Travel photographers usually try to capture a variety of subjects and emotions with their shots.

Whether it’s a sunset framed by Fijian palm trees, the weathered face of an Indian rickshaw driver, or strips of Tibetan prayer flags flapping in the wind, the focus is on beauty, emotion, and awe.

But rarely is the art of the “hilarious” travel photo celebrated in these circles.

These are the shots depicting a certain look of horror as you’re about to board a rickety river ferry, the satisfaction of “raising the roof” in front of the Vatican, and the shame of passing out on the table of the Irish pub after one pint too many.

So in the spirit of this underrated art, I’ve decided to launch the 5 Hilarious Travel Photos Contest.

Here’s how it works: pick your top 5 hilarious travel photos and publish them on your blog.

What’s the prize? Well, you’d think the amusement one gets from digging through their travel photos for the most absurd shots would be enough. And let’s not forget the prestige factor.

But just to make it interesting I’ll send the winner a brand spankin’ new copy of Lonely Planet Travel Photography: A Guide To Taking Better Pictures.

The Official Rules

1. To participate, you must choose 5 of your most hilarious travel photos and publish them in a single blog post between now and the deadline: midnight on Sunday April 22, 2007.

2. Each photo must either include you OR be taken by you.

3. The photos don’t necessarily have to be hilarious themselves. Often, it’s the story behind the photo that makes them extra hilarious, so feel free to elaborate on each.

4. Send a trackback to this post or email me directly to let me know you’ve posted your entry. I will be gathering and listing them all here until the deadline.

5. After the deadline, I will choose, along with help from a few other travel photographers, the top 5 entries. Entries will be judged as a whole, and not on the merits of a single photo.

7. On Monday, April 23, I will publish the finalists along with a voting poll for the audience to have their say.

6. Voting will end midnight Friday, April 27. From there, the winner will be announced on Monday, April 30.

If you’re stuck looking for inspiration, I’ll be publishing my own entry in the competition this Wednesday. Of course, I’m not eligible to win.

Make sense? If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

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