2016 Knowmad Adventures Annual Travel Photography Contest

Travel Photography - South America

For the past couple of weeks I have had the pleasure of living vicariously through our travelers while sifting through hundreds of photos taken in every nook and cranny of South America. What I love most about this process is seeing the world through another’s perspective, learning travelers’ stories through each image and in a little way, sharing in their joy. Throughout the selection process Krista and I commented several times just how difficult it was to pick only three top photos for each category, but, albeit challenging, we managed to pick this year’s Knowmad Adventures Annual Travel Photography Contest winners!

Below, we share incredible shots taken as far north as Ecuador, all the way down to the southernmost continent in the world, and everywhere in-between. See our top three picks for Adventure, Cityscape, Culture, Fauna, Flora, Landscape/Scenery and Portrait below and scroll to the bottom to find out who won the Knowmad Adventures Grand Prize – a 3 day / 2 night stay at the Reserva Amazonica Jungle Lodge (valued at $545). Thank you to all of our Knowmad travel photographers for a fantastic year!



Travel Photography - Patagonia

First Place Joy! in Patagonia by Kathy Ritter

I can’t stop smiling at this photo of Kathy, Sharon and Ginny ice-hiking in Chilean Patagonia!

Travel Photography Chile Adventure

Second Place Rafting the Futaleufú River by Michel Gelinas

The “Fu” is one of the world’s premier whitewater rivers and Michel did a wonderful job capturing the excitement of riding its rapids.

Travel Photography - Adventure

Third Place A Mountain Ride by Bobbi Wehrs

I love the varied topography captured in this shot sent in by Bobbi, which was taken during her custom Chile and Argentina trip.


Cityscape Travel Photography

First Place Roof with a View by Katherine Henly 

We’ve never seen this perspective of traditional Peruvian roof ornaments, believed to bring luck to the household.

Cityscape Travel Photography

Second Place Colorful in Argentina by Jon Oliva and Jocelyn Kahn

Set in Buenos Aires’ La Boca neighborhood, the framing of this picture is perfect.

Cityscape Travel Photography

Third Place A Quiet Street in Chile by Lauren Brockman Andre

This shot has beautiful composition, and the eye can’t help but be drawn to the vehicle.


Culture Travel Photography

First Place Dance by Deb Wood

A superb example of Andean traditions, and the color and movement make this an exceptional photograph.

Culture Travel Photography

Second Place Asado by Chuck Barish 

When experiencing Patagonia, a traditional asado (grill) with the gauchos is a must. You can almost smell the meat cooking.

Culture Travel Photography

Third Place Preparing the Feast by Mary Fransen 

These two men are preparing a Pachamanca, a traditional Andean celebratory meal.



Fauna Travel Photography

First Place Antarctica by Brady Shannon 

The nonchalance of the penguins combined with the action of the seal gives this photo so much character.

Fauna Travel Photography

Second Place Guanaco Solo by Seng Ung 

Up close and personal with a guanaco (cousin to the llama and alpaca) in Torres del Paine.

Fauna Travel Photography

Third Place Flamenco Atacameño by Mandy Lee Berman 

Bird photography is difficult, and this shot of a flamingo in the Atacama Desert in Chile is just beautiful.

Fauna Travel Photography

Honorable Mention Slow Down by Meghan Elliot 

This is one photogenic Galapagos giant tortoise! This photo was taken on Meghan’s custom Galapagos Islands adventure where the group of three enjoyed time on a small-ship cruise as well as time at the land-based Galapagos Safari Camp.


Travel Photography

Honorable Mention Tarantula the Size of a Human Hand by Joy Leibman 

“I just got a kick out of the size of some of the plants & insects in the rainforest,” says Joy of the flora and fauna in Ecuador. In this photo, she had her guide place a hand near the tarantula to show just how big it really was!



Flora Travel Photography

First Place Springtime in Patagonia by Sue Blough

This picture perfectly demonstrates the beauty of Patagonia in spring, and the yellow of the flowers is so vibrant!

Flora Travel Photography

Second Place Vines by Pat Stephenson 

Pat’s shot makes me want to join her in the Casablanca Valley for some wine and relaxation.

flora travel photography

Third Place Contrast by Deb Wood

The colors in this shot are gorgeous, and we love the contrast between the flora and the building.


Landscape Travel Photography

First Place After the Rain by Courtney Lenort 

We were in awe at this perfect rainbow shot in Peru’s Sacred Valley – there is even the hint of a double rainbow!

Landscape Travel Photography

Second Place Towers by Kyle Berghorn

Torres del Paine is such a photogenic place, but this shot is exceptional in its composition.

Landscape Travel Photography

Third Place Atacama Panorama by Greg Stein 

Taken at sunset in the Atacama, the viewer can appreciate the quiet beauty of the desert and mountains.



Portrait Travel Photography

First Place Photographers by Mike & Linda Levey

Armed with cameras and binoculars, this family was ready for the action in the cloud forest at Ecuador’s Mashpi Lodge.

Portrait Travel Photography

Second Place The Trekker by Jon Oliva and Jocelyn Kahn 

The perspective on this shot is beautiful, and we can totally appreciate the view in Torres del Paine.

Portrait Travel Photography

Third Place The Climb by Mary Fransen 

This lovely portrait, taken on a Women’s Group custom trip to Peru, demonstrates the beauty of perseverance.

Grand Prize Winner

Knowmad Adventures Travel Photography

Grand Prize Winner Journey by Mandy Lee Berman 

This photo “is our children following our wonderful guide, Fabiola. She seemed to have as much joy jumping down the sand dunes as our children!” says Mandy of this incredible shot.

I’m in awe. At first glance I almost thought it was taken in sepia tones, but these are the true shades of the Atacama. And I’m still trying to figure out where Mandy was standing to get such an amazing picture.

Congratulations, Mandy and the Berman family! Thank you for your submission. You are the winner of a 3 day / 2 night stay at the Reserva Amazonica Jungle Lodge (valued at $545) in Peru!


Thank you to everyone for sending in photos for this year’s Knowmad Adventures Annual Travel Photography Contest! Krista and I had a lot of fun putting this feature together and seeing the world through your eyes.


Nos Vemos, Lisa

South America Travel - Lisa kellenbergerLisa is the Media Manager at Knowmad Adventures, a company dedicated to creating unique, private and custom trips in South America. She studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2012 and is continually planning her next adventure. Read Lisa’s biography and more about the Knowmad team.