Photo: gapyear.com.

Entries for travel photography contests can be a real mixed-bunch. In a nutshell, they're often a messy hodgepodge of professional-standard images and amateurish holiday snaps.

Think the Northern Lights, shot from a slightly wonky angle, and a seashell on a beach, shot from a slightly wonkier angle with a black and white filter, and you'll have encapsulated the majority of entries for every photography competition in history.

The 2015 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest, however, seems to be serving up some genuinely original gems. This annual competion asks photographers from all around the world to submit photos in four categories: outdoor scenes, sense of place, travel portraits, and spontaneous moments.

We reckon that most of you will agree with us when we say the entries showcased below are genuinely beautiful. If, however, you take a look at these and think you could do better; the competition doesn't close until the 30th of June (2015).

What are you waiting for? Get travellin', and get snappin'.

Photo:  Chris Schmid.
Photo:  Shane Wheel.
Photo: Ravikanth Kurma.
National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest.
Photo:  Matthew Saville.
Photo:  Lee Scott.
Photo: S. Ram.
Photo:  Ed Graham.
Photo:  Stefane Berube.

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