©Aaron Lim Bon Teck

Aaron Lim Bon Teck of Singapore has won the $10,000 grand prize in the 2010 National Geographic Photography Contest with an image of the eruption of Indonesia’s Gunung Rinjani volcano.

It’s an impressive shot, but it’s hard to believe this panoramic image was created without High Dynamic Range imaging (HDR) and some stitching.

Not that those techniques are against the contest rules. But National Geographic did try to discourage them.

“I strongly urge you to submit photographs that are un-manipulated and real,” National Geographic told entrants in an addendum to the contest rules. “The world is already full of visual artifice, and we don’t want the National Geographic Photo Contest to add to it. We want to see the world through your eyes, not the tools of Photoshop.”

Oh, well. There’s always next year.  (For more about the controversy over HDR, see our story here.)

Lim Boon Teck’s image also won in the Nature category. The winner of the People category was Chan Kwok Hung of Hong Kong. Jana Asenbrennerova of San Francisco took top prize in the Places category.

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