Winners of the 2013 National Geographic Photo Contest

Grand Prize and Nature Winner

The winners of the National Geographic Photo Contest 2013 have just been announced! Taking home the grand prize is an image you probably remember spotting on a blog post right here on My Modern Met just over a week ago. Seattle-based photographer Paul Souders took the beautifully eerie photo of a polar bear positioned right beneath the surface of Hudson Bay's freezing waters. He called the once-in-a-lifetime shot Ice Bear.

Souders beat out more than 7,000 images submitted by photographers from over 150 countries to win the $10,000 grand prize. He also receives a trip to National Geographic's headquarters in Washington, D.C., to participate in their annual photography seminar in January 2014.

Below are the images from the other two winners. Cecile Baudier of Jylland, Denmark placed first in the People category for the image Together, Alone while Adam Tan of Selangor, Malaysia, nabbed the top spot in the Places category for Long Road to Daybreak.

The three winning photos will be published in an upcoming issue of National Geographic magazine. Now, courtesy of National Geographic, here are they are along with the 10 honorable mentions.

Above: The Ice Bear
A polar bear peers up from beneath the melting sea ice on Hudson Bay as the setting midnight sun glows red from the smoke of distant fires during a record-breaking spell of hot weather. The Manitoba population of polar bears, the southernmost in the world, is particularly threatened by a warming climate and reduced sea ice.
Photo and caption by Paul Souders/National Geographic Photo Contest

People Winner

Together, Alone
This portrait of two identical twins (Nils and Emil, 15 years old) in Fyn, Denmark, is part of a series of pictures, portraying people who have a strong connection to another person and who often think of themselves as a ‘we' instead of ‘me'.
Photo and caption by Cecile Baudier/National Geographic Photo Contest


Places Winner

Long Road to Daybreak
Photo and caption by Adam Tan/National Geographic Photo Contest
Realizing this old town (Laocheng, means old town in Chinese) would soon be transformed into a new town through the speedy economic growth in China and perhaps lose its raw beauty in no time, I was pleased to capture this working mother carrying her child in her basket walking through the thick mist in a very early foggy morning, 2012.




Honorable Mention Nature

Crows Nest
The crows that live in Tokyo use clothes hangers to make nests. In such a large city, there are few trees, so the natural materials that crows need to make their nests are scarce. As a result, the crows occasionally take hangers from the people who live in apartments nearby, and carefully assemble them into nests. The completed nests almost look like works of art based on the theme of recycling.
Photo and caption by Yosuke Kashiwakura/National Geographic Photo Contest


Honorable Mention Nature

Indian Rhino, Canadian Winter
An Indian rhinoceros, far from home and stuck inside with late-winter blues at the Toronto zoo.
Photo and caption by Stephen De Lisle/National Geographic Photo Contest


Honorable Mention Nature

Flying Egrets
On a good day in the field, a birder might see flock of birds. Great Egrets; Tidal area of the Danube in Hungary.
Photo and caption by Rka Zsirmon/National Geographic Photo Contest


Honorable Mention Places

Cows And Kites
I was driving along the beach highway when I noticed the bulls sunbathing on the empty beach. I initially thought I was seeing things, but no it really was sunbathing cows! I had to park my car a fair distance away and that meant a long walk along the beach in 35-degree heat. It did not matter because I had to get the shot! When I got closer to them I was careful not to spook them so I crawled on my stomach on the hot sand to get a good picture of them. Mission Accomplished! It was worth the effort!
Photo and caption by Andrew Lever/National Geographic Photo Contest


Honorable Mention Places

I cannot describe the eerie feeling I had when I walked in on this scene. I followed a massive storm front several 100 kilometers hoping to capture something special but this blew my mind. The surreal milky green water is a natural phenomenon caused by electromagnetic activity from the lightning hitting the waters surface. There was no rain where I was and not much wind either but in the distance the sky was charged and angry subjecting its wrath over the graveyard of dead trees in this normally very dry lakebed. I was able to capture a series of unique images this being one of the best.
Photo and caption by Julie Fletcher/National Geographic Photo Contest


Honorable Mention People

Arabic in Gambia
Arabic born in one of the biggest city in the World, New York. Right in the middle of the Bronx she grow and go to School. As she's 13 years old, her Father decides to send her to her Family in a small town named Bajakunda. Now she lives here without electricity and a two hours bus drive away from the next city. Working every day from early morning til late night. No chance to leave this Country. Arabic is the only person in this small town whit an official American Passport, everybody dream about that one but she can't use it anymore because of family tradition.
Photo and caption by Bisig Maurin/National Geographic Photo Contest


Honorable Mention People

This is Ida. She is seven years old and born in Greenland. A year ago her mother, Marie, decided to move to Denmark in search of an easier life and to give her daughter everything that she never had, but even though the two countries are tied historically, the two cultures are very different and they have no Danish friends or any strong connections to Denmark. In Denmark, Greenlanders are seen as second-class citizens, drunks and socially challenged. This photo is part of an on-going series that is trying to show a different side to the greenlandish minority in Denmark.
Photo and caption by Cecile Baudier/National Geographic Photo Contest


Honorable Mention People

My girlfriend in her car at the stop street.
Photo and caption by Michele De Punzio/National Geographic Photo Contest


Honorable Mention People

Life Along The Polluted River
A boy plays with balloons by Buriganga River as smoke emits from a dump yard during sunset in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Photo and caption by Andrew Biraj/National Geographic Photo Contest


Honorable Mention People

This picture is a part of the series of my work Frumoasa. “Frumoasa” is Romanian for ‘beauty'. It's a work about Laurentiu and his family. They live in shacks next to the railway near the Ghent Dampoort. I met him and his family in December 2012. They have to deal with all kind of obstacles on a daily basis. The lack of a legal address gave them administrative problems and made it hardly impossible for them to find a decent job. They form a happy, warm and close family, despite the constant uncertainty in which they live.
Photo and caption by Aurlie Geurts /National Geographic Photo Contest

National Geographic Photo Contest website

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