Incredible Animal Photos in 2012 National Geographic Photography Contest

The 2012 National Geographic Photography Contest is now underway! In just the first three weeks, they've received over 2,000 submissions of beautiful and inspiring photos taken all over world. With a grand-prize of $10,000 and a trip to the National Geographic headquarters in Washington D.C. at stake, it's not wonder that this contest is so immensely popular.

Instead of sorting through all of the entries, National Geographic was kind enough to send us a handful of photos they felt best exemplified what this contest is all about. We narrowed those down to these ten that all feature wild animals shot at the perfect moment.

As Ken Geiger, National Geographic magazine's deputy director of photography, said about the contest, “Our world is a wondrous place. It doesn't need the latest digital enhancement filter to make it any more special. Use your camera, your skill, your luck of being in the right place at the right time to make real and incredible images. Use this contest as your platform to share your vision and amaze the world.”

Whether you're a professional or an amateur photography, enter today! You have until November 30 to send in your best shots that fall into any of these three categories: People, Places and Nature. Photos will be judged based on creativity, photographic quality and genuineness or authenticity of the content. As National Geographic states, “Please submit images that accurately reflect the captured moment in time. In other words, keep it real.”

Above: The Explosion!
The subject's name is Busaba, a well cared for Indochinese Tigress whose home is at Khao Kheow Open Zoo, Thailand. I had taken many portraits of Busaba previously and it was becoming more and more difficult to come up with an image that appeared any different to the others. Which is why I took to observing her more carefully during my visits in the hope of capturing something of a behavioral shot. The opportunity finally presented itself while watching Busaba enjoying her private pool then shaking herself dry. In all humility I have to say that Mother Nature smiled favorably on me that day!
Photo and caption by Ashley Vincent/National Geographic Photo Contest

My Baby
This small baby is about a few hours old
Photo and caption by Ondrej Zaruba/National Geographic Photo Contest

Atlantic Spotted Dolphins Having an Underwater Chat
These three Atlantic Spotted Dolphins were acting playful for a few minutes so I swam over to join in. When I got close the dolphins came together as if they were going to discuss my presence. One of them seemed to say something then they did a little dance and were on their way. Amazing animals, I felt very lucky to capture the moment.
Photo and caption by John Gaskell/National Geographic Photo Contest

Baby Seal
Baby of elephant seal relax on the beach.
Photo and caption by Ondrej Zaruba/National Geographic Photo Contest

Penguins adrift on iceberg during a heavy snow storm in Antarctica
Photo and caption by Joshua Holko/National Geographic Photo Contest

Fearful Eyes
Taken in the early morning light in the ‘impenetrable' rain Forrest. Our trekking group came across the second in command in a 17 large family of mountain Gorillas. We found him sitting in the middle of a old poacher track. Although he was calm and relaxed in our presence, his eyes told a story of a violent past and an ever awareness of potential threats in his tropical wilderness.
Photo and caption by Joshua Meltz /National Geographic Photo Contest

Protective Mother Cheetah
This mother cheetah, with 5 cubs nearby, made it clear that her limits had been met (or exceeded).
Photo and caption by Scott Belt/National Geographic Photo Contest

The Stand Off
Photo by Richard Davies/National Geographic Photo Contest
Taken on a Canon EOS 40D

Running at Vultures on Kill
Kids running at a Lion kill in the Kruger National Park. Lions had obviously cleared off by this stage.
Photo and caption by Robert Koen/National Geographic Photo Contest

Spotted this male lion while on safari in Kruger National Park. His disdain for the light clearly shows his imperiousness for those around him.
Photo and caption by Michaela May/National Geographic Photo Contest

2012 National Geographic Photography Contest

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