The winners of the 2012 National Geographic Photography Competition were announced yesterday, further reiterating that we are terrible photographers and need to get our act together and take a class or something.
People from over 150 countries submitted more than 22,000 photos to the contest, and below you’ll find the winners from each category (Nature, Places, and People) as well as our favorite honorable mentions and the images selected as viewer’s choice winners by the readers of NationalGeographic.com. Head over to NatGeo to see all of the entries, and if you like any of the images you see here be sure to click on the links beneath each to download desktop wallpapers and such.
Grand-Prize Winner & Winner of the Nature Category | Photo and caption by Ashley Vincent
The subject’s name is Busaba, a well cared for Indochinese Tigress whose home is at Khao Kheow Open Zoo, Thailand. I had taken many portraits of Busaba previously and it was becoming more and more difficult to come up with an image that appeared any different to the others. Which is why I took to observing her more carefully during my visits in the hope of capturing something of a behavioural shot. The opportunity finally presented itself while watching Busaba enjoying her private pool then shaking herself dry. In all humility I have to say that Mother Nature smiled favourably on me that day!
Honorable Mention, Nature Category | Photo and caption by Fransisca Harlijanto
I was surrounded by thousands of fish that moved in synchrony because of the predation that was happening. It was an incredible experience.
Viewer’s Choice, Nature Category | Photo and caption by Sanjeev Bhor
Everyday in Mara starts with something new and different and day ends with memorable experiences with spectacular photographs. I was very lucky sighting and photographing Malaika – the name of female Cheetah and her cub. She is well known for its habit to jump on vehicles. She learned that from her mother Kike, and Kike from her mother, Amber. Like her mother she is teaching lessons to her cub. Teaching lessons means the addition of another moment for tourists. This is one of the tender moments between Malaika and her cub. I was very lucky to capture that moment.
Winner, Places Category | Photo and caption by Nenad Saljic
The Matterhorn 4478 m at full moon.
Honorable Mention, Places Category | Photo and caption by Indra Swari Wonowidjojo
The winter gloomy day worked to my advantage to create this eerie feeling of the famous landmark Eiffel tower.
Viewer’s Choice, Places Category | Photo and caption by Adam Coish
Chipping ice off an iceberg is a common way for the Inuit community to retrieve fresh drinking water while on the land. During a weekend long hunting trip, we came upon this majestic iceberg frozen in place. It was a perfect opportunity to grab enough ice and drinking water for the remainder of the trip.
Winner, People Category | Photo and caption by Micah Albert
At the end of the day women [in Dandora, Kenya] are allowed to pick through the dumpsite.
Honorable Mention, People Category | Photo and caption by Ulrich Lambert
Stilt fishing is a typical fishing technique only seen in Sri Lanka. The fishermen sit on a cross bar called a petta tied to a vertical pole planted into the coral reef. This long exposure shot shows how unstable their position is.
Viewers’ Choice People Winner | Photo and caption by Kai-Otto Melau
A race that follows in the path of the famous explorer Roald Amundsen brings the contestants to the Hardangervidda Mountainplateu, Norway. 100km across the plateau, the exact same route Amundsen used to prepare for his South Pole expedition in 1911 is still used by explorers today. Amundsen did not manage to cross the plateau and had to turn back because of bad weather. He allegedly said that the attempt to cross Hardangervidda was just as dangerous and hard as the conquering of the South Pole. The group in the picture used the race as preparations for an attempt to cross Greenland.