Our Favorite National Geographic Photo Contest Entries


Attention photographers of all skill levels: the deadline to enter this year’s National Geographic Photo Contest is swiftly approaching, so if you’ve got a fantastic shot that fits into the categories of people, places, or nature, be sure to enter by November 30. Images will be judged on creativity and photographic quality by a panel of experts (aka National Geographic magazine photographers Tim Laman, Amy Toensing, and Peter Essick), with one grand prize winner receiving $10,000 and a trip to National Geographic headquarters in Washington, DC. Whether you need a little inspiration to help you get started or you’re looking to size up the competition, click through to check out some of our favorites from the submissions that they’ve already received so far.

Blue lagoon, Iceland. Photo/caption credit: Maroesjka Lavigne

I’ve always been intrigued by the markings of giraffes–how they vary between individuals and how they look like pieces of a puzzle, cracked mud or even tectonic plates in my scientific mind. I’ve tried many times to capture them but it was never right. Here, this oxpecker in a tight crop, lost on the abstract surface and framed by the legs of the larger animal finally seems to work. South Africa. Photo/caption credit: Benjamin Bronselaer

Setting sun lights up clouds over Salar de Atacama in north Chile. I took this photo in July 2011 and at that time clouds like this were worrying sign of more unusual snow fall which already blocked roads to Bolivia and Argentina. Thankfully this time it just served as spectacular canvas to a sunset and reminder how beautiful is the world we live in. Salar de Atacama, Chile. Photo/caption credit: Magdalena Rakita

A very different perspective of the Golden Gate Bridge. San Francisco, CA, USA. Photo/caption credit: Reuben Cornel

Photographs taken at the entrance to the New Mosque in Eminonu districkt of Istanbul. After strolling through the streets of this ancient city, I have stopped there to relax watching the hordes flying from one feeder to the other. Istanbul, Turkey. Photo/caption credit: Wojciech Ryzinski

At safari not only animals can attract attention. South Africa, Western Cape, Aquila Safari park. Photo/caption credit: Dmitry Gorilovskiy

Walking down a main street in Addis, I met this young character. We started talking and soon became friends. One day, he invited me to his home to try some famous Ethiopian coffee, prepared traditionally. As I drank cup after cup of exquisite, freshly roasted coffee, this scene emerged in front of me. In a way it described my experience of Ethiopia, and other African nations I had worked in: a rapidly changing, dynamic world where tradition and modernity struggle to coexist. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Photo/caption credit: Jason Benovoy

A large adult eagle owl in flight. Lingfield, Surrey, UK. Photo/caption credit: Mark Bridger

Winter is extremely beautiful in Lithuania. It was an early morning and minus 25 degrees Celsius outside. This landscape feels out of this world, but in fact it’s in the outskirts of my home city, Kaunas—just a mile away from my house. Oftentimes beauty lies just a step away from our door. Kaunas, Lithuania. Photo/caption credit: Matas Juras

This image was captured to Sandbar, Grand Cayman during my last trip.This beautiful creature turn around you very close and you can touch it.This is a really amazing experience, you are surrounded by dozen of this friendly animal. Sandbar-Grand Cayman-Caribean. Photo/caption credit: Gazzaroli Claudio

All images via The Big Picture.