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Photo Contest Insider Blog

2013 Student Photo Contest Winners

February 9, 2013

National Geographic asked high school students to submit a photograph and descriptive caption that conveys a sense of exploration or adventure, and nearly 2,500 entries flooded in. The images and descriptions received tell a rich story of exploration through the eyes and lenses of high school students across the country. And the subjects spanned the globe—as close as the backyard, and as far-flung as Peru and New Zealand.

Grand Prize Winner – No Boundaries – Photo and description by Lijah Hanley – There is nothing more thrilling than taking the car out on the road and exploring new places. Unfortunately, being a new driver, my parents have set a lot of boundaries that limit how far I can go. I made it as far as the Columbia River Gorge, and it was a perfect crisp clear night for stargazing. So we removed the top of our car, sat on the roof, and gazed into the endless universe. Exploration is not bound by how far your car can take you, but by how far your imagination can take you into the stars. Photo Location: The Columbia River Gorge, Washington


Second Place Winner – Anticipation – Photo and description by Julianna Brown – Although surfing in these cold Pacific waters is a daily occurrence for them, the moments spent preparing remained quiet and introspective as the setting sun reflected off of the ocean. The sense of anticipation and slight anxiety was tangible, for no matter how often a practice, heading into the turbulent waters of Northern Peru will always remain an adventure. Photo Location: Huanchaco, Peru


Third Place Winner – The Freedom Side – Photo and description by Emily Watson – There is something liberating about wind blowing through your hair. Buddy has knowledge of this simple fact and embraced it one afternoon on the car ride home. Although it was a constrained freedom that only his head could experience, he made the most of his adventure. Photo Location: Norman, OK