Via The Atlantic we have the winners, honorable mentions, and just plain great pictures from the annual National Geographic photo contest. There were so many great ones that I couldn’t limit myself to just one or two, so I’m highlighting fifteen. Captions are from The Atlantic.
As always, click to enlarge:
A male jawfish mouthbrooding eggs until they hatch. (© Steven Kovacs)
Many people pilgrimage to Uluru, but what is seen there often depends on where you’ve come from. (© Robert Spanring)
“Splashing”, Grand Prize Winner and winner of the Nature category. This photo was taken when I was taking photos of other insects, as I normally did during macro photo hunting. I wasn’t actually aware of this dragonfly since I was occupied with other objects. When I was about to take a picture of it, it suddenly rained, but the lighting was just superb. I decided to take the shot regardless of the rain. The result caused me to be overjoyed, and I hope it pleases viewers. Location: Batam, Riau Islands, Indonesia. (© Shikhei Goh)
Eruption of the Cordon del Caulle. (© Ricardo Mohr)
“Sulfuric Fire Festival”, honorable mention in Places category. Once a year, Formosa fishermen’s unique sulfuric fire fishing ritual is handed down from generation to generation. Location: Taipei (© Hung-Hsiu Shih)
An unexpected side-effect of the 2010 flooding in parts of Sindh, Pakistan, was that millions of spiders climbed up into the trees to escape the rising flood waters; because of the scale of the flooding and the fact that the water took so long to recede, many trees became cocooned in spiders webs. People in the area had never seen this phenomenon before, but they also reported that there were less mosquitos than they would have expected, given the amount of standing water that was left. Not being bitten by mosquitoes was one small blessing for people that had lost everything in the floods. (© Russell Watkins)
My second favorite:
“The Hunt”, honorable mention in Nature category. I personally believe that, beyond the formal representation of reality, mediated by the technical instruments necessary to fix an image in time, photography is made of insights. The shot is the last act of image capturing and in many ways the easiest part of the whole process. This panning effect, even in its imperfection, with the chromatic harmony of the background, with all the needless information eliminated and the luck of having the big cat’s lifted tail in symmetry with the impala horns, brings the observer inside the hunting without distractions. Location: Kenya, Masai Mara National Reserve(© Stefano Pesarelli)
“Waterway to Orbit”, honorable mention in Places category. Space shuttle Endeavour STS-130 launches into orbit toward the east, as the stars and waning crescent moon trail toward the west, leaving a beautiful reflection on the Intracoastal Waterway in Ponte Vedra, Florida. This 132-second time exposure of the final night launch of a space shuttle, from launch through SRB separation, was taken 115 miles north of Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center. Location: Ponte Vedra, Florida (© James Vernacotola)
Beluga whales in the arctic having fun. (© Dafna Ben Nun)
Yala National park of Sri Lanka is best known for leopards, but of course very difficult to get them in action. This is one of the well grown three cubs got excited and started jumping between branches. I got it against the light within fraction of a second.(© Lalith Ekanayake) You can find other entries from the contest here. All are spectacular.
This is a shot of one of the many thermal pools in Yellowstone National Park. (© Danielle Goldstein)
This is my favorite:
Flight of an Eagle owl Photo by Mark Bridger A large adult eagle owl in flight. (© Mark Bridger)
Climbing the Harding Ice-field trail in the rain, has its rewards. I stopped to admire glacier, only to find an adult black bear eating in front of a glowing blue glacier. (© Colin McCrindle)
Of course we must have a felid:
This lynx (Lynx canadensis) flinches its ear at bothersome gnats in the late evening summer sun in Alaska. (© Jimmy Tohill)
This photo was taken in the Upper Antelope Canyon near Page (AZ) and it shows the amazing effect of the sand thrown in the air and struck by the rays of the sun. (© Angiolo Manetti )
You can see all the winners, submissions, and editors’ favorites at the National Geographic website.