Spectacular Early Entries from the 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest

It's that time of year when one of our favorite photography competitions rolls around! The 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest is back and already, they've received stunning entries from around the world. The gorgeous images depict the beauty of the Namibia sand dunes, the awe-inspiring power of the Calbuco Volcano, and the tranquility of morning prayers in Delhi, India.

The Photo Contest is currently accepting submissions in three categories: People, Places, and Nature. There will be a first prize awarded to each category, which includes $2,500 and publishing in National Geographic magazine and online. In addition, there will be an overall grand prize winner who receives $10,000 and an amazing trip to the National Geographic headquarters, plus the chance to participate in the annual National Geographic Photography Seminar in January 2016.

You have until November 16 to enter the National Geographic Photo Contest. See the complete rules here, and in the meantime, check out some of the spectacular entries below.

Above: Calbuco, The Awakening.
Calbuco Volcano is located in the lakes region south of Santiago, Chile's capital city and is one of the 10 most dangerous volcanoes in the country. After more than 40 years of inactivity, the day April 23 the volcano erupts, spewing more than 200 million tons of ash and causing the evacuation of more than 2,000 people. In the picture is seen one of the most violent moments of the eruption, which occurred in the early hours of April 24.
Location: Frutillar, Los Lagos, Chile
Photo and caption by Francisco Negroni / 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest

The End of the World
A small group of emperor penguins gathered near the sea ice edge. Ross Sea, Antarctica.
Location: Ross Sea, Antarctica
Photo and caption by Brian Stetson / 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest

Dunes' picture
This aerial shot was taken from a small plane over Namib desert, Namibia
Location: Namib Desert, Namibia
Photo and caption by Stas Bartnikas / 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest

Flamingos are going to fly
Photo and caption by Yu Huiping / 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest

Terrace paddies in North Vietnam
Terrace rice paddies in Tu Le Valley, Yen Bai province, north Vietnam at the beginning of new season. The Hmong people are crossing the fields on their way home at the end of the working day.
Location: T ? L, Yen Bai, Vietnam
Photo and caption by Qu nh Anh Nguyen / 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest

A little girl plays in the monument to the victims of the attack of 11M in Atocha train station in Madrid
Location: Atocha, Madrid, Spain
Photo and caption by Javier Arcenillas / 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest

Enchantment of light and shadows
After the sunset we saw that fog was forming and hoped that it would not fade away till morning so we set our alarm clock 3 hours before sunrise. Then we drove for two hours to the location and along the road we could see through the trees that the bog was fully covered in fog. We quickly set up our octocopter drone and flew over the trees, the opening view was breathtakingly beautiful – sunrays, fog, shadows, pools.
Location: Jrvakandi, Raplamaa, Estonia
Photo and caption by Kaiti Lillipuu / 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest

Sunset Mountain Work
Nepal is a special place to me for a number of reasons and I was fortunate enough to go back to see the Himalayas on a trek that offers amazing views of Mount Dhaulagiri and Mount Annapurna. The mountain landscape continued to blow my mind!
After a strenuous and exhausting 6 hour trek to Kopra Ridge, I took this photo of Mount Dhaulagiri at sunset. In the foreground, a local Nepalese man is helping usher his mules up the ridge to a nearby eco-lodge that was in the middle of construction.
Location: Thulo Odarkharka, Western Region, Nepal
Photo and caption by Jonathan Abdipranoto / 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest

Morning Prayers, Delhi India
I was in Delhi for work and went out exploring in the early morning to the Jama Masjid mosque. One guy was sweeping as another came along behind him laying out the prayer rugs. Soon after, this one man came in and started to pray, lined up in the one ray of sunlight.
Location: Delhi, NCT, India
Photo and caption by Dale Johnson / 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest

High Hoops
Andrea Grove, a fire performer based in Omaha, Nebraska, practices her hula-hoop routine before her performance at the Lantern Festival on Saturday, August 29, 2015. She travels to events around the Midwest with a group called IncenDance.
I met Andrea by chance. She and her group were tucked away behind a stage preparing for their show. After getting to know them a bit, I asked if I could photograph their practice and stayed with them until dark.
Location: Pacific Junction, Iowa, USA
Photo and caption by Calla Kessler / 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest

Ahmed Kelly
Born in 1991 with significant disabilities in all four limbs, Ahmed Kelly was left at a Baghdad orphanage where he spent the majority of the first seven years of his life. He was adopted by an Australian woman, Moira Kelly, and now lives and in Melbourne.
Ahmed finished forth in the London 2012 Paralympic Games for 50m Breaststroke, and is in great shape to win a medal in twelve months when the Paralympics start in Rio, Brazil.
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Photo and caption by Alex Coppel / 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest

Daasanach Fisherman
A young Daasanach fisherman guts and cleans a fish on the Eastern shore of Lake Turkana near the border of Ethiopia and Kenya. The Daasanach are Kenya's second smallest tribe with between 60,000-80,000 members. They are traditionally nomadic, roaming between the two countries although with continued drought over the last 20 years about 30% have looked to the lake for food and income in fishing.
Location: Lake Turkana, Kenya
Photo and caption by Christena Dowsett / 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.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content