Far and Away, Hot Shots

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Where haven't you been?

For our ninth annual photo contest, we accepted digital entries for the first time, and that opened the floodgates. We asked for your photos, and in they came, nearly a thousand shots revealing all seven continents (yes, even Antarctica), with photographers hailing from across the Washington area and as far away as the Netherlands and India.

If the contest entries can be seen as a reflection of our readership, then the average Travel reader seems to enjoy taking pictures of aquariums, hot-air balloon rides, grandchildren, reflections, Paris, intoxicated locals, headless statues, colorful boats and safari animals. But, hey, we're not knocking it: Some of those made their way into our top picks, because their respective photographers took a common subject and transcended the cliche.

For every winner there were several close runners-up. The top three shots are here on our front page; there are 10 more inside, on Pages P4 and P5, and even more can be found on http://www.washingtonpost.com/travel. Thanks to all of you who entered, we saw beautiful landscapes and learned about wedding traditions in St. Petersburg and prayer rituals in Kolkata, India; about handicrafts with personality and the way a crab looks back at us, up close and personal.

Take a look. We love what you shot; we hope you do, too.

© 2008 The Washington Post Company