National Geographic Magazine has opened its annual photo contest, with the deadline for submissions coming up on November 16, 2015. The Grand Prize Winner will receive $10,000 and a trip to National Geographic headquarters to participate in its annual photography seminar. The kind folks at National Geographic were once again kind enough to let me choose among the contest entries so far for display here. Captions written by the individual photographers.
Jaw-dropping, rare anti-cyclonic tornado tracks in open farmland narrowly missing a home near Simla, Colorado, on June 5, 2015
Living on the edge, Faroe Islands. Right away after landing on the island I drove up to these incredible cliffs. The conditions were not favorable, there was so much fog that you couldn't see any of the mountains in the background. But since I was so excited to be in a place so wonderful I wanted to wait. I had plenty of time to explore the location and enjoy the place and at the end the magic happened.
This effect is entirely natural but decidedly surreal as the swirling tannins of the Santa Fe River mix with clear spring water as Lesley Gamble begins her dive at Devil's Ear Spring in North Florida. The Land of a Thousand Springs, Florida is home to the largest collection of freshwater springs in the world.
I found this gorgeous field on my first morning in Valensole, France. I woke up at 4:00, scouting for a nice place, and after 30 minutes drive I reached this field. It was just perfect to me. I was there, I was the only one and I had never seen pictures of this place before. I spent 3 days there but this was for sure the most magic place I've found.
Nicobar Pigeon is my favorite bird that resides in Central Park's zoo. I located one sitting on a branch in a bright area of the tree with a deep shadow behind it. Waiting for the right moment to capture its beauty in the fullest was the name of the game. A few minutes later the bird partially spread its wings, displaying its glorious colors, and I was fortunate enough to be there to capture it.
This was shot in South Georgia in December of 2014. It was probably the most intense moment of my whole trip to Antarctica—it's just overwhelming standing in there between hundreds of thousands of penguins—it's not a bad “minority feeling,” but more of a peaceful reassurance that—at least in some places—our planet is still as beautiful as it was before mankind started having a go at it. THANK YOU to all those countries and individuals involved in keeping places like these intact!
There is a growing population of wild foxes within the park boundaries here in New Jersey. I had seen several this particular day but most only stayed visible for a few seconds before disappearing, but this particular fox came out of the woods and just watched me for a few minutes. I stayed a respectful distance away and just watched with awe. Such a beautiful creature . We made eye contact, and then after a minute or two he/she just turned and disappeared back into the trees.
We were in Rurutu, French Polynesia, during the humpback whales’ migration from the south. A mom with her calf were staying around Rurutu Island for many days. The baby came closer to us every day. The skin of this whale was incredible. The best meeting we have ever had.
One of the many stunning scenes from Sossusvlei in Namibia. We were walking close to sunset in a less-traversed area near the Big Daddy dune and came across this seemingly endless waves of wind ripples that was exaggerated by the setting sun. They look like fingerprint ridges.
I love the dichotomies of the springs: feeling the freezing embrace of the water on a sweltering summer day, swimming in groundwater but appearing to soar in cottonball clouds, using flippers to fly, hovering where two worlds intersect and illusions abound. This is Silver Glen Spring in the Ocala National Forest, a first-magnitude spring nestled in the woods of north central Florida. The spring discharges about 65 million gallons of water per day from the underlying aquifer.
During July 2015, the hottest month in recorded history, an iceberg collapses under the sweltering Greenlandic sun. A huge shelf of ice hitting the water creates an explosion of water and ice in a spectacular but poignant moment. Icebergs like this and the glaciers that create them are melting at an ever-faster rate as our climate heats up; they serve as a dire early warning for the rest of our planet.
Calbuco Volcano is located in the lakes region south of Santiago, Chile's capital city, and is one of the 10 most dangerous volcanoes in the country. After more than 40 years of inactivity, the day April 23 the volcano erupted, spewing more than 200 million tons of ash and causing the evacuation of more than 2,000 people. In the picture is seen one of the most violent moments of the eruption, which occurred in the early hours of April 24.