; a size that will fill the largest monitors.

The winners consist of a group of 10 photos plus one Viewer's Choice winner. These images were chosen from more than 12,000 entries submitted by 6,615 photographers from 152 countries. The winners are from four categories: Travel Portraits, Outdoor Scenes, Sense of Place, and Spontaneous Moments.

First place went to Cedric Houin with the above photograph of the inside of a family yurt in the Kyrgyz lands of the Wakhan Corridor. We are told by the photograph's caption that the tribes living in the area are weeks away from any village by foot, and although located at an altitude of 4,300 meters in one of the most remote areas of Afghanistan, solar panels, satellite dishes and cellphones are prevalent.

It's not often that I agree with results of photography contests, but the judges' choice in this one is spot on. The richness of the reds of the yurt's interior, and the facial expression of the main protagonist along with the smaller details make a story out of that photograph. 

Cedric Houin is a French & Canadian documentary photographer, and a visual storyteller.

As for the Wakhan Corridor, it's an area of far north-eastern Afghanistan which forms a land link between Afghanistan and China. It's a long and slender area, roughly 140 miles long and between 10 and 40 miles wide. It also separates Tajikistan in the north from Pakistan in the south.

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