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Amazing! This is The BEST 25 Of The National Geographic Photo Contest

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National Geographic has become synonymous with photography, with the magazine always showcasing the outstanding beauty and wonder of our planet. So naturally, their annual photo contest is a prestigious and hotly-contested event, with judges having thousands of breathtaking images to narrow down, to find the eventual winners.

This year’s grand prize winner was Jassen Todorov, a violinist and professor of music at San Francisco State University, whose aerial shot shows a vast boneyard in
Southern California’s Mojave Desert. The area is well known for storing retired aircraft, where the dry air keeps corrosion away before they are eventually
dismantled and scrapped for parts. What many are unaware of, however, is the huge stretch of land nearby that is set aside for recalled vehicles and is filled with
row-upon-row of Audis and Volkswagens that cheated emissions tests between 2009-2015. “I have flown and explored the Mojave Desert area quite a few times,” Jassen told about the winning shot. “There are several airports in the Mojave and at least 3-4 of them have large boneyards, which I have explored and
photographed. It was my first photo flight over Southern California Logistics Airport. I had done some research using google maps, so I had a general idea of the
position of the cars in relation to the airport.”

Combining his 3 loves of flying, music and photography Jassen has really gotten into his aerial photography. Using a Nikon D810 with a 70-200 mm lens, he flies
his single-engined Piper Warrior aircraft while listening to everything from classical music to country. “Music has a lot to do with structure and composition,
colors and patterns, moods and characters – when I am looking at a photo, I am thinking about the same things,” he told us. “By capturing scenes like this one, I
hope we will all become more conscious and more caring for our beautiful planet.”

Having previously had his photographs published in a variety of publications, from the Guardian to the Washington Post, this award is the highlight of Jassen’s
photography career so far. “To me, National Geographic has always been a very influential organization. I have always admired the mission, high professionalism and dedication of all people working there. I often doubt my own work, so having this type of recognition from National Geographic is not only very inspiring but also really meaningful.”

Other winners in the contest included Pim Volkers’ epic capture of wildebeests crossing Tanzania’s Mara River, which took the Wildlife prize, while Mia Collis’
portrait of a Kenyan photographer took first place in the People category. You can scroll down below to check out all the winners below!

#1 Breathing, Bence Mate

A brown bear growls a warning of his presence to an interloper, his breath vanishing slowly in the windless forest.

#2 Enduring Spirit, Derek Jerrell

The iconic American Bison is a symbol of strength, freedom and endurance. This shot captures the daily struggle bison face during the winter; extreme temperatures
and deep snow. Their thick skin and heavy coat protect them from the frigid temperatures and their large heads allow them to push snow back and forth so they can
forage for food. This shot wasn’t easy to capture, it was -15f and I had to wade through waste deep snow to find a vantage point that wouldn’t alter the bison’s

#3 Firefall In Yosemite Valley, Sarah Bethea

Each February, the sunset hits the right angle over yosemite valley to light up horsetail falls, resulting in a spectacular effect looking something like a lava-
flow. we were fortunate enough to see this event two years ago during a clear break in an otherwise rainy day.

#4 People’s Choice, Places: Cotton Candy, Fog Waves, David Odisho

Waves of fog sweep through Marin County on a summer day, blanketing of Mount Tamalpais.

#5 Night Statics, Hernando Alonso Rivera Cervantes

Volcanic eruption of the volcano of fire of Colima, the most active in Mexico and one of the most active in America during a cold winter night

#6 People’s Choice, Wildlife: Baby Teeth, Yaron Schmid

We spotted a pride of lions sleeping on top of the kopjes in the Serengeti. As we approached the rocks, we saw quite a few cubs. The best moment was when three
young cubs started playing and biting their mother’s tail—like kittens playing with yarn. I can’t remember a time I laughed so hard!

#7 Under Ice, Viktor Lyagushkin

Diving in White sea. Russia

#8 Grand Prize Winner: Unreal, Jassen Todorov

Thousands of Volkswagen and Audi cars sit idle in the middle of California’s Mojave Desert. Models manufactured from 2009 to 2015 were designed to cheat emissions
tests mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Following the scandal, Volkswagen recalled millions of cars. By capturing scenes like this one, I hope
we will all become more conscious of and more caring toward our beautiful planet.

#9 Halfway Home, Cameron Black

An elephant wades through crocodile infested waters to reunite with the herd at the end of the day. The waterlines temporarily staining her body could not
emphasize her progress any better as she steps onto shore and into the neighboring forest.

#10 Best Friends, Heather Nicole

In July 2017, I had the incredible opportunity to spend a week in lake clark national park. I immediately fell in love with the lush, pristine landscape of alaska.
one of the many highlights of the trip was watching these adorable cubs run, play and wrestle with each other. I was lucky enough to snap this shot as they took a
very brief break from playtime to enjoy a moment of peace. Don’t worry, momma was very close by watching their every move.

#11 First Place, Wildlife: Flying At The Crossing, Pim Volkers

It was early morning when I saw the wildebeests crossing Tanzania’s Mara River. The layering of dust, shade, and sun over the chaos of wildebeests kicking up water
gives this picture a sense of mystique and allure. It’s almost like an old painting—I’m still compelled to search the detail of the image to absorb the unreal

#12 Smoky Mountain, Michael Fung

A funny shape of lenticular cloud formed above the famous mountain in Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile. The shot was taken in the evening with
rapid change of weather.

#13 Tree, Slawek Kozdras

Lonely tree in the desert

#14 Rautes, Mattia Passarini

The Rautes are the last nomadic indigenous groups of Nepal who live in inhabit lands on western mountains, sustaining their unique cultural identities for
generations. They are one of the last nomadic people who never settle permanently in any particular place. This photo has been shot during the migration where a
mother carry her few weeks child on the basket

#15 Curiosity, Marcus Hennen

A creative portrait of a little curious burrowing owl. This owl was pretty cute and sat on a small branch in a front yard. I cropped the photo a bit to support
this moment of curiosity. This was the first time I was able to photograph these owls and I was very amazed how trustful they are and that of course made it much
easier to shoot this beautiful birds.

#16 Breast Cancer, Huey Kidd

Last year she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She has undergone bilateral mastectomies and completed courses of chemotherapy and radiation. She would like for
women to know what mastectomies look like in case they may require surgery.

#17 People’s Choice: An Astonishing Chase, Thomas Vijayan

After many days of following a cheetah on the second last day of my trip this cheetah target a gazelle cub and started running towards the gazelle exactly the way
i wanted and I was able to capture it running in between the black grass with a dust forming behind its legs creating a magical frame. But the end was more
astonishing. The cheetah started playing with the gazelle fawn like its own cub and then after sometime set it free to its mother. Even the animals value the life
of other animals.

#18 Uhhs & Ahhs, Lilian Koh

A juvenile grouper is fighting for its life while the lizard fish trying to ingest it. Story after this shot was the juvenile grouper managed to break free from
its jaw. Alive but can barely swim, however it took 2 breaths before it was eventually eaten by a prowling snapper nearby.

#19 People’s Choice: Van Gogh Baobabs, Maggie Machinsky

In a time when approximately 1/3 of the world’s population can no longer see the Milky Way with the naked eye, Madagascar is a rare, isolated paradise untouched by modernization or light pollution. This is a 47 minute exposure of the sky trailing over the iconic 800+ year old baobab trees of the famed “Allee des Baobabs” in
Morondava, Madagascar with the setting moon illuminating the foreground.

#20 People’s Choice: Hungry Hungry Hippos, Martin Sanchez

I found a hippo party and decided to join! AND WE ALL DECIDED TO PLAY HUNGRY HUNGRY HIPPO! 🙂

#21 A New Challenge, Alessandra Meniconzi

At the feet of the Altai mountain, that I met the Berkutchi, which in Kazakh language means “hunters with Golden Eagle”. They are men that with extreme patience
and dedication have domesticated to their advantage the different qualities of the Eagle. The raptor, with its untamable courage, its fast flying abilities, acute
vision and hearing capabilities has become man’s hunting companion that cannot be substitute. But this boy after train his eagle decide to try to domesticate two
chick hawk.

#22 Shipwreck And Photographer, Vivi Molet

This shipwreck is in bimini and its called the Gallant was smashed up on shore in 1997. The relentless waves have slowly destroyed the ship. they believe
in 15 years there will be nothing leaft at all.This Photography will become history. (Im a Profesional Landscape photographer and my husband loves to fly drones,
so we team up to Documentary the world from above and from the ground) YOU CAN SEE ON THE BOTOM RIGHT SIDE MYSELF AND THE SHADOW.

#23 Aigerim- The Eagle Huntress, Diana Ishii

Aigerim, a young female eagle huntress from the Altai Mountain in Mongolia. Hunting with a golden eagle is tradition that is normally passed down to boys but
Aigerim has proved to her father that she could do just as well. At home, she is an obedient daughter but on the competition ground, she is as fierce as her pet
Golden Eagle. Her golden eagle listens to her commands and in return, Aigerim has complete trust in her wild friend that it won’t hurt her with its hooked beak and

#24 Waves, Tilda Josefsson

A shetland pony who’s doing a spinning rear. tried a new perspective by zooming in on his upper body, resulting in catching the movement in his manes

#25 At The End Of The Rainbow, Joshua Galicki

The weather was constantly changing in East Falkland. I was grateful for this as the rapidly evolving conditions provided some dramatic opportunities. A quick
storm had passed through, leaving a rainbow in its wake. I crawled along the beach to position a portion of the rainbow in between two King Penguins interacting.
In this capture one appeared to be ecstatic about the improving weather while the other appeared rather indifferent, or it could’ve just been some flapping and

Source: nationalgeographic

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