National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest 2012

The 24th annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest has just wrapped up, and judges will soon be selecting the winners -- but voting for the Viewer's Choice award is open until Friday, July 20, at 9 a.m. National Geographic was kind enough to allow me to share some of these amazing entries with you here, gathered from four categories: Travel Portraits, Outdoor Scenes, Sense of Place, and Spontaneous Moments.

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  • Eren Bozkurt / Anadolu Agency / Getty

    Early Photos From the Earthquake in Turkey and Syria

    This morning, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck near the Turkish city of Gaziantep, collapsing thousands of buildings across southern Turkey and northwestern Syria.

  • Dan Bartlett / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Salmon Blessing, Masquerade Games, Polar Night

    A figure-skating championship in Finland, a rugby tournament in Afghanistan, the Magh Mela festival in India, a soldier’s funeral in Ukraine, an ice storm in Texas, and much more

  • Andy Buchanan / AFP / Getty

    The Up Helly Aa Viking Fire Festival

    Images of the annual fire festival held in the Shetland Islands from the past 20 years.

  • Tomohiro Ohsumi / Getty

    The Snow Monkeys of Nagano

    Images of Japanese macaques relaxing and staying warm in the waters of a mountain hot spring