‘Volcano’ There is a rumor that you can watch two things forever: fire and water, but when it comes to exploding lava fountains—it is sempiternity multiplied to infinity. The eruption of Klyuchevskaya sopka, Kamchatka. (Photo and caption by Vladimir Voychuk / 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year)
From gorgeous aerial photographs to stunning images of wildlife in action, entries from the fifth and sixth weeks of the National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest continue the trend of quality imagery. As the contest winds down, this preview of the latest entries confirms that competition will be fierce.
Photographers from around the world are competing for a $10,000 grand prize, with four category winners having their work published on National Geographic’s Instagram. The grand-prize winning image will also be published in an upcoming issue of National Geographic magazine. Asked to submit images across four categories—Wildlife, Landscapes, Aerials, and Underwater—the photographs demonstrate the variety of emotions the natural world emits.
After exploring early highlights across the first month of competition, these entries from the last half of the contest continue to stun with their innovative takes on nature photography. GuangHui Gu shows the confounding juxtaposition of man and nature, with a lush green farmland positioned next to the solar panels on the roof of a shopping mall. By contrast, Adam Zaff’s memorable image of a standoff between a pack of hyenas and two lionesses in Kenya reminds us of the ruthless nature of the animal kingdom.
If you’re feeling inspired, you still have a few weeks to submit your work—the competition is accepting entries until November 17, 2017—and compete for the grand prize.
Photographers from around the world are submitting their best nature photographs to the National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year contest.
‘Courage’ This photo was taken in Amboseli, Kenya. A group of hyenas were the aggressors in attempting to take on two female lionesses who they had sensed to be old or injured. The standoff lasted about 30 minutes, but in the end, the hyenas were no match for the two lionesses who were able to get away unscathed. (Photo and caption by Adam Zaff / 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year)
‘The Duel’ The open & arid landscape of Etosha National Park is truly stunning. The goal of my trip was to photograph zebras with their striking coats across this backdrop. A herd of zebras arrived at the waterhole to quench their thirst. Suddenly, there was chaos and thick dust clouds blinded our vision. Within moments, two male zebras emerged from the dust, landing blows at each other with their hooves and heads. The duel lasted only a few minutes but it gave me an opportunity to capture this heavily charged moment. (Photo and caption by Sonalini Khetrapal / 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year)
‘Arctic reflection’ It is difficult to get a sense of purity and calm in our modern hectic world, unless you are in Arctic, watching icebergs floating by… reflection of an iceberg (about 100-120m tall), Scoresby Sound, Greenland. (Photo and caption by Andro Loria / 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year)
‘Kvitøya – Svalbard’ Two walruses on an ice floe in front of Kvitøya (White Island) in the Svalbard Archipelago. The remote island is located above 80 degrees north in the high Arctic and is almost completely covered by a thick ice cap. (Photo and caption by Christian Aslund / 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year)
‘Beautiful countryside’ Half is a building materials shopping mall color tile ceiling, half of farmland, color is particularly dazzling. (Photo and caption by GuangHui Gu / 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year)
‘Cordulia aenea’ A freshly emerged downy emerald a few minutes before its first flight. (Photo and caption by Łukasz Prajzner / 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year)
‘Shy little cowry’ Calpurnus verrucosus
Little Cowry eating soft coral in Pulau Weh, Indonesia
‘At the crossroad’ When we come to an unknown crossroad, we have different paths in front of us: harder or easier. We have to decide which way to go. It is up to us to choose our destiny, our destination in alignment with our authentic self. Nature is here to warn us every day these moments of choice in our life. In a way, every second in one’s life is a tiny little crossroad, sometimes surrounded by beautiful and powerful colors, like here, in the saline of Aigues-Mortes, in Southern France. (Photo and caption by Magali Chesnel / 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year)
‘Weaver and nest’ A couple of days before I had noticed that weavers were starting to build their nests in a couple of trees. I came back periodically to check their progress, and finally decided to take position. It took several hours of waiting, but patience was rewarded with a perfect shot of the action. (Photo and caption by Federico Rizzato / 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year)
‘Rush Hour’ Isla del Coco, or Cocos Island is a National Park off the shore of Costa Rica. The marine ecosystem is locked in a time-capsule and everything is huge; from the underwater currents to the biodensity of marine life. In this photo, I encountered a 25 meter giant school of horse-eyed jack fish. As I approached, a predator must have spooked the school from the other side. The massive school suddenly swam towards me and before I knew it, I was engulfed in this storm of silvery fish. (Photo and caption by Wai Hoe Mok / 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year)
‘Great Bear Surf Scoters’ A raft of thousands of surf scoters takes flight from the water’s surface in The Great Bear Sea of British Columbia, Canada. (Photo and caption by Sam Edmonds / 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year)
‘Flamingos and their nests’ Tanzania’s Natron Lake is the breeding ground for flamingos, and the flamingos match will produce eggs every year. In the meantime, the flamingo will carefully hatch the eggs until the birds break out of the shell. (Photo and caption by Ge Xiao / 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year)
‘Swimming over the sleepers’ Free diver swimming over a pod of sleeping sperm whale, Physeter macrocephalus, Vulnerable (IUCN). The sperm whale is the largest of the toothed whales. Sperm whales are known to dive as deep as 1,000 meters in search of squid to eat. Image has been shot in Dominica, Caribbean Sea, Atlantic Ocean. Photo taken under permit n. P 17-01/02 Fis-4. (Photo and caption by Franco Banfi / 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year)
‘Great Gray Owl’ A great gray owl hunting rodents in a field in New Hampshire, US. This bird was a rare visitor to this area and was worth the 7 1/2 hour drive to see it. The owl was not baited or called and this photo is during a natural hunt. Baiting has become a hot topic recently and it is very unfortunate that many people do it for the sake of a photo. With these owls in particular if you are patient enough you will see them hunt. They are not shy nor very intimidated by people. (Photo and caption by Harry Collins / 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year)
NG Nature Photographer of the Year: Website
My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by National Geographic.