Magnificent Final Entries From the 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year

The final deadline for entries to the 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year contest is rapidly approaching. We’ve been updating you on entries throughout the entire contest and as the contest heads into the home stretch we’ve scanned the final entries for our favorites. Photographers are welcome to submit entries into four separate categories—Landscape, Environmental Issues, Action, and Animal Portraits. ”The four categories of this year’s contest will give photographers a chance to capture the complexity and beauty found in the world around us,” remarked Sarah Polger, senior producer for National Geographic Travel and manager of National Geographic photo contests. “We anticipate compelling and revealing images.”

The grand prize winner will enjoy a 10-day trip for two to the Galápagos with National Geographic Expeditions and also have the opportunity for two 15-minute portfolio reviews with National Geographic photo editors—a photographer’s dream-come-true. Interested photographers still have time to submit photos until November 4 at 12 p.m. EDT. There is a $15 entry fee per photo, with no limit to the number of submissions per photographer.

Read on below to discover the meaning behind each of the stunning images in this newest selection, as written by the photographers. Whether they highlight the effects of climate change on our environment or give a glimpse into the social dynamics of the animal kingdom, the entries clearly demonstrate the power of nature.

Above: Andrès Miguel DomÌnguez/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year. Engagement present.

Kingfisher (Alcedo athis) male with an engagement present for the female.

Emily Riley/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year. Hummingbird.

This lil humming bird baby was caught in my home. Here he is recouping from what was a stressful time being stuck. Minutes later her flew away.

Mario Suarez Porras/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year. Puffin studio

This image was taken last summer on Skomer Island, Wales. It is well known for its wildlife, the puffin colony is one of the largest in U.K.The photo shows a detail or study of an Atlantic puffin resting peacefully under the rain. As Skomer is inhabited, puffins do not feel afraid of humans, and so people can be close to puffins and the photographer can think about the right composition and take this kind of intimate portraits. Also that morning the conditions came together: rain and light.

Bill Klipp/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year. Polar Bear Reflection.

As we cruised the ice fields near Prince Regent Inlet in the Canadian high arctic we came across a lone Polar Bear wandering across the ice seeking a meal.

Yosuke Kashiwakura/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year.Orphan Orangutan.

The island of Borneo, which is split between the countries of Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei, was once covered with a lush tropical rainforest, but in the wake of ongoing deforestation and the expansion of plantation farming, the habitats of the island is endemic and endangered species are being destroyed rapidly. Relentless deforestation has precipitated the loss of 90% of the orangutan population in 100 years. At this rate, some expect this species to become extinct within the next 20 years.

Alex Wiles/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year. Larger Than Life.

While photographing flowers at eye level, this grasshopper surprised me by crawling overhead and pausing to watch. To get the effect of a wide-angle macro image, I used an inexpensive lens with an extension tube attached. This allowed me to focus at a very close range to capture minor details, yet still allowed for a wide composition. I was so close that the front element of the lens nearly touched the subject.

Zhayynn James/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year. Tequila Sunset.

We were returning from a very successful day in the Masai Mara and were rushing to make it out the gate at the opposite end of the park, late one evening, when this scene presented itself. The beautiful melting orb of the sun, seeping through the clouds, lighting the sky a vibrant orange and in the foreground were these 4 zebras, set against that backdrop.

Rifky Setya/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year. Early morning rays at Mt. Bromo.

A scene of sunrise rays which is reflected on an intense smoke of Bromo eruption.

Stas Bartnikas/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year. Colorado river trees.

Aerial shot was taken in Baja California, where Colorado river meets the ocean.

Jassen T./2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year. Our beloved possessions. Kalispell, Montana. Aerial Image (shot from a plane).

Automobile emissions are the number one source of carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic compounds released into the atmosphere according to the EPA.

NingYu Pao/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year. I Am Angry.

We arrived at one of the watering holes in Etosha National Park in the late evening. Four lions were devouring a large kudu that they killed. A pack of hyenas appeared from the bush nearby attracted by the smell of blood and food for them. What ensued was a fight for the dead kudu between 4 female lions and 16 hyenas. Needless to say, in the end the hyenas won and got the prized kudu.

cmoon view/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year. f/1.4.

Panorama near the Chamonix glacier.

Philip Friedman/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year. Sailing in Meringue.

Capturing the immensity of the landscape in Greenland is difficult. The sky is huge, the mountains are gigantic and the icebergs are colossal. When our zodiac rounded this beautiful iceberg, our sailing ship was in the background, giving some sense of scale to this whipped iceberg.

Brina Bunt/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year. Fire Dancer.

Sunrise over the Erta Ale lava lake created a dramatic dichotomy between the power and intimidation of the angry volcano and the childlike innocence of a dancing stick-figure. The spewing and showering of molten lava, the charred, cracking of the newly formed black basalt, and the fiery sunset within the sulfuric haze created for a dramatic, ethereal experience akin to a “gateway to hell.” The volcano had erupted only three weeks before this image was taken.

Christopher Markisz/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year. Under The Waves.

Waves of fog roll over a neighborhood in Mill Valley, California, as seen from the top of Mount Tamalpais.

National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year: Website | Your Shot
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My Modern Met granted permission to use images and captions by National Geographic.

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