10 Stunning Shots from the National Geographic Photo Contest

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Photos have the power to transport us somewhere else, stir up emotions, or provoke action. This year’s National Geographic Photo Contest is well underway and the submissions so far are nothing short of amazing.

Think you’ve taken the winning photograph? Entries close November 16 at noon. Official categories this year are “People”, “Places”, and “Nature. The grand prize winner will take home $10,000 plus a trip to the National Geographic Headquarters with three nights in Washington, D.C., and each category winner gets $2,500 and their photo published in National Geographic Magazine.

Here are 10 stunning shots from the entries so far:
 

A Canoe Ride on Lake Louise

canoe
Photo and caption by Ben Leshchinsky

This disorienting photo was taken from a cliff overlooking Lake Louise in Banff national park. The two people are enjoying a canoe ride on Lake Louise’s turquoise waters.
CATEGORY: Places
LOCATION: Banff, Alberta, Canada
 

The Secrets of Cady Creek

fireflies
Photo and caption by Adam Dorn

A year ago I discovered a place that glows with hundreds of fire flies on warm summer evenings. With the perfect weather I set out to capture what I had envisioned a year earlier. Waiting for darkness to consume the valley I watched as the fire flies began to come to life. Glowing here and there like the stars burning in the sky. With a group of hundreds of fire flies glowing in front of me I waited for our Milky Way galaxy to get in the right position. Arching just above the bluffs.
CATEGORY: Nature
LOCATION: Elmwood, Wisconsin, United States
 

Tornado in Genoa waters

tornado
Photo and caption by Evgeny Drokov

Rare moment of tornado in vicinity of Genoa port, Italy. The tornado formed in about 10 minutes and disappeared quickly.
CATEGORY: Nature
LOCATION: Castelletto, Liguria, Italy
 

Winter Fairytale

castle
Photo and caption by Vadim Balakin

White Mountain, Belogorsky Monastery, Perm Region, Middle Urals, Russia, -38C freezing cold
CATEGORY: Places
LOCATION: Ul’yanovo, Perm, Russia
 

Above the Zambezi

Zimb
Photo and caption by J. Philip Nix

Traversing the skies above the iconic Victoria Falls, locally known as Mosi-oa-Tunya or “The Smoke that Thunders.”
CATEGORY: Places
LOCATION: Victoria Falls, Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe
 

Here, humans are the minority…

peng
Photo and caption by Steffen Flügel

This was shot in South Georgia in december ’14. 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!
CATEGORY: Places
 

RETI A SPASSO

net
Photo and caption by Salvatore Valente

GHANA DUE GIOVANI PESCATORI TRASPORTANO LE RETI DA PESCA NELLA LORO IMBARCAZIONE
CATEGORY: People
LOCATION: Accra, Greater Accra, Ghana
 

The boat will not leave

ship
Photo and caption by Marc Henauer

A diver stand up front of the Hilma Hooker wreck. He look this boat and seem think it will never go away…it is sure. Also the bubbles seem make an interrogation point. The Hilma Hooker is a 200ft boat wreck. It rests with 100ft of water in the Caribbean Sea in Bonaire Island (a famous destination for scubadiving).
CATEGORY: Places
LOCATION: Kralendijk, Bonaire, Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba
 

Golden Gate Crossings

goldengate
Photo and caption by Ross Barringer

I was very fortunate to be given the opportunity to take a “tower tour” of the Golden Gate Bridge south tower. Just as I was about to take the long elevator ride back down, I saw an approaching cargo ship and I quickly set up my tripod for what was my very last shot atop the iconic bridge.
CATEGORY: Places
LOCATION: San Francisco, California, United States
 

Alpenglow on the Minarets at Sunrise

sun
Photo and caption by Daniel Ochoa

The Minarets glow at sunrise as refracted light kisses the peaks with bright light. This was taken after a stormy night camping out at the Minaret Lakes. The transition from day to night is never disappointing in the High Sierra.
CATEGORY: Nature
LOCATION: Mammoth Lakes, California, United States