National Geographic Magazine just announce the winners of this year's photo contest. The Grand Prize Winner, James Smart, will receive $10,000 and a three-day trip to National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C., to participate in the annual National Geographic Photography Seminar. Gathered below are the winning images from the People, Nature, and Places categories, as well as honorable mentions, with captions written by the individual photographers.
Grand Prize and Nature Winner.Jaw-dropping, rare anti-cyclonic tornado tracks in open farmland narrowly missing a home near Simla, Colorado, on June 5, 2015
Winner: Places. On the occasion of the preparation of a report on Ríotinto from the air, I decided to include phosphogypsum ponds located in the marshes of red and whose radioactive discharges has destroyed part of the marsh, in Cardeñas, Andalusia, Spain. As an environmental photojournalist had to tell this story and report it but had to do with an image that by itself attract attention of the viewer. I discovered this on a low-flying training that caught my attention for its resemblance to the impact of an asteroid on its green waters.
Winner: People. Bwengye livesin a slum called Kamwokya in Kampala, Uganda's capital city. He cherishes his bicycle more than anything else. He brings it to this playground in the slum every evening where he watches kits playing soccer.
Honorable Mention. This photo was taken in Siauliai, Lithuania. There are about 100,000 crosses in the hill. Many people pray for god and mourned the death of people killed by war. When I visited here, a girl ran through the hill of crosses. It was a strange sight.
Honorable Mention. Taiwan—In the countryside, the funerals are usually accompanied by local chapels. When a family member dies, their body is kept in the house, or in a tent built specifically for this purpose. After a set period of time, the deceased, accompanied by a funeral procession is buried.
Honorable Mention. I was taking pictures of some Orangutans in Bali and then it started to rain. Just before I put my camera away, I saw this Orangutan took a taro leaf and put it on top on his head to protect himself from the rain!
Honorable Mention. A flock of Alpine choughs (Pyrrhocorax graculus), mountain-dwelling birds, performs acrobatic displays in the air. I was able, during a windy day, to immortalize their impressive flight skills.
Honorable Mention. This photo was taken during Chinese New Year's Eve of 2015 in Taiwan. While paying respects to our ancestors, I noticed how the light was coming into the room and saw the passing of incense sticks to each of our family members after sending our prayers. The photo is symbolic since the passing of incense sticks resembles and knowledge and wisdom passed down from generation to generation.
Honorable Mention. In Masai Mara, the cubs of the famous cheetah called Malaika became old enough to start hunting. They moved from one hill to another scanning the lands. Here, they seemed to change shifts as one cheetah leaves the hill while the other takes her place.
Honorable Mention. As the largest mountain ranges in Central Asia, Tian-shan ('sky-mountain' in Chinese), has one of the best collections of natural landscapes in the world and is seen by many as a paradise for outdoor adventures. Thanks to the richness of sediments compounded with the power of erosion by rivers flowing down the mountains, the north face of Tian-shan is carved into stunning plateaus and colorful canyons hundreds of meters deep, resulting in this surrealist painting in nature.