40 Breathtaking Photos from National Geographic Contest

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The National Geographic has been known for bringing awareness about natural resources and the planet since 1888. It has been educating people and has been the largest non-profitable scientific organization that inspired millions of people to pay closer attention to their environment.

In this post, we are going to share some stunning photographs from The National Geographic’s Annual International Photography Contest, as well as showcasing some really beautiful wallpapers from National Geographic collections. We hope that you’ll like this collection — please share your opinion with us.

National Geographic Contest Photos

By Yusuke Okada, Japan
A manatee photographed in Florida

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By Cesare Naldi, United States
Nazroo, a mahout (elephant driver), poses for a portrait while taking his elephant, Rajan, out for a swim in front of Radha Nagar Beach in Havelock, Andaman Islands. Rajan is one of the few elephants in Havelock that can swim, so when he is not dragging timber in the forest he is used as a tourist attraction. The relationship between the mahout and his elephant usually lasts for their entire lives, creating an extremely strong tie between the animal and the human being.

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By Anke Seidlitz
Staying in Asia since many years has given me the opportunity to get close to wildlife on many occasions. This female Smith’s green-eyed gecko chose to live on one of the chalets next to my home, taking advantage of the insects attracted by the lights at night.

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By Hugo Machado, Portugal
Licancabur volcano is located on the border between Chile and Bolivia.

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By Yeang Chng, United States
A saltwater crocodile lunges for the camera. This photo was taken just before its jaws closed on the lens shade; the blurred outline of the jaws demonstrates the lightning-fast nature of its lunge.

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By Steffen Binke, Australia
After a rarely seen spyhopping of a dwarf minke whale the whale slowly descended in my direction and we came close to a 1.5m distance.
The shot happened early in the morning around 7 am and it was a rough surface and it was not easy to control my own movement.
Iso 200 1/400 f7.1 13mm tokina fisheye 10-17mm Nikon D200 Aquatica Housing

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By Kent Miller, United Sates
Jessie Miller and her children, Jamie, 5, left, and Betsy, 8, of Bay City, Mich. react to the thunderous 747 jumbo jet as it passes within 60 feet above land. As the plane flew over, the sand kicked up and blasted the Miller’s bare skin. “Ahhhhhhhh!” the three screamed, as they ran away from the sand and noise. The Princess Juliana International Airport in St. Maarten is famous for its short runway. At only 7,980 ft, it is barely long enough for large jets to land.

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By Michael Hanson, United States
David Hanson crosses a fallen log beneath soaring trees and a lingering fog in Washington’s Olympic National Park.

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By Fausto Podavini, Italy
The picture was shot at San Juan de los Remedios, Cuba, during a local celebration called “Las Parrandas” in which the highlight is fireworks. Here children light the fireworks and escape.

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By Li Feng, China
Caged monkeys await their fate at a medical laboratory in Hubei Province, China. The judges liked that this image subverts the usual romanticized approach to wildlife photography and more accurately reflects the fate of many of the world’s animals. The sneaker at the top provides scale and injects a human being into the scene; the anonymity of the wearer suggests concealment and complicity. The structure of the cages, the horror of the captivity, the crowded composition, and the claustrophobic tension all add up to a sad and compelling photo.

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By Greg Davis
Huli wigman at the Mount Hagen Cultural Show, 2009.

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By Robert Garrett, United States
Taken at 1:22 a.m. on March 11, 2008. My wife and I arrived at the 528 Causeway in Cape Canaveral with our Sony 100a DSLR. With a low, solid, overcast of clouds covering the launch site, they launched. I pushed the shutter and started a 15 second time-lapse exposure! Disaster!!! I ripped the camera off of the tripod, spun the program wheel to anything else and started to squeeze the shutter. I was only able to take two photos as the shuttle Endeavour lifted into the overcast. This is the second one.

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By Yuniadhi Agung, Indonesia
At Hok Tjing Bio, a Chinese Temple in Palembang South Sumatra, Indonesia, the photographer framed the shot at a precise moment, with the reflection, and the position of the passing dog in the middle of the tiger pictorial on the temple’s wall.

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By Silvia Martinez Dominguez, Spain
Under a beautiful light, a monkey rests on the stones of the Angkor temples, in Cambodia. The image shows animal behavior and suggests the close connection between humans and our nearest relatives in nature.

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By Mike Guzman
A red eye tree frog settles in for the day on a bromeliad.

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By Patrick Gleason
On a photo safari in Tanzania, we got up close and personal with all the animals in the wild. It was an experience of a lifetime!

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By Charistine Guinness
My daughter and her friend were flipping their hair and I started taking photos, and was delighted with the result. We are at the lovely Patten Pond in Maine in the summer of 2009.

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By Xen Riggs, United States
A newly born silver-leaf langur gets some early discipline and love from his doting parents. This baby monkey was just about 12 hours old, born at the Columbus, Ohio, Zoo in August of 2009.

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By Cabell Cox, United States
On a recent visit to a small town on the Brazilian and Bolivian border, I found this man tending to a field of burning debris and vegetation at dusk. Something as mundane as this may seem a daily, routine chore for one man, while offering a symbolic portrait of tranquil repose to another.

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By Chris Gimmeson, United States
These are two wild stallions from the McCullough Peak’s herd of wild horses, which is located just outside of Cody, Wyoming. This image was taken in September 2008 with a Canon Rebel XSI and a long telephoto lens. I expected them to fight but they went back to grazing after a minute of posturing. The peaks area is pretty desolate, with little in the way of water supply and a lack of trees. The main staple for their grazing is sagebrush.

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By Jose Hernandez, United States
This is a shot of three eagles fighting over a fish in Homer, Alaska, from March 2008. You can see the fish at the top of the image flying by itself, but it was caught in its fall by another eagle.

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By Jacopo Pandolfini
This photograph was taken during a vacation in northern India in January 2007, in the city of Rishikesh. While walking on the streets in midtown, I saw a monkey stealing a mirror from another monkey and decided to follow it. After a while the monkey thief stopped on a tree and started to look in the mirror, giving me the opportunity to take this picture.

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By Sainath Kamath
I was out with the camera after a passing thunderstorm. As I was photographing a group of calla lilies, I happened upon this little guy nestled comfortably in one, taking shelter from the rain.

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By Cindy Tsai
Sunflowers are always brilliant! Their huge faces command attention and on this sunny day on the Half Moon Bay flower farm, no one was giving this sunflower more love than two attentive bees working hard at spreading and collecting pollen.

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By Larry Louie
The climb to view Mount Bromo Volcano, Indonesia, at sunrise was quite an experience. As I trudged up the slope out of breath, I crossed my fingers and hoped for a clear morning and a good sunrise, with the active volcano visible in the distance. I was lucky!

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By Adam Baudoux
Cool fall morning at Wells Beach, Maine

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By Exekiel Tarango
Sand falls, Antelope Canyon, Arizona

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By Jean Claude Louis
This evocative portrait of two Tibetan children looking out on their world captured the imagination—and the admiration—of the panel of judges. Cropped to the exact shape of the window, the photo frames the children in a timeless manner as they peer through the cloudy glass. The judges spent a long time looking at this portrait, observing how the intensity of the faces, the texture of the clothing, the surface of the old red wood, the reflections in the glass all create an absorbing series of levels. The best people photos tell a story and draw the viewer into the lives of the subjects. These children’s faces seem filled with both expectation and sadness. What are they waiting for? Jean-Claude Louis’s photo asks the question; viewers will no doubt provide their own answers.

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By Dennis Stewart
Upon looking into the eye of this ancient species, I found myself mesmerized as if I were gazing into the vastness of space itself and the millions upon millions of stars and galaxies therein.

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National Geographic Wallpapers

Fallen Maple Leaf
Download Wallpaper: 1280 x 1024 pixels

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Havasu Creek Waterfall, Arizona
Download Wallpaper: 1600 x 1200 pixels

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Golden Gate Bridge at Night
Download Wallpaper: 1600 x 1200 pixels

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Matanuska Glacier Cave, Alaska By George F. Mobley
Download Wallpaper: 1280 x 1024 pixels

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Malian Woman
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Chicago City Lights
Download Wallpaper: 1600 x 1200 pixels

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Great White Egrets
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Lavender Fields
Download Wallpaper: 1280 x 1024 pixels

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Blue Lagoon
Download Wallpaper: 1600 x 1200 pixels

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Kolmanskop, Namibia
Download Wallpaper: 1600 x 1200 pixels

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Owachomo Bridge at Night, Utah
Download Wallpaper: 1600 x 1200 pixels

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98 comments

  1. I don’t like the photo of the two girls flipping their hair. It’s not in the right place between all those beautiful nature pictures.

  2. This is just breathtaking. All of these photos could easily win a national geographic placement. Amazing to see the photography talent! Thank you

  3. No doubt this love for NatGeo is justified, what efforts and quick reflexes show up here by photographers of National Geography :)

    This should be named View Best Photos :)

    Myself user of View Best Ads = eCa.sh/viewbestads

  4. Great work! Thanks for making these available. Compelling images, I am especially moved by the three monkey photos, the eagles, and the children looking out the window. Thanks for the inspiration. Kimboldrini.com

  5. the picture with the monkey holding the mirror is shopped. i can tell from some of the pixels and from seeing quite a few shops in my time

  6. I really appreciate one of my wildlife photography shots being prominently displayed within Noupe with such other great photographers..I am truly humbled.

    If you want to see other works I have done, stop by my site and drop me a line as to what you think.

    Dennis Stewart

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