Each year, National Geographic gives readers from around the globe a chance to submit their travel photos. Last year alone, the contest had more than 18,000 entries.
From deer-breeding in Russia to diving with elephants of the coast of the Andaman Islands, take a look at a selection of entries from this year’s competition categories: Travel Portraits, Outdoor Scenes, Sense of Place, and Spontaneous Moments.
“On an expedition at Todos Santos in South Baja California, Mexico, I was searching for big predators feeding on sardine baitballs, marlins, sharks, or tunas, but instead of it I found this little but very beautiful sea bird, the Hawaiian Petrel. It was feeding on crustaceans. Luckily I was able to capture the moment it submerge its head to feed on the tiny food source.” –Alejandro Prieto
“I had a tripod set up on Godafoss waterfall in Iceland last month. I used a 10-stop ND filter to capture the movement of the water as the sun set in the distance.” –Ed Graham
“Reindeer breeding is probably one of the rarest professions. In our region, in Yamal, there are approximately 14,000 men that live together with the herds of deers. The majority of these men are €œNentsi€ by nationality and are representatives of native population. This photo was taken in Yamal region (Gydansky tundra), Russia. The temperature in April was -20 degrees below 0.” –Anisimov Sergey
“I went to Big Sur to photograph the gray whale migration from the cliffs but when I got there it was too foggy to even see the water. I decided to hike up the Baronda Trail to see if I could get above the clouds and this view was the gift I was given. Lupine carpeting the hills and blue skies for miles.” –Douglas Croft
“A large female hammerhead shark swims just over the seafloor off the coast of Bimini, Bahamas.” –Tanya Houppermans
“A bird’s-eye view of tulip fields near Voorhout in the Netherlands, photographed with a drone in April 2015.” –Anders Andersson
“This photograph was taken during the first day of the celebration Rapas das Bestas, in Sabucedo, Galicia, Spain. It was raining heavily. About 250 horses were competing for their territory during the lock-up. Both the heat that flew out of the horses and the humidity provoked the steam that can be seen, converting it into a fog. It is an encounter where men and animals are equal.” –Guillermina Sogo
“A Pacu Jawi jockey bites the tail of a cow for speed acceleration.” –Achmad Sumawijaya
“This image was captured as we were returning from a fruitless search for active humpback whales. We had given up, as the sun was setting, and were returning to harbour, when this young humpback started breaching right in front of us. Sometimes, you just get lucky.” –David Howells
“During a workshop I [took] an aerial photography trip capturing the river of Thjorsa, largest river in Iceland.” —Sarah Alsayegh
“Dogsledding in Kiruna, Swedish Lapland.” —Ido Meirovich
“Last night’s aurora borealis in Iceland with moonlight.” –Andrew George
- “I’m deep in a Cuban salt water mangrove lying belly down in two feet of murky water and looking at this through the view finder, the business end of a wild 2.5-meter American saltwater crocodile. Now my photography has led me into a few interesting situations in the past, but this takes the cake. I’m staying as still as can be, sweat beading on my forehead mumbling to myself, “Focus, frame, just get the shot, come on.” One of the most exhilarating moments of my life!” –Matthew Smith
“The cloud on the Mt Fuji changed the figure one after another. At this time, the soft fluff shape appeared.
I finished this shot in strong contrast black-and-white photo to create this image.” –Takashi
“We had just arrived at the north rim of the Grand Canyon where the skies were cloudy and there was drizzle in the air, putting a damper on our photographic enthusiasm. But as the sun set, it briefly slipped below the clouds and blessed us with a beautiful double rainbow, truly an awesome outdoor scene.” –Tony Prince
“A female Polar Bear walking towards us in Svalbard, the Norwegian archipelago.” –Daniele Bertin
“Focusing on one single iceberg, I wanted to show the isolation of the landscape, set on a small volcanic island in the north Atlantic. Using a slow shutter to give a sense of the mystical beauty of Iceland. Photographed next to Jokulsarlon, a glacial lagoon which sends iceberg break-offs from the Vatnajokull Glacier out to sea. These large and beautiful blue sculptures of ice often end up on the volcanic black beaches of Iceland as a result of the strong tides at the coast.”–Sam Morris