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Bhaktapur

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The National Geographic Traveler Magazine photo contest, now in its 25th year, has begun. There is still plenty of time to enter. The entry deadline is Sunday, June 30, at 11:59 p.m. Entrants may submit their photographs in any or all of the four categories: Travel Portraits, Outdoor Scenes, Sense of Place and Spontaneous Moments. The magazine's photo editors showcase their favorite entries each week in galleries. You can also vote for your favorites. "The pictures increasingly reflect a more sophisticated way of seeing and interpreting the world, making the judging process more difficult," says Keith Bellows, magazine editor in chief. (The captions are written by the entrants, some slightly edited for readability.) As always, you can take a look at some of last year's entries and winners.. -- Paula Nelson ( 40 photos total)
OUTDOOR SCENES - Portrait of an Eastern Screech Owl - Masters of disguise. The Eastern Screech Owl is seen here doing what they do best. You better have a sharp eye to spot these little birds of prey. Okeefenokee Swamp, Georgia, USA. (Photo and caption by Graham McGeorge/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)     

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The second collection of images from 2012 once again brought us nature at its full force and beauty along with news and daily life coming from countries like Russia, Syria, Egypt, England, India and Italy. The following is a compilation - not meant to be comprehensive in any way - of images from the second 4 months of 2012. Please see part 1 from Monday and here's part 3. -- Lloyd Young ( 47 photos total)
Tightrope walker Nik Wallenda walks the high wire from the United States side to the Canadian side over the Horseshoe Falls in Niagara Falls, Ontario, on June 15. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

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TIPPED TRUCK
TIPPED TRUCK: Men used ropes to try to right a supply truck overloaded with wheat straw, used as animal feed, along a road in Dargai, about 100 miles northwest of Islamabad, Pakistan, on Friday. (Mian Khursheed/Reuters)

STRAIGHT SHOOTER
STRAIGHT SHOOTER: Rick Ritter, left, and Grady Ritter, both from Stillwell, Okla., checked out guns at the 2012 National Rifle Association Meetings and Exhibits in St. Louis, Mo., on Friday. (Sid Hastings/EPA)

ORTHODOX EASTER
ORTHODOX EASTER: An Orthodox Christian worshiper prayed during a Good Friday procession in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on Friday. Thousands of pilgrims, tourists and clergy took part in the celebrations. Orthodox churches celebrate Easter according to the Julian calendar. (Abir Sultan/EPA)

NEPALESE NEW YEAR
NEPALESE NEW YEAR: A child watched the Bisket festival in the ancient city of Bhaktapur, near Katmandu, Nepal, on Friday. The nine-day festival takes place over the Nepalese New Year, during which devotees try to pull a chariot to their locations. Winners are believed to be blessed for the coming year with good fortune. (Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters)

TIGHT TURNS
TIGHT TURNS: Ashley Nee took the second of two runs in the women’s solo kayak division Thursday during the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Whitewater Slalom at the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, N.C.. (Ben Goff/The Gaston Gazette/Associated Press)

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More than 20,000 photographs, from over 130 countries were submitted to the National Geographic Photography contest, with both professional photographers and amateur photo enthusiasts participating. The grand prize winner was chosen from the three category winners: Nature - Shikhei Goh, People - Izabelle Nordfjell, Places - George Tapan. Shikhei Goh, of Indonesia, took the grand prize honors with his amazing photograph of a dragonfly in the rain and will be published in the magazine. The competition was judged on creativity and photographic quality by a panel of experts composed of field biologist and wildlife photojournalist Tim Laman, National Geographic photographer Amy Toensing and National Geographic nature photographer Peter Essick. The winning submissions can be viewed at http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/photo-contest/ - Paula Nelson (14 photos total)
Grand Prize Winner and Nature Winner - SPLASHING: This photo was taken when I was taking photos of other insects, as I normally did during macro photo hunting. I wasn’t actually aware of this dragonfly since I was occupied with other objects. When I was about to take a picture of it, it suddenly rained, but the lighting was just superb. I decided to take the shot regardless of the rain. The result caused me to be overjoyed, and I hope it pleases viewers. Batam, Riau Islands, Indonesia (Photo and caption by Shikhei Goh)

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