<p><strong>Ben Canales sprawls in the snow under the starry sky above <a href="http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/national-parks/crater-lake-national-park/">Crater Lake National Park</a> in Oregon. Caneles's long-exposure photograph, made using a timer on his camera, is the winner of the <a href="http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/traveler-magazine/photo-contest/">2011 <em>National Geographic Traveler </em>Photo Contest</a>. </strong></p><p>(Get the <a href="http://intelligenttravel.nationalgeographic.com/2011/08/02/behind-the-winning-image/">inside scoop on the winning image</a>—and a bonus time-lapse video—in the Intelligent Travel blog.)</p><p>Open between April 5 and July 11, the <em>Traveler</em> photo contest called for entries in four categories: "Travel Portraits," "Outdoor Scenes," "Sense of Place," and "Spontaneous Moments." A panel of photo experts judged the submissions based on creativity and photographic quality. (<a href="http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/traveler-magazine/photo-contest/entries/gallery/winners/">See all the entered pictures, sorted by category.</a>)</p><p>Dan Westergren, senior photo editor for <a href="http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/traveler-magazine/"><em>Traveler </em>magazine</a> and a judge in this year's contest, said he appreciated the humor in Canales' shot, submitted in the "Sense of Place" category.</p><p>"Pictures of the <a href="http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2010/12/milky-way/croswell-text">Milky Way</a> have become fairly common now because of digital cameras. We've seen it so much, I'm getting a little tired of seeing it," Westergren said. "But in this picture, there's a guy just laying in the snow with the beam of his headlight shining up in the sky. It just added a sort of whimsy to the picture." (Also see <a href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/05/pictures/110517-best-space-contest-science-astronomy-stars-auroras-night-sky/">"Best Night-Sky Pictures of 2011 Named."</a>)</p><p>(The National Geographic Society owns both <em>Traveler</em> magazine and National Geographic News.)</p><p><em>—Ker Than</em></p>

First Place: Star Sprawl

Ben Canales sprawls in the snow under the starry sky above Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. Caneles's long-exposure photograph, made using a timer on his camera, is the winner of the 2011 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest.

(Get the inside scoop on the winning image—and a bonus time-lapse video—in the Intelligent Travel blog.)

Open between April 5 and July 11, the Traveler photo contest called for entries in four categories: "Travel Portraits," "Outdoor Scenes," "Sense of Place," and "Spontaneous Moments." A panel of photo experts judged the submissions based on creativity and photographic quality. (See all the entered pictures, sorted by category.)

Dan Westergren, senior photo editor for Traveler magazine and a judge in this year's contest, said he appreciated the humor in Canales' shot, submitted in the "Sense of Place" category.

"Pictures of the Milky Way have become fairly common now because of digital cameras. We've seen it so much, I'm getting a little tired of seeing it," Westergren said. "But in this picture, there's a guy just laying in the snow with the beam of his headlight shining up in the sky. It just added a sort of whimsy to the picture." (Also see "Best Night-Sky Pictures of 2011 Named.")

(The National Geographic Society owns both Traveler magazine and National Geographic News.)

—Ker Than

Photograph by Ben Canales

Best Travel Pictures of 2011 Named

A starry night and a giraffe hotel feature among the winners of the 2011 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest. Find out why they won.

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