National Geographic has been showing off its early favorites for the 2016 Nature Photographer of the Year contest. As ever, they’re as skillful and insightful as they are beautiful.
From unbelievable “right place, right time” spur of the moment snaps to meticulously planned money shots, the competition is already looking tough. It will be judged in four separate categories: Landscape, Environmental Issues, Action, and Animal Portraits.
The winner will receive a 10-day trip for two to the Galápagos with National Geographic Expeditions and two 15-minute image portfolio reviews with National Geographic photo editors.
Don’t fear if you want to get involved, the competition is accepting entries until November 4. So, dust off your camera and get snapping. If you think you've got what it takes to win, head over to the National Geographic website to submit your photograph.
'Beauty Beyond Disaster' - The Soberanes Fire, located south of Carmel and Point Lobos, started Friday morning 07/22/2016. By Saturday night, the fire covered the entire mountain. The sky was illuminated by the golden glow of the forest fire. I hiked down towards a cliff by the beach. Because the wind was blowing south and slightly east, the sky to the southwest was clear. I witnessed the most spectacular sight I have ever seen, the Milky Way glowed above the raging wildfire. Beauty rose beyond disaster.
Photo and Caption by Li Liu/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year
'Hunting For Fish' - A mature bald eagle drags the tail of a fish across the surface of the water after picking it up out of the Susquehanna river. It was late in the day when the sun was setting casting an orange hue over the water.
Photo and Caption by Eric Esterle/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year
'Burning Tree' - Unexpected light burst over the front ranges of the Rockies and ignited the clouds above Lake Minnewanka. The clouds rushed by, catching glimpses of the days first light before fading back into darkness. A long exposure captured the fleeting light and the feeling of the experience, the colour disappearing within just minutes.
Photo and Caption by Callum Snape/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year
'Fossil Fuel Galore' - "A quarter century ago, scientists warned that if we kept burning fossil fuel at current rates weíd melt the Arctic. The fossil fuel industry (and most everyone else in power) ignored those warnings, and what do you know: The Arctic is melting, to the extent that people now are planning to race yachts through the Northwest Passage, which until very recently required an icebreaker to navigate." New York Times, May 12, 2015. Midway-Sunset is currently the largest oil field in California. Aerial.
Photo and Caption by Jassen T. /2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year
'Swamp Raccoon' - While looking for alligators at a swamp in Louisiana, this beautiful little creature wanders out of the murky waters right into the morning light, pausing just long enough to capture.
Photo and Caption by Kim Aikawa/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year
'The Best Spot On The Savannah' - Female leopard gazing out over the savannah in the Okavango Delta, Botswana.
Photo and Caption by Natashia B. /2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year
'UFO formation' - A baby cloud had born at dawn. The baby cloud had grown bigger and bigger than before. When it came the time of the morning glow, It had grown to many huge lenticular clouds. It looked like UFO formation.
Photo and Caption by Takashi/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year
'Let's picnic' - Yellowstone National Park, west thumb geyser basin, a perfect spot for picnic, and I mean not for human.
Photo and Caption by QIAN WANG/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year
'The Eye Of A Gator' - I found this VERY big alligator along the road of the Apopka Wildlife Drive, so crept closer and closer till I had a pretty good full frame view of its face, with my 750 mm lens. What a poser he was.
Photo and Caption by Nancy Elwood/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year
'Through' - It was amazing to capture China's beautiful mountains in such magnificent morning rays coming through.
Photo and Caption by Kyon. J/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year