50 National Geographic Photos - Award Winning Photography Examples

National Geographic Photos

National Geographic Photos

National Geographic is once again holding their annual Photo Contest, with the deadline for submissions. For the past eight weeks, they have been gathering and presenting galleries of submissions, encouraging readers to rate them as well. National Geographic was again kind enough to let me choose some of their entries. We have collected 50 wildlife photography and animal photography examples for your inspiration. Captions were written by the individual photographers.

national geographic photos
Kanana Camp, Botswana. Pulling over by the side of the road to watch a grazing giraffe, we spotted an amber head lurking behind a small mound. A hungry lioness. Watching, waiting, camera to my eye, she eventually chose her moment and pounced just as the giraffe sensed danger. The lioness gave chase, but failed. Hungry, she lay down, invisible, in the grass not ten feet from us and waited again. (Photo and caption by Alex Tan)

national geographic photos
A supercell thunderstorm rolls across the Montana prairie at sunset. (Photo and caption by Sean Heavey)

national geographic photos
Salvation. Appreciate life to save the world. (Photo and caption by Hongsik Kim)

national geographic photos
The Great Pyramids. The people of Ancient Egypt believed that death on Earth was the start of a journey to the next world. The embalmed body of the King was entombed underneath or within the pyramid to protect it and allow his transformation and ascension to the afterlife. (Photo and caption by Jesus Oranday)

national geographic photos
The Music Of Love. This picture was taken in Tenganan Village, Bali (2010). Tenganan is the most famous Bali Aga (original Balinese) village and is located close to Candi Dasa in East Bali. A man was playing bamboo music to entertain a disabled child which is not his son, but he loves this child likes he loves his own son. (Photo and caption by Ario Wibisono)

national geographic photos
Liquid Planet. Another picture from the Liquid Vision Series, which shows a different point of view of waves. An angle that people are not used to seeing. (Photo and caption by Freddy Cerdeira)

national geographic photos
Brown bear, Buskin River, Kodiak Alaska. This bear had been fishing in the river on this morning. It climbed onto the bank and laid down in the grass. This photo was taken about an hour after sunrise just as the sun was starting to clear the trees. The temperature was near the dew point and steam was rising off its body. It didn’t seem at all concerned by the fishermen in the river or the photographer on the bank. (Photo and caption by James Haskins)

national geographic photos
Praying Mantis - Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii. This beautiful whalbergii evolved through two of its nymph-stages on the Barberton Daisy at left, surviving because of its bright color which blended so well with the flower. Towards the end of its growth into an adult, it became a little more adventurous (but not much more) as pictured here. Once it had shed the layer in this picture, it became a fully-fledged adult, and departed after about two weeks. Total stay in this tiny ecosystem was approximately six weeks. (Photo and caption by Fred Turck)

national geographic photos
A Wrinkle in Time. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. (Photo and caption by Nikki Krecicki)

national geographic photo
Alone. I was up in the air in an helicopter, taking images for the community and suddenly I saw one tree surrounded by thousands of spruces and I got only one shot in this perfect light. (Photo and caption by Mats Almlöf)

national geographic photo
The archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, Brazil is considered a wildlife sanctuary, but today, even in this isolated archipelago dolphins are victims of the bad habits of consumption. (Photo and caption by João Vianna)

national geographic photography
Cosmic. Mother nature doing what she does best. (Photo and caption by Patrick John O'Doherty)

national geographic photography
The child in us. Traveling from Zhangmu (Nepal-Tibet border) to the Tibetan capital - Lhasa you can see road workers all along the Friendship Highway. The Chinese industrialization has affected Tibet a great deal. But despite the Chinese government's attempts to settle Chinese population across the Tibetan Plateau, the Roof of the World still remains a place where only the Tibetans can survive its harsh climate conditions. A Tibetan boy holding the hand of his father who works on the road construction, Tibet. (Photo and caption by Sergi Barisashvili)

national geographic photography
The baboon in front was harassing one of the babies in the troop. This male facing the camera attacked him. The whole fight was over in a few seconds but it was loud and seemingly vicious. The rest of the troop was scrambling around trying to get out of their way. There is, needless to say, always a lot of drama going on in a baboon troop. (Photo and caption by Sharon Raoli)

national geographic photos
Unsafe Journey. A woman is riding between the railway carriages of a local train heading north from Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. Her luggage is tucked under the carriage in front of her. It is the month of Ramadan, a fast which culminates in Eid-ul-Fitr, a three-day celebration. Tens of thousands of people leave the city to go to their home village and celebrate with their families. Trains are packed and many who fail to get tickets before they sell out or can't afford buying them at the black market ride on the roof of the train or, like this woman, finds a quiet spot between the carriages. (Photo and caption by Amy Helene Johansson)

national geographic photos
Lightning Strike NY Harbor. This shot was captured during a major electrical storm. There was little wind and no rain which allowed me to stay safely inside and shoot from an open window. This was the 82nd exposure out of 150 made that night. The camera was mounted on a tripod, exposures made with a cable release for 5 seconds at f10. Except for a some minor level adjustments and a square crop this was what came out of the camera. (Photo and caption by Jay Fine)

national geographic photos
Boise Sunrise. With the fog and morning light this looks like a place I'd love to be. If you look very closely, you can see a deer in a clearing in the center left area of the picture (small dot, head poking above bushes, see detail). (Photo and caption by Glen Hush)

national geographic photos
Yes it's spring. Fishing on the end of the bridge. (Photo and caption by Stan Bouman)

national geographic photos
The Look. There are only 400 of these birds in existence. (Photo and caption by Rolf Skrypzak)

national geographic photos
Against the windstorm on Mont Blanc. My friend Laszlo Varkonyi is leading a group on Mont Blanc, he died on Everest this April in a fatal accident: a big serac fell down. (Photo and caption by Aniko Molnar)

national geographic photos
Mystery Bug. This was on my clothesline. I have no idea what it is. I have used a macro lens as the insect was only an inch or so long. We live in the Northern Rivers district of New South Wales, Australia. The rainforest around our house sometimes brings forth intriguing creatures like this. I know it looks like a studio shot but it isn't. The photograph was was taken in natural light. The background is a sheet that was serendipitously drying on the clothesline at the time. I have rotated the image to make the insect easier to examine. If anyone can tell me what it is I would be grateful. (Photo and caption by Stephen Hocking)

national geographic photos
Pure Elements. I drove my 4x4 over rivers to get a view of the Volcano eruption at "Fimmvorduhals" in Iceland. It was a full moon and strong winds gave me problems standing still outside the truck. I had my camera with me and zoom lens but no tripod, suddenly there was a magical moment, I was experiencing a display of nature rarely seen by man. I found my camera with the zoom lens, rushed out of the truck, trying to fight the strong wind. I pushed the camera on to the hood of the truck trying to stand still, holding my breath, I shot 30 frames, and only one shot was good. (Photo and caption by Olafur Ragnarsson) #

national geographic photos
Bicycle Crash. Zestful BMX (Bicycle Moto-Cross) rider crashes after a failed attempt to grind the handrail. When in pain, even the ambitious, strong, extreme sports loving man looks like a simple, tired, vulnerable person. (Photo and caption by Karolis Milasevicius)

national geographic photos
The Serra da Leba Road near Lubango (Huíla, Angola). This is Serra da Leba, a landmark in Angola. A road built in the 70's, it's been in the country's postcard images for decades, but all shots were taken by day. I wanted something different and tried a night shot. But it seemed impossible: pitch dark, foggy, altitude of 1,800m (5,000ft). I wanted no more than 60sec of exposure, max, to avoid digital noise. But a car takes a few minutes to climb or descend this section of the road. The fog was dense and blocking the view! Suddenly the fog cleared, a few cars went down, others went up, they met in the middle in under 60sec... Painting done! (Photo and caption by Kostadin Luchansky)

national geographic photos
A Llama stands at the crest of a hill as the sun sets behind it at Chavín de Huántar, Peru. (Photo and caption by John Palmer Gregg) #

national geographic photos
Fallen Angel. A legionnaire from the French Foreign Legion's 2REP (Foreign Parachute Regiment) sits in an armored personnel carrier en route to an operation near Badpash Kusa Kala, Afghanistan on June 16, 2010. (Photo and caption by Steven Greaves)

national geographic photos
Foot and Thistle, Mountain Gorilla of Rwanda. I was fortunate to visit the rare and endangered Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda, February of 2010. This young gorilla had fallen asleep with a thistle grasped in his foot. The thistle is one of their food sources. They learn to extract the pith from the spine-defended inedible stem. This particular gorilla demonstrates syndactyly of the third and fourth toes, a common congenital malformation also found in humans. (Photo and caption by Jim Edwards)

national geographic photos
Lightning Crashes. A lightning bolt strikes the antenna of The Center building in Central Hong Kong during a storm on September 13, 2009. (Photo and caption by Michael Siward)

national geographic photos
Oasis. (Photo and caption by Nam In Geun)

national geographic photos
Me'enit Boy, Southwestern Ethiopia. One of our neighborhood friends, Sintiyu, looking on. A rare opportunity to see him undistracted by the camera, and absorbed in his family. (Photo and caption by Stephen Murdoch)

national geographic photos
Moths to Light. Moths attracted to a light in front of my home. (Photo and caption by Steve Irvine)

national geographic photos
Surva, the International Festival of the Masquerade Games held in the town of Pernik, Bulgaria is the biggest event of this type not only in Bulgaria but on the Balkan Peninsula as well. It promotes variations of ancient Bulgarian customs that are still alive today. These are an important part of the Bulgarian folklore tradition and are meant to be performed by single men and women. With its competitive nature, the festival is not only a venue but also a contest for the living vessels of this tradition, namely the Kukeri and Survakari. (Photo and caption by Orlin Ognyanov)

national geographic photos
Ki Gompa. This picture was taken when I visited the Buddhist Monastery of Ki. Ki is a tiny village in the middle of the Himalayas, and next to it is Ki Gompa (Ki Monastery). I lived with the monks for about a week, and this picture reflects the peaceful, almost heavenly atmosphere that characterizes this place. The Monastery is almost 4,000 meters high, and I had to climb almost 500 meters more to get this panorama. This place is a touch of heaven. (Photo and caption by Natalia Luzuriaga)

national geographic photos
Haunting Glimpse. An encounter with an elusive Canada Lynx is said to be a rare privilege. I am honored to have had the opportunity to see a Lynx up close and personal. As I photographed this beautiful cat, I felt transfixed by its wild, untamed, haunting eyes. This is a once in a lifetime chance that I will cherish forever. (Photo and caption by Janet Chester)

national geographic photos
Suradita Village, West Java, Indonesia. Children playing with their roosters. Actually it was not a real cockfight because the roosters didn't wear blades on their feet. Children like to play this game because they almost never have toys in their life. (Photo and caption by Ario Wibisono)

national geographic photos
Silhouetted against the headlights of their engine, Firemen attempt to put out a blaze caused by a gigantic natural gas line explosion near San Francisco in September of 2010. The fire destroyed 37 homes, and resulted in seven fatalities. (Photo and caption by Josh Edelson)

national geographic photos
Power of childhood. City: Lençois; Estate: Bahia; Country: Brazil. (Photo and caption by Rodrigo West de Magalhaes)

national geographic photos
North Atlantic seals enduring winter storm. It was already -1 and with a strong wind it was colder still, Had to position myself so as to shield the camera from the wind to keep the image sharp the snow was being blown horizontally away from me. (Photo and caption by Eric Garnett)

national geographic photos
Great Blue Heron with fish. The largest and most widespread heron in North America. When foraging, they stand silently along riverbanks, lake shores, or in wet meadows, waiting for prey to come by, which they then strike with their bills. (Photo and caption by Linh Dinh)

national geographic photos
A walk along the river bank. This photo was taken in Zhenyuan, Guizhou Province, China this summer. I was taking a walk along the river bank of Wuyang in the mist of a late afternoon shower. Refreshing smell after rain was mixed with the aroma from nearby food stands. In the distance, kids were playing and laughing. The tranquil and harmonious life of the local people reminds me of the joyful time I grew up in a similar small town in Southwest China. (Photo and caption by Fred Wang)

national geographic photos
Heavy load. One morning in August, I was on my way to pick up the newspaper. Everything was moist and wet, and I spotted this little fly on a small white flower, just outside my bedroom window. Two hours after I shot this picture I went outside again, and the fly was still sitting on the same flower - still not able to fly. (Photo and caption by Audun Wigen)

national geographic photos
Table Mountain. I took this picture in June 2009 while I was just outside of Cape Town, South Africa. I was working at a kids camp and took a quick shot of the sun setting over Table Mountain as we were headed in for dinner. I was in such a rush to capture the sunset while trying to keep an eye on a bunch of kids on the playground that I didn't even notice the boy in the right edge of my viewfinder. It wasn't until I was back home in Tennessee that I discovered the huge impact of this picture. The duality of the not-quite-teenage boy and the 260-million-year-old mountain in the same shot absolutely amazed me. (Photo and caption by Quinn Ballard)

national geographic photos
Herring Gull with Guillemot Chick. Taken on the Farne Islands, Northumberland, UK, the herring gull circled around the guillemot colony three or four times before dropping in and picking up this chick with the guillemot colony watching. (Photo and caption by Ron McCombe)

national geographic photos
Pyramid mountain. Maelifellssandur volcanic dust desert in Iceland. (Photo and caption by Sukru Mehmet Omur)

national geographic photos
Giraffes at Savannah. Unusual perspective shot depicting two giraffes and a tree in Masai Mara, Kenya

national geographic photos
After the Crash. My dear friend, Laura, fell from the sky. The helicopter she was traveling in crashed into an open, dry field and burst info flames, killing three of the six passengers on board, including the pilot. Laura survived, but barely. She was burned, crushed, and near death. She broke 45 bones. She was pulled from the burning wreckage by her hair. To this day, she still cannot walk. While there wasn't a part of her body that was unharmed, her spirit and determination to live a full, happy life remains stronger than ever. This image taken in a lush, green field is meant to signify her rebirth.

national geographic photos
Cloud and ship. Ukraine, Crimea, Black sea, view from Ai-Petri mountain. (Photo and caption by Yevgen Timashov
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