Extraordinary images from around the world
An icy, deserted playground, surrounded by frost-dipped trees. Waves rolling in off the Hawaiian coast. Paris, seen from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
Put out a call to 'Flashpackers' - camera-touting backpackers - to send in their best photographs from around the world, and these are the results.
The winning entrant to the My Travel Pictures award - an ice-covered fairground in Kazakhstan by amateur photographer Manuel Hutama - was proof that you don't have to be a professional photographer to take stunning shots.
Prizewinning picture: Manuel Hutama came first in the competition for this shot of a frozen winter wonderland in Kazakhstan, which shows a deserted, ice-covered fairground ride
Making waves: Justin Manning snapped this awesome shot of the sea rolling in off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii - the location of many blockbuster films due to its natural beauty and easy access to Hollywood
Tour group The Flash Pack launched its competition to gather images from amateur photographers around the world, and has chosen its top choices.
Entrants to My Travel Pictures were asked to send in their best travel and holiday snaps.
Some 1,406 entries were sent in, and the winning photographer received a state-of-the-art Fujifilm camera.
Entries ranged from cityscape shots taken in Sydney, Australia, and from up the Eiffel Tower in Paris in France, to an antelope gamboling against the sunset of a Tanzanian game reserve.
An amateur shot taken by Cyrille Cornu in Madagascar featured a dusty road lined with trees, while Lucinda Simas Magalhaes captured a snow-covered Laguna Verde in southwest Bolivia.
Kingdom of ice: Lucinda Simas Magalhaes travelled to the South American state of Bolivia to take this picture of the Laguna Verde in the southwestern part of the country
Soaring sights: The parks and people of Paris look far away in Akber Ismail's picture, which shows the view from the top of the Eiffel Tower
The competition was set up by the founder of The Flash Pack, Lee Thompson, to celebrate the launch of his new company.
Entrants were asked to send in a digital picture from anywhere in the world, whether taken with a professional lens or using an old disposable camera or a smart phone.
Visitors to the site were then asked to vote for their favourites before the final winner was chosen. A photo journalist himself, Thompson covered many of the biggest breaking stories from around the world in the past ten years, including the Japanese tsunami, the Egyptian revolution and the conflict in Libya.
Thompson said: 'Most of our customers carry around SLR cameras or smartphones so we wanted to see some of their best travel photographs.
'The images we have received are nothing short of astonishing.'
Sepia smoke: A mist comes down and shrouds Sydney Harbour in Australia in this mysterious picture by photographer Joe Menggolo
Shifting sands: The Sahara Desert dunes stretch out over more than 3,600,000 square miles - and photographer Wanho Jang took this shot of them in Egypt
Land before time: Cyrille Cornu captured prehistoric trees and dusty roads in this dreamscape that he took in Madagascar on the southeastern coast of Africa
Photographs from U.S. Department of the Interior's Instagram account reveal the stunningly diverse landscapes of the United States
The U.S. Department of the Interior has amassed a breathtaking collection of photography documenting the diverse landscapes of the United States and shared it in an Instagram account.
The images come from photographers around the country who have captured moments in time in public lands, such as national parks, to dramatic effect. The account has also captured 30,000 followers with its depictions of U.S. natural beauty.
The Department of the Interior is charged with managing America's vast natural and cultural resources, and employs about 70,000 people around the country to do just that. Under the umbrella of the Department are the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Below are 21 of the most beautiful shots to grace the Department's Instagram page since it was begun about a year ago. Follow the Department of the Interior for more amazing pictures from around the country.
Nevada: The Red Rock National Conservation Area
Alaska: The line between smoke and clouds blurs above the Toklat River East Fire
Utah: The desert of eastern Utah in all its stark beauty seen from Skyline Rim near Factory Butte with the Henry Mountains in the distance
Maine: The rugged coast of Maine is home to the Acadia National Park
Michigan: A moose grazes at Daisy Farm Campground in Isle National Park in the early morning
Arizona: A storm lights up Grand Canyon National Park in this photo taken from Lipan Point on the South Rim
Utah: A tree's roots spread out over the Bryce Canyon National Park
Michigan: Young bulls face off in the early morning at Isle Royale National Park
New Mexico: Birds take flight in the steamy wetlands of the Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge
Montana: Inside a snow cave high on the Swiftcurrent Pass at Glacier National Park
Colorado: It's rare to see the Northern Lights so far south, seen here from Great Sand Dunes National Park
American Samoa: The white sand and tropical waters of the National Park of American Samoa
Alaska: Aurora Borealis as seen over the Nowitna River in the Nowitna National Refuge
Love birds: Layson Albatross in Hawaii mate for life
Colorado: The Milky Way as seen over the Great Sand Dunes National Park
The luminous landscapes of Palouse: Farming region's stunning scenery looks like it was created by a master painter
With its rolling hills and contrasting colours these photographs could be mistaken for paintings. But the beautiful landscape images actually show the Palouse Valley in Washington State. The photographs were taken by Christine Haines who visits the picturesque region every year.
Beautiful: This incredible scene of the Palouse Valley in Washington State was caught on camera by photographer Christine Haines
This year she managed to shoot the distinctive rolling hills and captured the beauty of this American farmland.
Located just south of Spokane, the Palouse is a rich farming area stretching some 3,000 square miles. It has been compared to Tuscany in Italy, except it has crops of wheat and rapeseed rather than vineyards.
Ms Haines, from Spokane, said: 'I visit the Palouse at least once a year, usually in the spring.
Tourist spot: The Palouse Valley is a top destination for photographers all over the world because of its natural beauty
Rolling hills: The fertile land in the Palouse Valley is primarily used to grow wheat and legumes
Picture perfection: These images of the natural scene of Palouse are so stunning they could easily be mistaken for a painting by Van Gogh or Claude Monet
The breathtaking images were captured by Christine Haines who visits the region annually. This year captured perfectly the picturesque American farmland
The Palouse encompasses parts of south east Washington, north central Idaho extending south into north east Oregon
May and June are the best months to capture the beautiful green rolling hills, while in July you have the gold and brown colours
The area has been compared to Tuscany in Italy except it has crops of wheat and rapeseed rather than vineyards
Picturesque: Christine Haines captured this tree in the beautiful Palouse Valley in Washington state
Dramatic: The Palouse stretches from Spokane to Walla Walla, and is bounded by mountains in Western and Northern Washington and Western Idaho
World famous: The crop fields looks just as stunning during sunset as they do during the day
A paraglider floats across the Palouse Valley in Washington which is a rich farming area stretching 3,000 square miles
A deer jumps over wheat below Steptoe Butte in the Palouse hills. Ms Haines visits the Palouse at least once a year, usually in the spring
'May and June are the best months to capture the beautiful green rolling hills, while in July you have the gold and brown colours.
'Even though I consider myself a wildlife photographer and not a landscape photographer, I like to photograph this area because of its beauty and to practice landscape photograph.
'The Palouse is farmland and is always changing. I usually stay three to four hours. The best time is at sunset.'
The Palouse encompasses parts of south east Washington, north central Idaho and extending south into northeast Oregon.
Hot and cold: Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania by Peter Rombaut (lett) and the Glacier Mountain Retreat in Antarctica by Nick Menzies
Exploring: A hiker (right) explores Buckskin Gulch in Utah, while (right) a climber scales the Shark's Fin in the Alabama Hills Recreating Area in California
Wonder: Avalanche Lake (left) in Glacier National Park, Montana, and (right) the June 2013 'supermoon' as seen from Arches National Park, Utah
Dusk til dawn: A fisherman (left) on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina at sunset and (right) the early morning fog at the Colorado National Monument
As any traveler knows, Lonely Planet creates awesome travel guide books that inspire people to explore far-flung places all over the world. Who hasn't bought a Lonely Travel book before they took off on their vacation?
In their latest book, Lonely Planet's Beautiful World, they take us on a journey to the planet's most breathtaking places, showing us a collection of images that celebrate the world's most magnificent spectacles like fiery volcano eruptions, wind-sculpted icebergs, and mind-blowing migrations of wildlife.
The 224 page, full-color book contains over 200 images that are meant to inspire readers to see the world like they've never seen it before. Today, courtesy of Lonely Planet, here is a selection of the best images you'll find inside the book. Don't they make you want to pack your bags and go somewhere?
Above: Bryce Canyon National Park Utah