As a leader in capturing our world through brilliant imagery, National Geographic sets the standard for photographic excellence. Last year, we received more than 22,000 entries from over 150 countries, with professional photographers and amateur photo enthusiasts across the globe participating.
The Grand Prize Winner will receive $10,000 and a trip to National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C., to participate in the annual National Geographic Photography Seminar in January 2014: A behind-the-scenes experience like none other.
Eastern Screech Owls like to take over woodpecker nests that have been dug out over the years in pine trees, which are the main species of tree at this swamp. Fish and wildlife also paint a white ring around the base of a tree that has active nests in order to avoid when conducting controlled burns. Screech owls can range in height anywhere from 8-10 inches, so you have to have a sharp eye to find these little birds of prey.
I spent the first few weeks of April this year photographing the grey morph screech owl that was living in the nest and had no idea there were three owlets inside.
Indonesian farmer herds an army of ducks into rice field at dawn. Ducks are free to roam into rice field to remove insect and plant pests as they fertilize the young rice plants with their droppings.
Every summer solstice, locals in Iceland hike the Skogar to Thorsmork trail. Taking nearly 8 hours to complete, you can approach Thorsmork right as the sun starts to "rise" again. A few fellow hikers up ahead navigate the steep terrain.
A trabocco is an old fishing machine built from wood jutting out into the sea, from where two (or more) long arms called antenna stretch out suspended some feet above the water and supporting a huge net.
Autumn sun pours into Punch Bowl Falls to create some stunning atmospherics. I didn't have long to capture the moving light beams so I frantically started shooting as soon as I arrived on the scene.
While photographing hummingbirds in British Columbia I shot this male Rufous just as he fanned out to show his authority when another male Rufous appeared over my head.
A player on Pacific Lutheran University's soccer team clinches his face in agony after a hard hit with a player from the opposing team.
In Lenin Park, set against the backdrop of the Hanoi Flag Tower which forms part of the Hanoi Citadel, Vietnamese children sparring in a game of badminton.
The picture is captured using special hide placed to the primeval forest in Finland. High trees offer protection to the brown bear cubs being vitally important to survive from all dangers around them. Bear cubs are threatened especially by the other male bears, who might attack and take their lives without any doubt. Thus fast climbing on tree is one of the most important skills for bear cubs in order to survive and they are always ready for it.
Russia, Baikal Lake, cape Pokoyniki. The cape is one of the most interesting places at the shore of Baikal Lake. "Pokoyniki" in Russian means "dead men", the legend tells about Buryat settlement, suddenly died of unknown disease. Another name of this cape - Pokoyniy, means "quiet", because of very quiet bay behind the cape. March, evening twilight, -20C.
- It would have been my parent's 50th wedding anniversary, but my dad didn't make it by two months only. I was spending some precious time with the two of them last summer when my dad, now bed-bound, got hold of my mum's hand and with great affection said: 'my girl'. I promptly got my camera to capture this bittersweet moment. It was to be the last time I ever took photos of dad. He was, amongst many things, a keen photographer. I think I got the bug from him.
While doing a photo shoot with my daughter and her friend in a skate park, one of the skateboarders, surprisingly, traveled to our side of the ramp with nothing other than a "Don't move”, yelling across the way as a head's up! I heard him, the girls did not. Keeping their back-to-back cool ballerina pose, they didn't realize he was flying their way until he actually hit the ramp behind them. This picture is as real as they come. They were truly shocked and scared at that exact moment. Such a cool moment. Two pretty, pretty ballerinas’ shocked and appalled at the actions of an urban skateboarder. Priceless!
This picture was taken during my trip to Hamburg, Germany. When I went to the city center, suddenly I saw 1600 styrofoam panda bear sculptures stand on display in front of Hamburg City Hall by a nature conservation organization. This is part of the campaign to draw the attention to the fact that only 1600 panda bears remain in the wild. The display has traveled to 25 other cities in Germany.
The name of the nun is Suor Rosalba, which literally could mean Pink Sunrise. The hot sulphur waters of this lake made for an ideal early morning natural spa. I met Suor Rosalba as she was standing in the spa waters in the dark well before sunrise, we talked for a while and then the picture shows her leaving to go the first Mass of the day. Taken in Sirmione, Lake Garda, Italy.
This little plant was struggling to survive in an extremely inhabitable place, an abandoned train yard depot. It's surround by 30 year of rust, decay and toxins, no direct sunlight, very little water and no soil. All the things we are told plants need to survive. Yet this little plant has still risen up and even seems to Glow!
This area known as Çankr Salt Cave and believed that it was operated by Hittites (3000 BC), since 5000 years. This area has the largest rock salt reserve in Turkey. This area stated 25 km. east from Çankr and rock salt production made by the mining method, room and pillar system. Although a relatively narrow entrance gallery, the galleries where production made resemble highway tunnels. Salt cavities, 400 m. under the earths crust, thick of blood vessel, separated orderly room and pillars. In other words, parallel galleries designed in salt cavities.
Road Bowling is played with a 28 oz. (793.8 grams) solid iron bowl with a circumference of approximately 18 centimetres. Contestants match their individual skills in throwing the bowl with optimum speed, controlled delivery, and international accuracy along a carefully considered and tactically selected path over a predetermined course distance of normal roadway. The winner is the player to reach the finishing line in the least number of throws or shots. This photograph was taken during the 29th King and Queen of the Roads Tournament in Ballincurrig, Co. Cork, Ireland
Found this fissure while hiking with my brother one day, and scaled down into it and explore around
We just want to move to search to the Leopard at that morning but we found a group of giraffes come toward a small lake and start drinking it was a nice moment when the Giraffe finish from drinking and leave a letters S with motion in the air
A long penguin standing in the surf on South Georgia Island.
Westley Wade was born pre-maturely at 28 weeks due to complications with pre-eclampsia. In this image, his adoring parents were just told that depending on test results their baby who weighed less than 2 pounds could potentially need heart surgery. As his parents emotionally looked down at him through cords and wires, this warrior new born (4 day old) baby boy Westley shot his hand up straight for them as if to let them know, that everything would in fact, be alright. Gratefully, it was and is. Westley is now 10 pounds 9 oz at 4.5 months and continues to amaze everyone who crosses his path.
Our two-year-old son playing in the dirt with our dog Raine.
The Saidai-ji Eyo festival, considered one of the three strangest festivals of Japan, is a Buddhist ritual in which 9000 men compete to grab just a pair of sacred wooden batons to decide who will be the "Blessed man" for the year. The over 500 year-old tradition of Eyo is based on an underlying understanding of the state of human life, greater than the ideals and trends of a single generation, and this idea has been cherished and passed down through the centuries.
Rare photo of a tongue parasite in an Anemone fish, taken in Komodo, Indonesia
The empty observation deck on a rainy Sunday, having some sense of tranquility. The view of the Metropolis was veiled in a haze, but the nearby buildings were rather clearly reflected on the ceiling.
We went to Cappadocia for the wonderful balloon trip on the land of beautiful horses. However, we didn't have a chance to enjoy ourselves on the balloon after 3 days waiting there due to the windy and cloudy weather in the morning. Never mind, we can still enjoy this lonely balloon trip of our own by flying it into this pretty sunset.
New York City Street at 8:38am
Taken at Mishima town in Fukushima pref. The first train goes across the railway bridge through in morning mist. The train moves forward little by little slowly.
Carezza Lake is a pearl of the Dolomiti. Nestled between an ancient forest of grand firs and the Latemar Mountain is place of legends and beauty. A nymph lives under its emerald waters.I threw a little stone in the water to add a little mystery to the scene.