13,685 photos were submitted to the #Travel2020 online photo contest hosted by mobile app Agora, but only one has been voted "World's Best Travel Photo" by the global audience: congratulations to Spanish photographer @rakia10, who won the competition's top prize of $1,000 with a shot of his furry best friend enjoying a stunning sunset in the Dolomites.
"What does travel mean to you?" Global platform Agora launched the #Travel2020 photo contest through its free-to-use mobile app on July 24th. Photographers had until August 7th to participate with their best travel photography and illustrate what travel meant to them through their camera lens for the chance to be selected in the Top 50 finalists and make it to the voting phase.
Agora is a mobile app where photographers, whether amateur or professional, can participate in photo contests for a chance to win international recognition and cash prizes (from $1,000 to $25,000).
The app's global audience plays an important part in the selection of the winning image in each contest: all Agora users have the power to vote for the photo that struck them the most during the final voting rounds, making it a democratic process where everyone can participate, vote, and win.
"Thanks to these photos, we can travel to some amazing corners of our planet and see them from the point of view of travel photographers, who turn Agora into the home of some of the most beautiful places in the world," says Octavi Royo, Agora's Co-Founder and CEO.
Do you agree with the final results? Don't forget to upvote your favorite photos!
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The Winner: Incredible Moments
Location: Seceda, Dolomites, Italy
"I had been wanting to experience this sunset and spend the night in Seceda for a long time. I had been dreaming of that magical moment for years. I never miss an adventure with my dog Berky. We tried to climb Seceda during our previous trip to the Dolomites, but it was closed. I had seen pictures in tents but none of them had the frame that I was envisioning, and now I understand why: the cliff was only a few meters away and it was very impressive."
Early Mornings In The National Park
Location: Tuscany, Italy
"It was a sunny morning and we were almost alone in this park. Just us, some random people going for a walk with their dogs and some riders training for sports competitions."
An Incredible Evening In New Mexico
Location: Shiprock, New Mexico, USA
"Standing at 1583ft tall, Shiprock is a 27 million-year-old rock dormant volcanic rock formation. We drove 3 hours to get here, and it was definitely worth it. The scale of this place is like nothing I’ve seen before and it can be seen from miles away."
Past, Present And Future
Location: Palawan, Philippines
"I was lucky enough to capture the moment when an old man, a middle-aged man, and his daughter were walking around this beach in the Philippines. This sunset was one for the books and I will always remember this beautiful moment."
Location: Lempuyang Temple, Bali, Indonesia
Location: Great Staples Tor, Dartmoor National Park, Devon, UK
"To me, travel photography is not only about visiting new places, but also about capturing them in the best ways possible. This image shows the "Great Staples Tor" rock formation under the Milky Way. Lights were used to "paint" light into the landscape during the long exposure. In astrophotography, the foreground is often left dark and shadowy. But when I visited this cluster of rocks, I knew it would be a waste to reduce the landscape to a simple silhouette. As night fell, I set my camera to take long exposures and ran back and forth with a light, mounted to the end of my tripod. I used it to "paint" light into the landscape, capturing all the detail and magic of the location. While my aim for this image was to strike a balance between the drama of the landscape and peacefulness of the moment; in reality, the hill-top was cold and windy. Battered by 40mph winds, I was shivering after shooting through the night. But that is all part of the adventure, and I wouldn't have it any other way."
Exploring The Ice Cave
Location: Eiskapelle, Berchtesgaden, Bavarian Alps, Germany
"This ice cave is located at the foot of the Watzmann mountain (the third highest in Germany). It’s one of the most accessible glacier caves in the country. I really wanted to get a unique shot whilst visiting this location. I had seen some previous shots people had taken there, but I gave it a personal twist. I wanted to capture how cold it was inside the glacier cave and show the incredible textures displayed."
Just Do It
Location: East End of Rundle Hike, Canada
"I want to show the beauty Alberta can offer. While the road is scenic throughout the Rockies, the hiking trails are just on another level of beauty. I encourage everyone to just do it. Hike the trails. Take one step at a time, it will be tough but it will be worth it. This shot was taken about halfway to the summit. Unfortunately, we weren't able to reach a peak due to snow and heavy winds that day. It's funny cause it was in the middle of summer."
"This view got my girlfriend crying after 3hrs walking through the gravel, trying to get to the top! The sky was heavy with clouds, it was already dark on our way down."
Out Of Darkness
Location: Lago Nambino, Italy
"We traveled hundreds of kilometers to get to this place, through rain, and fog. The light arrived suddenly, which made us stop the car, and in just an instant our worries disappeared. Life is a labyrinth: all you need is hope so that the light ending your worries will materialize before you. We had just finished the tour of the lake and we were about to go back to our cars, thinking that there would be nothing left to photograph. I left the group to collect the photographic equipment in my backpack, and the moment I looked up... Boom! The whole forest had come to life."
Sometimes The Best Part Of Travels Is The Journey
Location: Sri Lanka
"One of the main attractions to visit the beautiful country of Sri Lanka was to see the iconic blue trains trembling through the lush countryside. I booked my accommodation in view that I wanted the perfect location to photograph the icon. It was then just a matter of juggling the time, low light of sunrise, and finding the optimal moment to launch the drone. This was actually my second morning here. Having witnessed one of the most amazing sunrises, I ventured back out the next day to try to capture something a little different. The timing was critical and incredibly hard to predict as the trains in Sri Lanka often don’t run on time. But luckily, on this occasion, as soon as I heard the train around the corner, I fired up the drone and got into position."
Sculpted By Wind, Water And Time
Location: Green River Overlook, Canyonlands National Park, USA
"We had been traveling around the Western States for around a week prior to this, and the one thing that amazed us the most was simply how massive these natural rock formations were. Whilst we were at Green River we saw this ledge jutting out of the rock and my friend sent it giving us a perfect subject to give our images a sense of scale. The lighting and detail in the landscape below just finished off what is probably my favourite image from the whole trip!"
Location: Taj Mahal, India
"My girlfriend modeled for me in a traditional Indian Sari, in the mosque on the side of the Taj Mahal. In this photo, I want to transmit people the good vibe of traveling. Travelbugs like me will be happy to see a shot like that and probably feel the urge to see these incredible places by themselves."
Location: Mercantour National Park, Southern French Alps, France
"It hasn't snowed much this winter in the French Alpes. At the beginning of March, the region experienced some late snowfall so we decided to go snowshoeing. We stumbled upon this cabin hidden in the forest, the perfect winter wonderland!"
Location: Colca Canyon, Peru
"The dream of flying wherever I want to go. A detour back to Peru would be nice. Where would you go?"
Ruta Nacional 3
Location: Ushuaia, Argentina
"I tried to show how deep and amazing is Argentina's Patagonia. The lines from the road lead the eyes of the viewer into the mountain. I asked my friend to go to the road to enhance the sense of scale. This picture was taken with a drone, and the battery was running out because of low temperatures. I had to shoot as quickly as I can to land the drone safely."
One Of The Best Vistas
Location: Horseshoe Bend, USA
"I can’t wait to visit the American Southwest again, it is still probably my favourite trip to date."
Location: Double Arch, Utah, USA
"Alone we may be able to go faster, but together we can go further."
A Wonderful Moment
"During my holidays in the Maldives, I used to come here every evening to watch the sunset and be cut from the rest of the world. It was just myself, my paddleboard, and the sea. The more time passed, the more the water rose. I had to hurry to take my picture otherwise I couldn't have landed the drone. The emotions I wanted to transmit with this photo are peace by loneliness, calm, and serenity. These are also the emotions I felt when I was there watching the sunset."
Location: Flagstaff, Arizona
Driving Down A Lonely Road Before The Sun Rises
Location: Altyn Emel National Park, Kazakhstan
"Here is my friend walking over the ridge. The temperature was incredibly hot on that day."
Location: Santana, Madeira, Portugal
"It was our last day in Madeira, and I came here with two friends of mine to catch the last sunset of the trip. The weather was not so good, but the moody sky created a very interesting atmosphere."
Location: Lake Motosuko, Japan
"The photo combines me, lying in the tent with my girlfriend roasting a marshmallow over the campfire. The tent frames the whole scenery with the lake and Mt. Fuji in the background. After a strenuous, more than an hour-long bus ride, we arrived at this beautiful lake which is the scenery on the Japanese 100 Yen bill. We put up our tent right next to the water, in order to sleep with this calming sound of waves. We had noticed earlier that campfires were allowed on-site, so we bought some marshmallows. We also made friends with some Japanese neighbors that kindly gave us a Swedish fire block to start our fire. It was our first time in Japan and we felt very welcome!"
Location: Lerida, Spain
Location: Arnarstapi Bridge, Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Iceland
"The Snæfellsnes Peninsula on Iceland's West Coast is a stunningly diverse landscape home to lava fields, glaciers, and black sand beaches. Exploring this alien-like environment you discover all sorts of incredible sights along the cliff face as a result of the crashing waves eroding into the land. The most unique of all being Arnarstapi Stone Bridge, a perfectly formed arch suspended above the ocean below, so perfect in its formation it looks almost man-made. Venturing out across it, you feel a sense of the power flowing beneath you as the waves continue to shape the ever-changing landscape."
Location: Wadi Rum, Jordan
"Endless red dunes and towering rock formations make Wadi Rum one of the most beautiful places on earth. The colors in this desert were like a dream scenario for me and my camera."
Location: Subic Bay International Airport, Philippines
"It was a pleasant morning sunrise when I spotted this paraglider... I ran towards the subject just to capture it above the mountain, with the amazing morning sunshine in the background."
Travel Around The World
"I fell in love with this hike in the Austrian Alps. I already want to go back!"
Waterfalls Are The Best
Location: Krimml Waterfalls, Austria
"Here is my wife in the yellow jacket, standing in front of the waterfall. It was terribly cold and the path was covered with snow and ice. You could feel the strenght of nature."
American Road Trip
Location: Red Canyon, Utah, USA
"I spent a lot of time on the road last year, but I don’t think any photo I took encapsulates the sense of freedom and adventure better than this one. I use the word ‘freedom’ because America was my first stop after quitting my job, so I really did feel a huge amount of excitement finally being free (unemployed) for the next 6 months (until I ran out of money!). Part of why I love this shot was because I had never seen pictures of it prior to my trip. I’d spent months planning various routes, narrowing my choices down, and scouting out the best places to visit and photograph. Then, on the first morning with my campervan, I found this gem of a spot whilst driving towards Bryce Canyon. As soon as I drove under it, I knew the shot I wanted to get. I parked up and went off the beaten path, hiking a nearby hill to try and find a good vantage point. Once I had that, I sat and waited for the perfect moment. One of the luckiest things about this photo was the recent snowfall, which had all but gone a couple hours after I took this. The way the orange rock contrasts with the snow makes the picture pop that much more and adds to the sense of adventure in the great outdoors. Now that my travels are over, for the time being, looking back on this photo fills me with a sense of nostalgia, and makes me yearn to experience these kinds of adventures again. What you don’t see in this photo, is that there’s in fact a second archway, almost identical to this one, about 50m further down the road. It really is one of the coolest roads I’ve ever seen, and is why few places can replicate how special road tripping in America really is!"
Alone In The Mist
Location: Crimea, Russia
"In this photo, I am standing in front of the mount Demerdzhi during the last moments of sunset. I was searching for some natural autumn colors during my trip to Crimea and finally, I found them there. I climbed the mountain and just enjoyed the beautiful views from above. The place where I stand had such dangerous sharp rocks that normal people didn't risk to climb there. But to me, these amazing views were worth it. The mist was rising up from the valley below, and I noticed that people were hurrying to get down as quickly as possible. The fog covered the entire mountain; it was so thick that I couldn't see anything. I waited in the mist for about 3 hours, until finally in the last half an hour the sunset showed a truly incredible view."
Road Trip In Italy
Location: Dolomites, Italy
"Enjoy the moment. Go on a journey and experience something. Get out of the comfort zone. I almost fell off the boat while taking the picture!"
"Just enjoying the sunset on the west coast of Iceland!"
Monument Valley Sunrise
Location: Monument Valley, USA
"I wanted to find a composition that highlighted the given scale of this amazing area. The morning light adds contrast to the scene."
To The Top
Discovering New Places When People Are Still Sleeping
Location: Benagil Cave, Portugal
"This place is really magnificent, but to enjoy it you need to make sure to beat the crowds by going there early (before 9 am). There were a few people there, but the place is so big that using a wide lens you will be able to cut them out from the frame. I’m posing on the top of the rock to give a better sense of the scale."
"High up in a hot air balloon above the Moroccan countryside I was transported to this dreamscape surrounded by the spectacular colors of the morning sky."
Let Me Fly
Location: Flight Barcelona-Reykjavík
"We organized a trip to Iceland with my sister and our cousins (six girls between the ages of 17 and 29). It was an unforgettable trip for us, and it was the promise that it would not be the last great trip that the six of us would do together. I had never gotten on a plane, this was my first time and obviously I decided to take the camera with me. I was so excited about the trip that I started to photograph it from the moment we took off from Barcelona towards Reykjavík. My little cousin was sitting at the other end of the plane and the light coming through the window outlined his face. I did not hesitate to take out my camera, mount the lens, and save that image forever."
Valle Dei Templi
Location: Sicily, Italy
"Look how small we are compared with the ancient civilizations..."
Valley Of Fire
Location: Valley of Fire State Park, USA
"This picture is me walking down Mouse Tank Rd during golden hour. During this moment, I felt pure relaxation. The valley was empty and you could hear the faintest sound echo off the red rocks surrounding me. As I jogged up to the spot you could hear the footsteps echo as if there were several of us jogging. As the light changed, the sky and the rocks started to glow around me, warming me to the core. The entire time of this shoot no one drove this road and it was as though I was the only person for miles. These are the moments that photographers like me get excited for, when it's just you and nature, enjoying the silence and taking it all in an hour. This picture did take several tries. Although it doesn't look too far away, I had my zoom lens all the way to 300mm. I set a timer and had to run to the location and pose. There were many times I had to redo it to get the right spot and the right pose. Although this may sound stressful and a lot of work, the entire time I ran I was at peace. There was just something about the silence here that made me so relaxed."
Location: Loire-Atlantique, France
Location: Narvik, Norway
"These large ships sail from all over the world to Narvik. Ever since the beginning, Narvik has been a powerhouse in the Iron industry. With constant trains bringing in Iron from Sweden, and its strategic location, Narvik is the perfect stop for these ships. They make a pretty amazing subject for aerial photography! I found this shot to be one of the best from that day, because of the contrasting mountains in the background, and the red pop of the boat in the water."
Roadtrippin Through The Winding Roads
Location: Black Forest, Germany
"The photo was taken on a chilly autumn morning on a road trip to the Black Forest region in Germany. I was looking for some time away from the hectic and stressful work life I had during that time. This photogenic hairpin turn in the light of the rising sun reminded me that life is good and that there is so much beauty in the world. Despite the peaceful look, there was a lot of traffic on this road. It took me quite some time to get the shot with just one single car driving around the curve, but it was worth the wait."
Traveling And Seeing The World From Above
Location: Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, USA
"I photographed this aerial image while flying my plane at sunset."
Location: Porto train station, Portugal
"I travel to Porto every year with my sister-in-law, and we never miss the chance to take some pictures in this beautiful train station."