These days, it's easy to delude ourselves into thinking we're pretty spectacular photographers. With iPhones at the ready and a favorite Instagram filter in mind, our totally unique vision ("Ooh, a sunset!") is realized and instantly posted online for all of our friends to admire.
Which is why it's refreshing for publications like National Geographic — whose glossy pages have long been filled with such prominent photographers as Steve McCurry and David Guttenfelder — to distinguish the talented from the rest of us.
Every year, the travel magazine invites photographers from around the world to join its frame-worthy ranks with the National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest. The 2014 edition is still underway, so if your ego hasn't been completely obliterated, you have until June 30 to submit. In the meantime, here is a selection of photographs already in contention for the grand prize.
*Go to National Geographic Traveler to submit your own photo by June 30 (you can also vote for your favorite!)*