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Congratulations to Our 2012 Traveler Photo Contest Winners!

This year, we received thousands of Photo Contest entries, representing countries all around the world. Our winners from among this very difficult selection appear below. Congratulations to all of our winners—and thanks to everyone who entered our 2012 contest.

We’ve also included comments from Photo Manager Meredith Gausch, to give you a sense of what our judges look for when reviewing the submissions. Read more tips from Meredith and her staff on how to take a prize-winning photo »

Grand Prize Winner—FREE Grand Circle vacation for two

Leon Goldstein, 5-time traveler, Webster Groves, Missouri

The colorful seaside village of Manarola, one of the five towns in the Cinque Terre, is seen from a walking trail during our Italy: Tuscany, the Alps & the Riviera vacation.

Comments from the Judges: "We like the framing of the buildings in the background against the yellow flowers in the foreground. It’s a different perspective from what we typically see, and gives the viewer a sense of scale. The churning water and high angle of the photo make for a dramatic shot… we wish we could be there now!"

Best in Category (Landmark)

$300 Travel Certificate

Robert Peltzman, 6-time traveler
Rolling Hills Estates, California

As the clouds cleared in St. Petersburg, the iconic Church of the Savior is bathed in sunlight, as seen from a bridge over the Griboyedov Canal during our Russia Revealed: Moscow to St. Petersburg vacation.

Comments from the Judges:"Beautiful lighting and rich, warm colors complement the romantic feel of this image. The photographer has employed the use of framing and composition to great effect: The leading lines of the canal guide the viewer’s eyes directly to the subject of the photo."

Best in Category (Nature)

$300 Travel Certificate

Peggy Gans, 3-time traveler
Pearl River, New York

Lake Carezza, located in the Dolomite Mountain range in northern Italy, is seen in this winning photograph taken during our Italy: Tuscany, the Alps & the Riviera vacation.

Comments from the Judges: "There is a natural separation of foreground and background because of the trees. Most photographers would probably have just shown the mountains. The overall image is peaceful and calm, and truly natural—there are no people, telephone poles, or other signs of civilization."

Best in Category (Local)

$300 Travel Certificate

Nancy Garner 16-time traveler
Coram, New York

A local woman dressed in traditional clothing demonstrates crafts and skills from Estonia’s past during the Baltic Capitals post-trip extension of our Russia Revealed: Moscow to St. Petersburg vacation.

Comments from the Judges:"The natural straight lines of the window and wooden beams contrast nicely against the colorful textures of the woman’s clothing... fantastic use of framing in this image! The photographer has captured a quiet, authentic moment."

Best in Category (Travelers)

$300 Travel Certificate

Susan Swanek, First-time traveler
Irvine, California

A Grand Circle traveler shares photos on his camera with local children during a Home-Hosted visit in Fiji during our Australia, New Zealand & Fiji vacation.

Comments from the Judges: "We love that, in this photo, the children are ignoring their lunch! They are caught in the moment with the traveler and his photos, and everyone appears very comfortable. It is truly a cultural connection. We also love the timeless curiosity on the children’s faces."

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