11. First Place Winner, Cities: Levels Of Reading, Stuttgart, Germany
Natural light fills the modern interior of the city library in Stuttgart, Germany. With its stark white floors, open spaces, and large windows, it provides a unique atmosphere to broaden your knowledge.
12. Third Place Winner, Nature: Crocodiles At Rio Tarcoles, Costa Rica
American crocodiles gather along the bank of the Tarcoles River in Costa Rica. When our guide told us there would be 30 to 40 crocodiles in the river, we thought he was exaggerating. We walked along a narrow bridge and peered over the waist-high railing, where several crocodiles were moving in and out of the water. I wanted to capture the stark contrast between their partially covered bodies in the river verses their enormous size while on full display.
13. Honorable Mention, People: The Man’s Stare, Gazipur, Bangladesh
A train coming from Dhaka pauses at Tongi Railway Station in Gazipur, Bangladesh, on a rainy morning. Suddenly I saw a pair of curious eyes looking at me through the misty window, and next to him a black umbrella shielded passengers from the rain. Together, it created a dreamy moment.
14. Second Place Winner, Nature: To Live, Oinukake, Miyagi, Japan
Swans glide over the water in Kabukurinuma, Osaki, Japan, a protected wetland. Since many of Japan’s wetlands have been lost, this area has become a rare wintering place for birds and may be a last paradise for them. I was particularly impressed by the swans, and careful not to disturb them when taking pictures. I took into account wind direction and shutter speed to capture the strength and elegance of their flapping wings.
15. People’s Choice Winner, People: Sand Porter, Munshiganj, Dhaka, Bangladesh
This photograph was taken from the bank of The river Dhaleswari in Munshiganj, Bangladesh during sand porters were carrying sand to preserve them on a place near the river.
16. Honorable Mention, Nature: In Your Face, Cuba
The Gardens of the Queen is a remote marine area south of Cuba, and has been protected since the 1960s. Predators, like these Caribbean reef sharks, are abundant—a sign of a healthy ecosystem. Large and fully-protected marine areas like this may be our best chance in the fight to save our fragile oceans. To get this image I placed my camera on a rock where I knew the sharks frequent, and backed away so I wouldn’t frighten them. I used a remote to take pictures while the sharks bumped my camera.
17. Honorable Mention, Cities: Al Ain, Al BuraymĪ, Muhafazat Al Buraymi, Oman
New buildings rise from the desert floor near Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates.
18. Honorable Mention, Cities: Colorful Apartment, Kitagata, Gifu, Japan
This building is a 20-minute drive from my office—it’s a functioning apartment complex in Gifu Prefecture, Japan, where people live. The modern style of the building is a strange contrast to my sleepy country town, and for a long time I couldn’t quite capture its character. The woman dressed in red was perfectly consonant with the mood of this image. Without her, I couldn’t have made this image.
19. Honorable Mention, People: Bridging Generation, New Delhi, Nct, India
A father and son dressed in traditional white clothing sit at a mosque in New Delhi, India, under a blue sky on Eid al-Fitr, the conclusion of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. This photo shows the beautiful bond between two generations.
20. Second Place Winner, Cities: Walled City #08, Hong Kong
An aerial view of Whampoa Garden, Hong Kong, reveals its densely packed buildings. I drew inspiration from the Kowloon Walled City—once the densest place on Earth–which was demolished nearly three decades ago. Hundreds of houses were stacked on top of each other and there was very little open space. The Kowloon Walled City may be gone, but its legacy remains. It exists in Hong Kong’s modern architecture and stacked apartments, which have been built to accommodate the masses.
21. Honorable Mention, People: Blessings At Besakih, Bali
On the beautiful island of Bali, Besakih Temple has been known to locals as the “Mother Temple” for more than a thousand years. Perched high on the slopes of Mount Agung, a sacred volcano, Besakih consists of three major temples dedicated to the Hindu trinity: Shiva, Brahma, and Vishnu. Here, Hindu Balinese often visit to pray, make offerings, and take blessings from pemangku (priests).