National Geographic photography contest 2014: Hong Kong man wins grand prize for picture of woman using her phone on a crowded train

Brian Yen will receive $10,000 and a trip to the magazine's headquarters in Washington DC for a photography seminar

The winners of the National Geographic’s annual photography contest have been announced after the magazine received more than 9,200 entries from over 150 countries.

The grand prize winner - a picture of a woman bathed in the light of her smartphone as she stands in a dimly lit and crowded train - was taken by Brian Yen in Hong Kong.

He called the image, A Node Glows in the Dark. In his caption for the photo, Mr Yen said: “Although this woman stood at the centre of a jam-packed train, the warm glow from her phone told the strangers around her that she wasn't really there.

“She managed to slip away from ‘here’ for a short moment; she's a node flickering on the social web, roaming the Earth, free as a butterfly.”


Mr Yen told The National Geographic: “I feel a certain contradiction when I look at the picture. On the one hand, I feel the liberating gift of technology.

“On the other hand, I feel people don’t even try to be neighbourly anymore, because they don’t have to.”

Other winners included a picture of a thermal spa in Budapest, Hungary, in the places category and wildebeest jumping down into the Mara River in North Serengeti, Tanzania, in the nature category.

Mr Yen will receive $10,000 (about £6,400) and a trip to National Geographic headquarters in Washington for a photography seminar in January.