In pics: National Geographic launches Nature Photographer of the Year contest

Fire in the Savannah! On a cold winter morning at the savannah, from a distance it looked like a ballof fire! Masai Mara, Africa (Jayaprakash Joghee Bojan/ 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year)

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC is inviting photographers from around the world to enter the 2017 Nature Photographer of the Year contest.

The grand-prize winner will receive $10,000 (USD), publication in National Geographic Magazine and a feature on National Geographic’s Instagram account, @natgeo.

Eligible contestants can visit to submit photographs in any or all of four categories: Wildlife, Landscapes, Underwater and Aerials.

Each entry to the contest will be submitted through National Geographic’s online photo community, Your Shot, where members can comment on photos and share their favorites.

The entry fee is $15 (USD) per photo, and there is no limit to the number of submissions per entrant.

Entries must be in digital format and submitted electronically. The contest ends Friday, Nov. 17, at 12 p.m. EST (5pm in the UK).

Here are some of the stunning photos from the submissions so far, along with captions written by the photographers.


(Bernt Østhus/ 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year)

The wolf

The wolves are redlisted in the nordic countries, as hunting has brought them close to extinction.

This beautiful male was captured a cold morning in the eastern parts of Finland.

The moment it showed itself in the morning was magical – a rare sight in the winter time – they are more commonly photographed in the summertime.

Bernt Østhus

Galapagos Marine Iguanas sneeze to expel excess salt water after they feed in the ocean.


(Wai Hoe Mok/ 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year)

Silky Sunset

As the sun set in Jardines de la Reina, golden sun rays pierced through the surface of the water.

It painted a spectacular backdrop for the pelagic silky sharks that came out to hunt.

I was under a lot of time pressure take the shots. As the window of the golden light shrunk, the boatman hurried me to exit the water.

Shark waters can be dangerous on the surface when it gets dark. It was also too dangerous to navigate around shallow reefs to return to the mother boat.


Wai Hoe Mok

(Adam Zaff / 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year)


This photo was taken in amboseli, Kenya. A group of hyenas were the aggressors in attempting to take on two female lionesses who they had sensed to be old or injured.

The standoff lasted about 30 minutes, but in the end the hyenas were no match for the two lionesses who were able to get away unscathed.

Adam Zaff


(Franco Banfi/ 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year)

Swimming over the sleepers

Free diver swimming over a pod of sleeping sperm whale, Physeter macrocephalus, Vulnerable (IUCN).

The sperm whale is the largest of the toothed whales. Sperm whales are known to dive as deep as 1,000 meters in search of squid to eat. Image has been shot in Dominica, Caribbean Sea, Atlantic Ocean. Photo taken under permit n°P 17-01/02 Fis-4

Franco Banfi

(Sunil Gopalan/ 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year)

Working in the rain

One morning, as I was photographing Atlantic Puffins on a remote island in Scotland, the skies
clouded over and it started raining. Soon it was pouring and the wind was blowing the water
right into my lens.
While rain can be discouraging, I think it offers an opportunity for some diversity of shots.
The birds kept coming back from the sea with mouths full of fish. I was soaked – but so were the puffins.
But they kept on working, and so did I.
Sunil Gopalan

Kvitøya – Svalbard

Two walruses on an ice floe in front of Kvitøya (White Island) in the Svalbard Archipelago.

The remote island is located above 80 degrees north in the high Arctic and is almost completely covered by a thick ice cap.

Christian Aslund

(Chase Teron/ 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year)
When Icebergs Reflect
Playing on the title of this shot, in the reflection you can see a profile of an angry face and another face straight on, yelling or screaming.
The iceberg’s beauty distracts us from the reality of the iceberg’s internal angst towards the state of the planet.
This image became so much more powerful with the reflection providing the true emotion caused by the destruction and deterioration of our planet.
Chase Teron
(Sonalini Khetrapal / 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year)

The Duel

The open & arid landscape of Etosha NP is truly stunning. The goal of my trip was to photograph zebras with their striking coats across this backdrop.

A herd of zebras arrived at the waterhole to quench their thirst. Suddenly, there was chaos and thick dust clouds blinded our vision.

Within moments, two male zebras emerged from the dust, landing blows at each other with their hooves and heads.

The duel lasted only a few minutes but it gave me an opportunity to capture this heavily charged moment.

Sonalini Khetrapal