By Erika Owen
Updated: December 06, 2016

Follow along as we introduce the finalists of the 2016 T+L Photo Contest. These nine photographers come from all over the United States—but their photos span the entire world. For Round 2 of the contest, we asked each finalist to subject a few more of their photographs showcasing their talent and a video outlining why they should be named the winner. Don't forget to vote for your favorite photographer before the voting ends on December 13th.

Staycation may have been the toughest category in this year's photo contest, but Jie Pan—a travel photographer and foreign language teacher based in San Francisco—managed to prove that travel-worthy moments are located all around, near and far. Our judges loved her winning photo (pictured above) for its unexpected angles. "I think it is unusual—it feels unexpected to me—to see that much in two directions," says Travel + Leisure Photo Editor Alex Arnold. "We as the viewers see something that the subject can’t see as she turns the corner.”

Travel + Leisure Photo Director Scott Hall appreciated the conflicting movement of the shot: “What I like about this picture is the tension that I’m being pulled in two directions," he says. "I feel like I’m coming down the hill, and she’s going up. This is what makes you stop and look at the picture. Not to mention, she’s shooting at a great time of day—the light hitting the side of the buildings is really pretty.”

In her free time, Pan loves exploring San Francisco and the beaches of the West Coast. Her work explores the intersection of humans and nature—two subjects you'll almost always see in her photos. 

Want to know more about Pan and her work? Check it out—and don't forget to vote!