Washington, D.C.’s famous cherry trees are in full bloom, and Nat Geo Travel took you there in real time with Dan Westergren, the head of photography for Traveler magazine, leading the way. During the Google Hangout On Air, Dan went down to one of the District’s most photogenic spots–the Tidal Basin–to capture this world-class capital city in…

When you work at National Geographic, one of the first questions people ask is if you get to travel. The answer is often yes, but one of the best parts of the job is being surrounded by sharp, globe-trotting people, and getting to hear their stories. That’s why we asked folks on National Geographic’s Travel team to share a story about the best trip they’ve taken in the past year with our Intelligent Travel readers.

The 26th annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest just got underway, and we’re off to a great start so far. The magazine will be awarding seriously spectacular prizes this year, so don’t miss your chance to win. Enter today!

When you’ve traveled very far and weather conditions aren’t what you were expecting, you can’t pack up your camera and go home. As frustrating as bad weather can be, you can end up with images that are far more special than anything you could have captured had the weather been “good.” Here are five tips to get you started.

Here at National Geographic Travel, we like to celebrate and explore new destinations and rediscover the classics. And with hundreds of thousands of cities in the world, there’s always something new to learn. That’s why we started our popular I Heart My City series, where locals share insider intelligence about the places they know and love best.

Now we’re asking you to show us your city–the people, places, and moments that make it unique–through your own travel lens. Participate in the I Heart My City YourShot photo assignment for a chance to be featured on the Nat Geo Travel website. The deadline to submit your photos is on Monday, February 17.

Go on assignment with Nat Geo Travel’s director of photography Dan Westergren in the charming mountain town of Whitefish, Montana, and get real-time tips about how to get the shot…in the snow. Join Dan and other Nat Geo Travel staffers back in D.C. for a Google Hangout On Air on Monday, February 10.

Pete McBride has been adding a flash of panache to Traveler for roughly 15 years. “He brings the whole package to the magazine, ” says Director of Photography Dan Westergren. Though McBride started off making his name as a photographer, he has the literary chops to handle both text and images for feature stories–which is rare. And, as Dan notes, he has something else going for him: “the curiosity to find out what makes the world tick.” Here’s a small peek into the life and times of Pete McBride.

Traveler contributing photographers Cotton Coulson and Sisse Brimberg have been part of the National Geographic family for years. Most recently, the husband-and-wife duo photographed “Danish Modern,” which ran in the magazine’s November 2013 issue. Here’s a brief look at the creative couple and their singular view of the world.

National Geographic Traveler’s director of photography, Dan Westergren, has the distinct pleasure (and sometimes pain) of choosing which photographs run in the magazine. The award-winning photographers assigned to our stories come back from the field with such a rich variety of images that it can be hard, if not impossible, to make the final cut. So we asked…

At the dawn of digital photography, professional cameras maintained the look and bulk of the 35mm film cameras that photographers had been using for a generation. But, because digital sensors were expensive to make, these cameras were equipped with a sensor that was approximately a third smaller than the 24×36 mm dimension of the 35mm…

I often fantasize about heading out the door with just one camera hanging around my neck. But when I go on the road to take pictures for Traveler that’s not really possible. Because I’m supposed to get great photos no matter what, I often need to rely on different lenses to make a situation look more photogenic than it might in real life. But there are benefits to traveling light when you’re out making pictures.

When can you call yourself a “professional” photographer? Is it when you buy an expensive camera, sell a picture, or get published? No one seems to agree.

National Geographic Travel invited photographers from Canada, Germany, and France to join us in Toronto’s reinvented Distillery District with a simple goal in mind: to show how different photographic personalities capture the essence of a place in pictures — and to share the experience with the world in real time via Google Hangouts on Air.

Are Filters the Answer?

Reader Question: Are lens filters still necessary for digital photography? Are there filters that National Geographic photographers use to make their pictures look better?

How to Photograph Kids

Photographing kids can be challenging. Here are a few tricks to make it easier.

How to Master White Balance

Reader Question: What is white balance and why is it important? Is there a downside to setting my camera to “auto”?

I just returned from photo workshop in Santa Fe led by longtime National Geographic photographer, Joe McNally. When you’re in the presence of such greatness, some of it has to rub off, right? Here are a few things I picked up that I hope will help you step up your photography skills.

The 25th annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest has been a long, strange, and beautiful trip. We loved every minute of it, and we hope you did, too. Here are this year’s winners.

Why Shoot in Raw Format?

Reader Question: Do most National Geographic photographers shoot in raw format? And if they do, why?

How to Capture the Moment

Reader Question: I’ve heard photographers talk about capturing the moment. What does that mean?

This week, for the only the third time in its 103-year history, the “voice of Philadelphia” — the Wanamaker Grand Court Organ — will fall silent. But the good news is that it’s only for a few weeks, while it gets a much needed tune-up.

Reader Question: What’s the best lens for landscape or cityscape photography?

My Answer: When I’m trying to make an interesting landscape or cityscape picture, but nothing seems to be coming together, I find it useful to work at opposite extremes with regard to lens choice.

Have you always dreamed of seeing your photographs in National Geographic Traveler? Well, here’s your chance to make that dream a reality. But you’re going to have to act fast: The last day to enter our 25th annual photo contest is on Sunday, June 30.

Reader Question: How do I become a photographer for National Geographic?

My Answer: Photography is really no different than any other pursuit in life if you plan to make a living at it.

Reader Question: What’s your advice for taking the best portraits?

My Answer: Two words: light and lens.