Great nature photos: 50 entries in National Geographic’s 2012 photo contest

September 25, 2012 • 10:31 am

Alert reader Michael called my attention to a selection of fifty fantastic photos submitted to this year’s National Geographic photo contest; they’re displayed at The Atlantic. It was hard to choose just seven of these to show you, so go over to the Atlantic and see all of them. Almost every one is a gem.  (If you want to submit your own photo to Nat. Geo., there’s still time: the deadline is November 30.)

You should definitely click to enlarge them.

This one is stunning:

Yosemite Valley at Dusk: A mist had settled over Yosemite Valley, as automobiles passed through, headlights illuminated the fog. (© Phil Hawkins/National Geographic Photo Contest)
Chaos: A huge flock of Red-billed Queleas flies in to drink at the same time as an African Elephant in Tsavo National Park, Kenya. (© Antero Topp/National Geographic Photo Contest)

Don’t throw stones at leopards!  I have no idea whether the guy was badly injured (it looks as if the cat is biting his neck), but I bet they shot the leopard:

Man and Animal Conflict: A Leopard attacks a forest department employee, after the man threw a stone toward the leopard in an abandoned construction site in Limbu Village in Siliguri in West Bengal, India. (© Salil Bera/National Geographic Photo Contest)
The Explosion! The subject’s name is Busaba, a well cared for Indochinese Tigress whose home is at Khao Kheow Open Zoo, Thailand. I had taken many portraits of Busaba previously and it was becoming more and more difficult to come up with an image that appeared any different to the others. Which is why I took to observing her more carefully during my visits in the hope of capturing something of a behavioral shot. The opportunity finally presented itself while watching Busaba enjoying her private pool then shaking herself dry. In all humility I have to say that Mother Nature smiled favorably on me that day! (© Ashley Vincent/National Geographic Photo Contest)

And a somewhat happier felid:

With a Couple of Jovian and Lunar Lights: Jupiter and the Moon light up the sky above a rock formation near Kitaibaraki City, Japan. (© Dr. Akira Takaue/National Geographic Photo Contest)
Jump: Two squirrels were playing in the warm afternoon in the Penitencia Creek County Park in San Jose, California. (© Chih-Hung Kao/National Geographic Photo Contest)
Atlantic Spotted Dolphins having an underwater chat: These three Atlantic Spotted Dolphins were acting playful for a few minutes so I swam over to join in. When I got close the dolphins came together as if they were going to discuss my presence. One of them seemed to say something then they did a little dance and were on their way. Amazing animals, I felt very lucky to capture the moment. Photo taken on White Sand Ridge on Little Bahama Bank, Bahamas. (© John Gaskell/National Geographic Photo Contest)

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