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October 19, 2012

National Geographic Photo Contest 2012

It’s that time again…the 2012 National Geographic Photo Contest is in full swing. The contest has reached his midpoint but there is plenty of time to enter before the November 30, 2012 deadline. Photographers of all skill levels - from professional to amateur - across the globe, submitted more than 20,000 entries from 130 countries in last year’s competition. The photographs are judged on creativity and photographic quality by a panel of experts in the field. There is a first place winner in each of three categories: People, Places and Nature, and a grand prizewinner as well. The following images are a sampling of the competition thus far – twelve images in each category. The caption information is provided and written by the individual photographer. – Paula Nelson ( 36 photos total)

NATURE’S ART (Nature) - Dried up delta of the Kimberly region, N.W. Australia. Creates the most sophisticated patterns only appreciated from above. (Photo and caption by Ted Grambeau/National Geographic Photo Contest)

SNOW IN ROME (Places) - Piazza Navona at night, stricken by an unusual blizzard. (Photo and caption by luigi vaccarella/National Geographic Photo Contest)#

MARIA AND RAUL (People) - Raul and Maria were married in 1959, the year of the revolution. They have lived for most of their lives in this tiny apartment in Central Havana. Raul is now blind and Marie spends much of her time looking after his needs. It is now late afternoon and Marie takes a siesta while Raul sits in his rocking chair waiting for her to wake up. (Photo and caption by David Creedon/National Geographic Photo Contest)#

YOUNG GIRL DRINKING MARES MILK (People) - Fermented mares milk (Airag) is the traditional national beverage of Mongolia. The amount of milk produced by one mare averages about two litres when milked six times per day, so in order to make enough Airag for the family and any visitors, it is necessary to have at least a dozen mares. To get good quality Airag, it is necessary to stir the milk mix no less than 1,000 times each day! Produced during the summer months in a specially made hide skin bag, fresh Airag is quite mild, but if kept for long enough turns sour and acidic which is how many Mongolian's prefer it. (Photo and caption by Andrew Newey/National Geographic Photo Contest)#

LONELY HUT (Places) - Lonely hut on a slash and burn farm in northern Thailand. (Photo and caption by Pattavee Kaewnoo/National Geographic Photo Contest)#

LOST SOUL (Nature) - A male Humpback whale dies on its annual migration. The carcass washes ashore on Sydney's Northern Beaches. (Photo and caption by Jack Murphy/National Geographic Photo Contest)#

GREAT WHITE, SUN LIGHT (Nature) - As I am sitting on top of a suspended submersible cage, 30 feet below the surface, a 15 foot Great White Shark swims overhead just starting to block out the sun. I took the shot right after I had released a breath though my respirator. (Photo and caption by Kirk Nielsen/National Geographic Photo Contest)#

HOME ALONE (Nature) - The progeny, a solitary chick, amidst the adult Great Crested Terns, taken from a prone position, with a wide-angle lens, at a breeding site on a Sri Lankan island off northwestern seas. (Photo and caption by Lalith Ekanayake/National Geographic Photo Contest)#

PREDATION UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL (Nature) - I was surrounded by thousands of fish that moved in synchrony because of the predation that was happening. It was an incredible experience. (Photo and caption by Fransisca Harlijanto/National Geographic Photo Contest)#

HANGING LIFE (People) - I saw this hanging kid along with a hanging bag while walking on the streets of Chennai. (Photo and caption by Sudharshun Gopalan/National Geographic Photo Contest)#

SWEET DREAMER (People) - Quiet afternoon in a Thai restaurant. (Photo and caption by Adrian Konopnicki/National Geographic Photo Contest)#

DOG’S LIFE (People) - Two children watch as the dogs get weighed in at the Lismore Greyhound Track. (Photo and caption by Marc Stapelberg/National Geographic Photo Contest)#

CITY BIRDS (Places) - Strolling through downtown San Francisco during our vacation, the birds sitting on the wires and skyscrapers in the foggy background caught my attention. A lucky shot! (Photo and caption by Matthias Luetolf/National Geographic Photo Contest)#

PELICAN, WALVIS BAY, NAMIBIA (Nature) - A marine cruise in Walvis Bay, Namibia, is a memorable experience. I remember watching dolphins, seals, mola molas, cormorants... and having the privilege of picturing that one pelican at the exact moment he grabbed a bite thrown from the boat. (Photo and caption by Romulo Rejon/National Geographic Photo Contest)#

SECLUDED PIER AT LAKE BRUNNER (Places) - I was on my 170 km solo cycling trip around West Coast, New Zealand and one of the destinations was famous Lake Brunner. I reached this pier one foggy morning and I found this moment was “like no other”. (Photo and caption by Mohd Nadly Aizat Mohd /National Geographic Photo Contest)#

ENDEAVOUR FLIES OVER GRIFFITH OBSERVATORY (Places) - The Space Shuttle Endeavour flies over Griffith Park Observatory and the Hollywood Sign before heading to Los Angeles International Airport where it will be prepared to be moved to its new permanent home at the California Science Center in downtown Los Angeles. (Photo and caption by Axelle Woussen/National Geographic Photo Contest)#

HEAVENLY VIEW (Places) - The sea of clouds covered the city making a spectacular heavenly view while the photographer is absorbed in taking photo from the top of Mt.Yangbaeksan, South Korea. (Photo and caption by Sungjin Kim/National Geographic Photo Contest)#

THE GODFATHER (Nature) - He is big - 4 meters tall and over 4 tons in weight, he is the "Godfather." I have visualized this scene many times. I have checked and rechecked my equipment and decided upon the camera and lens combination. I now relax and control my breathing as they come into view. The next ten minutes are bliss of forgetfulness as I zone in to the task at hand; only one moment stands out. He stands still before me in all his magnificence, raising his trunk filled with the red Kalahari dust. In one fluid movement he sprays his forehead and for one brief moment he is covered in the magic of dust and light. (Photo and caption by Peter Delaney/National Geographic Photo Contest)#

CRATER LAKE STORM AT SUNSET (Places) - A thunderstorm swirls across the water at Crater Lake National Park, as the setting sun creates a rare double rainbow. Taken from Rim Village, approximately 1,000 feet above the lake's surface, providing a straight-on vantage point of the storm. (Photo and caption by Duke Miller /National Geographic Photo Contest)#

AN EXPEDITION AMUNDSEN (People) - 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 conquering of the South Pole. The group in the picture used the race as preparation for an attempt to cross Greenland. (Photo and caption by Kai-Otto Melau/National Geographic Photo Contest)#

GLACIER (Places) - The other-worldly experience! ((Photo and caption by Rafael Urrutia/National Geographic Photo Contest)#

REFLECTING VANCOUVER (Places) - Walking near the waterfront in Vancouver, I was struck by the beautiful reflection of the nearby buildings in the glass of the Convention Center. (Photo and caption by Martha Katko/National Geographic Photo Contest)#

ADRIFT (Nature) - Penguins adrift on iceberg during a heavy snow storm in Antarctica. (Photo and Caption by Joshua Holko/National Geographic Photo Contest)#

DANCE (People) - A female dancer practicing her movements for a performance in the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern, London. (Photo and caption by Tom Radenz/National Geographic Photo Contest)#

BUTTERFLY AT SUNSET (Nature) - Macro shot of a butterfly with the sunset in the background. (Photo and caption by Toni Guetta/National Geographic Photo Contest)#

GOLDEN ROAD (Nature) - A glorious road of gold through the aspen woods of Snowmass, Colorado. (Photo and caption by Chih-Hung Kao/National Geographic Photo Contest)#

HAMER GIRL, ETHIOPIA (People) - The Hamers are a people of East Africa living in southwestern Ethiopia, in a fertile area of the Omo Valley. The gracious Hamer women, freeing pride and dignity even in the midst of the bustling weekly market, are easily spotted with their characteristic outfits. They take pride in their dress and accessories and win the prize as the most decorated of the Omo people. The traditional dress code for unmarried Hamar girls includes elegant cowrie-shell collars, seeded or glass-beaded necklaces and decorated goatskin clothing. (Photo and caption by Pascal Mannaerts/National Geographic Photo Contest)#

THROUGH THE DUNES (Nature) - Oryx captured in Namib-Naukluft National Park in Namibia just after sunset. Heading through the dunes in search of food and water. (Photo and caption by Mikael Stiller/National Geographic Photo Contest)#

WINDSWEPT LADY (Nature) - One of the times visiting Monument Valley, Arizona, I was in a box canyon when a severe dust storm came through. This is a photo of an aged, old juniper tree. Its weather-torn skeleton has lasted sun, heat, snow, wind, and nature's elements. It's shape and outline looks as if it's an old windswept and aged lady still standing in a harsh desert climate. (Photo and caption by Dave Drost/National Geographic Photo Contest)#

THE EDGE (People) - Looking just over the edge, just enough to see what is ahead, not enough to know the whole, just getting the gist. (Photo and caption by Mei Ratz/National Geographic Photo Contest)#

TOUR de FORCE (Places) - The vibrancy and complexity of civilization especially manifested within the architectural themes of cities never ceases to amaze me. It seems that cities undergo a gradual metamorphosis, as they seem to redefine themselves in their own unique way. The sculptors that provide the energy behind this change are the various people throughout history, and indeed the present, that lend their various influences as determined by the period of history and cultural forces at play. (Photo and caption by Konstantine Eleftheria/National Geographic Photo Contest)#

BOYS TO MEN (People) - Masai boys who had just undergone the cultural rite of passage. (Photo and caption by Amy Sacka/National Geographic Photo Contest)#

SKUGAFOSS - It took me a few tries to take this long exposure of SkÛgafoss, the massive southern Icelandic waterfall, between the small groups of tourists slowly making their way to its base. While a person certainly would have added some scale to how large the waterfall really is, I wanted the silky sheen of the flowing water to be unobstructed and people-free. (Photo and caption by Catherine Cole/National Geographic Photo Contest)#

BATHERS (People) - This mother and two children take a bath in this little puddle which is in a secluded place in the middle of one beech forest in Transylvania. The puddle contains sludge with petroleum (crude oil). The boy, continuously asked his mother, why do we bath here in this very stinky puddle? There was no answer, just a severe look... The mother and the other boy believe fanatically in the mystic healing power of this little very stinky puddle. (Photo and caption by M. Istvan Kerekes/National Geographic Photo Contest)#

DELICATE ARCH AT NIGHT (Places) - I wanted to do something different than usual on my first visit to Arches National Park, so instead of sunset where the crowds usually gather, I made the hike to Delicate Arch at night. I had my girlfriend stand with the spotlight we brought and took a few shots. This was the best. (Photo and caption by Benjamin Cooper/National Geographic Photo Contest)#

BELIEVERS (People) - A group of devotees performs a sacred ritual and celebrate Chinese gods during Phuket Vegetarian Festival. Millions of firecrackers are ignited each year during the celebration. It is an annual event held during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar. Local residents of Chinese ancestry strictly observe a 10-day vegetarian diet for spiritual cleansing and merit making. (Photo and caption by Peerakit Jirachetthakun/National Geographic Photo Contest)#