Early ‘Nature’ Highlights in the 2016 National Geographic Travel Photographer Contest

national geographic photo contest

The 2016 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest is well underway and, so far, the search for the most powerful travel experiences to be caught on camera has yielded some amazing results. National Geographic has kindly allowed us to share these stunning submissions, which happen to be some of the recently released early entries in the Nature category, shot from all around the globe. From volcanic eruptions to magnificent superstorms, these photographs manage to capture both the majesty and awe-inspiring power of the planet we live on.

The contest will be accepting entries until May 27, 2016 12 PM EDT. The grand-prize award winner will earn the prestigious title and receive a seven-day Polar Bear Photo Safari for two at the Churchill Wild–Seal River Heritage Lodge, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World. If you are interested in learning more about entering the contest, additional information is available here.

Scroll down to see some of the early highlights from the National Geographic Photo Contest.

Above: Namibian Desert
Springbok in front of a dune of Namibian desert
Location: Swakopmund, Erongo, Namibia
Photo and caption by Doris Landertinger / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

national geographic photo contestOn Guard
This picture was taken during Mt. Bromo eruption. The horse seems a little agitated due to the sound of the eruption.
Location: Probolinggo, East Java, Indonesia
Photo and caption by Reynold Dewantara / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

national geographic photo contestPowered sight
I had heard a lot about how beautiful Uluru should look like when it rains. But I never believed that I would see it with my own eyes because the red center of Australia is a very arid area. That's one of the reasons why Uluru is such a special place for the Anangu – the local aboriginal clan. If it rains, the water fills up the reservoirs around the rock, the only water source for several kilometers. This makes the Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park to special place for lots of rare animals as well.
Location: Yulara, Northern Territory, Australia
Photo and caption by Christoph Schaarschmidt / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

national geographic photo contestThe Wave
Long drive and long hike but it was truly worth to see this scenery. The shutter sound was echoing around. It was my pleasure to frame this moment.
Location: Utah
Photo and caption by Kenji Yamamura / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

national geographic photo contestTerraces Village in the Mist
Captured this image early morning waiting for one week until I get the right mood of light and fog.
Location: Guizhou, China
Photo and caption by Thierry Bornier / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

national geographic photo contestMystic shed
A cold night on the top of this hill in Lapland, near the Russian border waiting for the dancing lights in the sky. All around, snow ghost are watching, standstill.
Location: Lapland, Finland
Photo and caption by Pierre Destribats / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

national geographic photo contestThe Spaceship
Last December i sailed to Antarctica on a 54 feet long-haul steel vessel. As we entered the Polar Zone this was one of the first icebergs we saw. Sculpted by the wind and waves, majestic in scale and with a dazzling white colour with layers of deep blue. The sun makes a quick appearance through a hole in the clouds, just in time for this shot.
Location: Antarctica
Photo and caption by Massimo Rumi / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

national geographic photo contestFascination
Cherry blossoms like a Japanese painting. The smoke of the bonfire of old paper charms has brought a fantastic effect.
Location: Minobu, Yamanashi, Japan
Photo and caption by Katsuyoshi Nakahara / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

national geographic photo contestThe Snow Tree
During a snow storm I decided to head over to Bryce Canyon NP and enjoy the freshly fallen snow. Visibility was down to almost zero, but then I found this single tree right next to a snow drift and knew this would be my shot.
Location: Bryce Canyon, Utah, United States
Photo and caption by Yvonne Baur / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

national geographic photo contestLa Fournaise volcano
The last eruption of LA Fournaise Volcano.
Location: Runion Island
Photo and caption by Gaby Barathieu / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

national traveller photographyMoment of Impact
Two lions fighting in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa. I photographed the lions with back-light to have the dust illuminated and show the action in this scene. The lions were actually play-fighting and gave some opportunity to photograph interaction.
Location: Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa
Photo and caption by Jaco Marx / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

national geographic travel photographyTrollstigen
I took this photo in July 2014 at Trollstigen in Norway. Standing there alone in the fog, I was waiting for the view to become clear. And then it happened, the fog disappeared and though it was 1 am already, one car came slowly up the steep serpentines. It was my dream for a long time to take a photo of lighttrails like this in Norway – and it was just an awesome feeling that it worked out on the most beautiful and famous street. A few minutes later the fog returned, even thicker than before.
Location: B, More og Romsdal, Norway
Photo and caption by Christoph Schaarschmidt / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

national geographic travel photographyBEAST
Amazing supercell produces over the town of Blackhawk, South Dakota back on June 1st 2015. Flash flooding would occur near Rapid City.
Location: Blackhawk, South Dakota, United States
Photo and caption by James Smart / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

national geographic travel photographyStar Dune
This photo is shot shortly after sunrise at mesquite dunes. George Lucas has chosen this location for some scenes of Star Wars. The blue background is not the sky. These are mountains in the distance.
Location: Death Valley, California
Photo and caption by Johannes hl / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

national geographic travel photographyBalanced Rock, Utah
Balanced Rock and lone tree in Arches National Park.
Location: Moab, Utah
Photo and caption by Manish Mamtani / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year: Website

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