Travel editor Joe Yonan, Deputy Travel editor Zofia Smardz and Features photo editor Anne Farrar talk with the winners of the 2014 Travel photo contest. (The Washington Post)

The winners of The Washington Post 2014 Travel photo contest were just announced, and the top two, Natalie Fay Green from Bethesda and Kathi Weinheimer from Alexandria, talked via Google Hangout to Food and Travel editor Joe Yonan, deputy Travel editor Zofia Smardz and Features photo editor Anne Farrar about their work. The editors also shared how they picked the winning photographs and how to make a sunset photo stand out.

“It’s really stark and elegant,” said Farrar about the winning photograph, a landscape of North Carolina’s Outer Banks in the winter. “[The photo] was captured in a way that you don’t have the entire house there so it makes you wonder, what’s the story behind this picture? When we are looking for images…what’s exciting about pictures is: Where does that take me in my mind? Do I want to go there? Is it something that I can bring a story line? If I went to this place, what would I encounter, what would I perceive? And would it be exciting to take a step through that grass and find out what is on the other side?”

Natalie Fay Green replied that she was “trying to capture a moment out of time” when she took the photo. She decided to tone it in white and black to enhance the timeless perception.

Smardz referred to Kathi Weinheimer’s second place photo as a “painting.” The photo, which tied for second, depicts a sunrise at a beach on Edisto Island south of Charleston, S.C.  “I like to be a butterfly,” Weinheimer said during the Google Hangout. “I just don’t like to stay in one spot because there’s so many beautiful things to take pictures of, so I just run around taking lots of pictures and everything, so every once in a while I get something good.”

“That must be the most beautiful analogy for travel photography that I’ve ever heard, the idea of a butterfly with the camera running around,” Yonan said.