Extraordinary Entries from the 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest

Last month, we featured a selection of the spectacular entries in the 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest, and we're pleased to share even more works from the competition. The chosen entries showcase the stunning diversity of our world, through both landscape and culture. They depict an exciting buffalo race in Bali, a dream-like field of blue flowers, and the mystical light of Machu Picchu. Each photograph highlights a markedly different facet of everyday life, and by doing so, transports us to places we'd never expect.

For those interested in submitting their own work, there's still time to enter the National Geographic Photo Contest. Submissions are accepted until November 16 in three categories: People, Places, and Nature. A first prize will be awarded to each division, which includes $2,500 and publishing in National Geographic magazine and online. There will also be an overall grand prize winner who will receive $10,000, a trip to the National Geographic headquarters, and the chance to participate in the annual National Geographic Photography Seminar in January 2016.

Check out some of our favorite entries, below.

Above: Buffalo Race
Traditional buffalo racing in west Bali. Hundreds of pairs of buffaloes are teamed up together with their jockeys riding the traditional wooden ploughs that are slightly modified for the competition
Photo and caption by bram paulussen / 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest

The Blue Universe
I took this picture at Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan last year. The flowers are baby blue eyes and the whole number of them in the park are 4.5 millions. The best season is usually from the end of April to the first week of May. I am going to the blue universe again this year to photograph. It'll be worth just visiting the world. Camera shutter or your eye's shutter. You would be happy in this world.
Location: Mawatari, Ibaraki, Japan
Photo and caption by Hiroki Kondo / 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest

Here, humans are the minority…
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!
Photo and caption by Steffen Flgel / 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest

Life and Line
Electricians are working on a wire above the ground without any safety measures in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 14 May 2014. All linemen, especially those who deal with live electrical apparatus should use personal protective equipment as protection against inadvertent contact. Most of the times in Bangladesh, electricians work without any safety measures like rubber gloves, rubber sleeves, bucket liners and protective blankets etc.
Location: Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Photo and caption by Probal Rashid/ 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest

Mystical light in magical Machu Picchu
After a hard and demanding 5 day trek to this wonder, we rested our weary legs while patiently waiting for the clouds to part and the sun's rays to hit the sweet spot in the the centre of the ceremonial palace in the complex and we were not disappointed, we were greeted with some magical light. Just Divine.
Location: Machu Picchu, Cusco, Peru
Photo and caption by Kannan V. / 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest

Rapa das Bestas
Rapa das Bestas is the name of an operation that involves cutting the manes of the wild horses who live free at the mountains in a semi-feral state and that are performed in the curros (enclosed which retain the horses) held in various locations in Galicia,Spain.The best known is the Rapa das Bestas of Sabucedo, in the city hall of A Estrada, which lasts three days: the First Saturday, Sunday and Monday in July.
Location: Sabucedo, Galicia, Spain
Photo and caption by Javier Arcenillas / 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest

Crazy Journey
Bangladeshis sleep on the roof of a moving train as they rush home to their respective villages to be with their families, in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Location: Mymensingh, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Photo and caption by A.M. Ahad / 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest

Kids playing on the minaret
Reina and her friends are playing on the main minaret of the Grand Mosque in Bani during Eid al-Fitr.
Location: Bani, Nord, Burkina Faso
Photo and caption by Matjaz Krivic / 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest

Entering the Void
A climber rappels into a crevasse while exploring the Hayden Glacier on Middle Sister in the Oregon Cascades. Entering these deep dark spaces makes a person consider the immense size, age, and power of these living rivers of ice. The Hayden glacier was far more broken up then normal for this time of year and crevasses like this one were abundant. Taken on a Canon 7d with a Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 lens. June, 2015.
Location: Sisters, Oregon, United States
Photo and caption by D. Briggs / 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest

Lightning at horseshoe
I've got several lightning shots at horseshoe bend while I traveled this canyon last time but this is the most I like. The reason why I like is because the lightning has a solid line and I can actually see the lightning is hitting the hill and it also reflected in the water. It's just amazing and beautiful. In addition, I can see the actual movement of the storm in the picture that makes this scene alive.
Photo and caption by J. Cho / 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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