Tagged: travel photography


Awesome volcanic lightning shot crowns NatGeo Travel Photographer of the Year

Why it matters to you

The winning shot — and the story behind it — is both impressive and inspirational.

An erupting volcano, lightning, and a backdrop of stars created the perfect storm for photographer Sergio Tapiro Velasco[1]. On Tuesday, August 1, National Geographic[2] named Velasco, a photographer from Mexico, the Travel Photographer of the Year[3] for his shot of an eruption outside of Colima, Mexico. Judges also recognized the top three photographers in each category for nature, cities, and people.

Velasco monitored the activity on the Volcan de Colima, one of the most active volcanoes in the region, for nearly a month before taking the shot. Setting up about 12 kilometers, or about 7.5 miles, from the volcano, the photographer shot the biggest volcanic lightning strike he has ever seen. While the cause of volcanic lightning is still debated[4], the clear night and eruption allowed Velasco to get the lightning, the eruption, and the stars all in one shot.

“When I looked on the camera display, all I could do was stare,” said Velasco. “What I was watching was impossible to conceive, the image showed those amazing forces of nature interacting on a volcano, while the lightning brightened the whole scene. It’s an impossible photograph and my once-in-a-lifetime shot that shows the power of nature.”

National Geographic also awarded category prizes. While Velasco took top honors for the nature category[5], the judges awarded Norbert Fritz first prize in the cities category, and F. Dilek Uyar took top honors for the people category.

For his shot, Velasco receives a 10-day trip to the Galapagos Archipelago and a $2,500 cash prize. First, second, and third place winners received $2,500, $750, and $500 in the contest.

Molly Roberts, National Geographic senior photography editor; Benjamin Lowry, adventure and underwater photographer; and Jody MacDonald, adventure and sport documentary photographer, evaluated the contest’s submissions.

“The quality of submissions in the 2017 Travel Photographer of the Year contest was wonderfully eclectic,” said Roberts. “I was inspired by the variety of locations and creativity of the photographers in their quest to make compelling images.”

The 2017 contest brought in over 15,000 entries, representing photographers living and working in more than 30 countries. The winning entries, including a selection of honorable mentions, can be viewed on National Geographic’s contest website[6].


  1. ^ photographer Sergio Tapiro Velasco (tapiro.photoshelter.com)
  2. ^ National Geographic (www.digitaltrends.com)
  3. ^ the Travel Photographer of the Year (travel.nationalgeographic.com)
  4. ^ cause of volcanic lightning is still debated (geology.com)
  5. ^ the nature category (www.digitaltrends.com)
  6. ^ on National Geographic’s contest website (travel.nationalgeographic.com)

Ona launches limited-edition wanderlust-inspired camera bags

Why it matters to you

Looking for a unique bag? Ona’s latest limited edition fits the bill with a different pattern on every bag.

From backpacks to messengers, photographers have a number of different choices when it comes to a bag to house their gear — but bag company Ona is also introducing a way to make that bag one-of-a-kind. On Tuesday, March 6, Ona announced a limited-edition, travel-inspired bag with 100 unique designs, made in collaboration with Saltfish Surf Co.

The Ona x Saltfish camera bag[1] features the brand’s popular Bowery bag design, but uses a different pattern on the top flap of every design. Each unique textile is woven by a family-owned mill in Oaxaca, Mexico — the same town that Saltfish sources its fabric from — and is mixed with the Bowery’s handcrafted style.

The result is a bag featuring a pattern that no other bag shares. Of course, that one-of-a-kind design means the bags are limited, with the collection expected to sell only 100 bags. The bags’ unique patterns are inspired by travel, with Ona partnering with the travel-loving surf accessory company Saltfish for the special production run.

“ONA has been an inspiration to me for a long time now; their passion for discovery and
adventure, along with the functionality of the bags and attention to detail, is exactly on point with my own vision for Saltfish. We share the same desire to create well-made, durable bags and products for the avid adventurer,” said Saltfish Surf Co. founder Romain Goudinoux.

Bryan Mochizuki, ONA’s director of partnerships, said the partnership was inspired by Saltfish’s designs for surfboard bags. “We were first drawn to Saltfish because of how they were elevating a very utilitarian item — surfboard bags — through their beautiful designs and materials,” he said. “As we got to know Romain, we saw the opportunity to collaborate with a young company at a place we were at a few years ago: building from a local, community level, one thoughtful product at a time.”

Like the original Bowery bag, the Saltfish edition houses a camera with 1-2 extra lenses and other small items. The limited edition bags are available exclusively online, retailing for $219[2].


  1. ^ Ona x Saltfish camera bag (www.onabags.com)
  2. ^ retailing for $219 (www.onabags.com)

Awe-inspiring images recognized in year’s biggest photo competition

Why it matters to you

The top photos from the biggest photography competition of the year are sure to inspire — or create a bit of wanderlust.

The world’s largest photography competition has announced the top ten images for this year’s competition — and the collection is an extraordinary blend of images from an impressively simple portrait to elaborately captured scenes from around the world. The Sony World Photography Awards announced the ten category winners[1] on March 28, with the single overall winner set to be announced on April 20.

The ten category winners were selected from over 105,000 entries, making the photography contest the largest in the world. From flamingos in Walvis Bay, Nambia by Wildlife winner Aleesandra Meniconzi of Switzerland to an incredible aerial shot of 1300 people practicing Tai Chi by Culture winner Jiangua Gong of China, the images cross a number of sub-genres as well as several continents.

More: Incredible Sony World Photography Awards shortlist might give you the travel itch[2]

The judging panel said that this year’s winners display huge photographic talent and creativity, from Architecture winner Tim Cornbill’s (United Kingdom) use of scale to the crucial moment of a rugby game by Motion category winner Camilo Diaz of Colombia. Judges also praised the use of subtle color in Lise Johansson’s Enhanced winner (Denmark) and Ralph Gräf’s Travel shot (German), as well as the black and white of Street photographer Constantinos Sofikitis (Greece). Hiroshi Taqnita’s (Japan) winning Nature shot, Alexander Vinogradov’s (Russia) simple Portrait winner and Sergey Dibtsev’s (Russia) Still Life rounds out the category winners.

Each of those ten photographers receive a Sony a7 II and lens and also competes for the final title.

The 2017 competition saw a record number of entries. The contest, now in its tenth year, also had a broader geographic range than previous years with 183 countries represented, along with a 56-percent increase in the number of youth submissions.

“It has been a pleasure and an inspiration to be exposed to such a volume of great work, and a privilege too that I could share in the personal moments, the joys, tears, life, and losses of photographers from all around the globe who recorded their experiences through their pictures,” said Damien Demolder, a journalist and photographer and Chair of the Open Competition.

The contest’s overall winner will be selected from the ten category winners and announced on April 20.