National Geographic Traveler: Epiphany

Photo: Sebastian Warneke/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

The 26th annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest is officially underway! Prizes include an eight-day Alaskan expedition for two, photography workshops, B&H gift certificates and, of course, a chance to be featured in National Geographic's Traveler magazine.

Here is a sneak peek of just a few of the jaw-dropping photographs that have already been submitted (along with their respective author-written captions), including the one above called "Epiphany." Photographer Sebastian Warneke talks about how he got the shot:

"One of my dreams was to shoot the night sky when I went on holiday to New Zealand this February. Unfortunately the time was not perfect because of the moon, which was at the beginning nearly the whole night at the sky and also the weather made me change plans. At the end of my trip I had luck an get a clear sky after the sunset although the whole day was very cloudy. I decided to drive to the famous little church in Tekapo and took some shots of the night sky before the moon rose."

The deadline for submissions is June 30, so get a move on! Visit the 2014 contest page for more information on how to enter.

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National Geographic Traveler: Winter Cave

Photo: Marcelo Castro/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Winter Cave

"One of the local ice guide guys arriving at a remote ice cave in southeast Iceland."

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National Geographic Traveler: Lightsource

Photo: Marcelo Castro/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

LightSource

"Young Monk finds a perfect light source to read his book inside of his pagoda - Old Bagan, Burma."

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National Geographic Traveler: Red rorbu hut

Photo: Sausse David/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Red rorbu hut

"Typical red rorbu huts with sod roof in town of Reine on Lofoten."

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National Geographic Traveler: Peek A Boo

Photo: Graham McGeorge/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Peek A Boo
"Photographing wildlife in Florida is never the easiest task. One of the differences from photographing wildlife in other states has to be the abundance of biting bugs, ticks, deadly snakes and extreme heat and humidity. After bushwhacking my way through the brush, mud and water I was able to set up my gear, and still giving a good safe distance between myself and the nest. The nest appeared empty at first, but after a few minutes I started to see some movement. A pair of beautiful white miniature horns were the first to rise above the twigs before I seen this pair of beautiful Owlet eyes."

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National Geographic Traveler: Mirrow Wave

Photo: Nicholas Roemmelt/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Mirrow Wave

"The Wave after a heavy thunderstorm with a small pond granting a perfect mirror for the reflection of the hiker. A calm and solemn place at a perfect day."

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National Geographic Traveler: Forest Lights

Photo: Nicholas Roemmelt/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Forest lights

"Aurora Borealis over the forest of the Pyhae Luosto National Park, Finland."

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National Geographic Traveler: Iceberg Gallery

Photo: Sam Morris/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Iceberg Gallery

"Like a scene from a different time on earth, or a completely different planet altogether. Passed down through Jökulsárlón lagoon through an outlet of the Vatnajökull Glacier, Icebergs enter into the North Atlantic. Shaped and polished by the ocean, the tide leaves a magnificent gallery of huge iceberg sculptures on the volcanic black beaches of Iceland. Photographed here at sunset, just after a rain storm. For scale, this Iceberg is about the size of a Jeep."

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National Geographic Traveler: Explosion

Photo: Hideyuki Katagiri/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Explosion

"Japanese feel the coming of spring I feel by plum blossoms. There is a culture of the cherry blossoms in spring in Japan. It is said was said implication to appreciate the cherry tree is strong now, but to mean plum Speaking of flowers in the Nara period of approximately 1300 before. This was a plum grove sight light goes pointing gradually early in the morning is beautiful too, such as that explosion is like spring."

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National Geographic Traveler: Duomo

Photo and caption: Kathryn Schipper/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Duomo

"Patrons of Milan's Novecento Modern Art Museum admiring the city's Gothic cathedral. Taken with an iPhone."

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Catie Leary is a photo editor at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.