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Winners of the National Geographic Photo Contest 2015

Winners of the National Geographic Photo Contest 2015

James Smart won the National Geographic Contest 2015 with his entry titled DIRT.
It was selected from over 13,000 entries and apart from the eternal fame, he goes home with a $10,000 in prize money and he also gets to visit the National Geographic headquarters.
If you think you have what it takes to participate in such a prestigious photo contest, you have to remember the dedication involved, as James spent 15 days chasing storms to get his perfect shot.

Credit: National Geographic Photo Contest 2015

Winners of the National Geographic Photo Contest 2015
1

Dirt
A rare and jaw-dropping anti-cyclonic tornado touches down in open farmland, narrowly missing a home near Simla, Colorado.
Credit: James Smart

Winners of the National Geographic Photo Contest 2015
2

Orangutan in the Rain
I was taking photos of orangutans in Bali, Indonesia, when it started to rain. Just before I put my camera away, I saw this orangutan take a taro leaf and put it on top on his head to protect himself from the rain! I immediately used my DSLR and telephoto lens to preserve this spontaneous magic moment.
Credit: Andrew Suryono

Winners of the National Geographic Photo Contest 2015
3

At the Playground
Bwengye lives in a slum called Kamwokya in Kampala, Uganda's capital city. He cherishes his bicycle more than anything and brings it to this playground in the slum every evening, where he watches kids playing soccer.
Credit: Joel Nsadha

Winners of the National Geographic Photo Contest 2015
4

Colorful Chaos
White-fronted bee-eaters gather on a bough before going to sleep in their burrows, scraped into a sand wall. I was working on this theme for 18 days, as there were only five to ten minutes each day when the light conditions were appropriate. Ninety percent of my efforts to capture this image were not successful. I used flashlights to light the bee-eaters sitting on the branch, but not the others flying above. At this angle, the backlight generated rainbow coloring through the wings of the flying birds.
Credit: Bence Mate

Winners of the National Geographic Photo Contest 2015
5

The Game
Beachgoers kick around soccer balls on Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the nation that is home to la joga bonita—the beautiful game.
Credit: Simone Monte

Winners of the National Geographic Photo Contest 2015
6

From Generation to Generation
This photo was taken during Chinese New Year's Eve of 2015 in Taiwan. I noticed how the light was coming into the room as our family members passed incense sticks to each other, sending our prayers and paying respects to our ancestors. The photo is symbolic, as the passing of incense sticks represents the knowledge and wisdom passed down from generation to generation.
Credit: Jackson Hung

Winners of the National Geographic Photo Contest 2015
7

Hill Of Crosses
There are many hundreds of thousands of crosses on the Hill of Crosses near Šiauliai, Lithuania. It represents Lithuanian Catholicism’s peaceful resistance to oppression. Many spirits of the dead are thought to live here on this small hill. When I visited this place, a girl in a pink dress ran through as if she brought peace, hope, and love.
Credit: Hideki Mizuta

Winners of the National Geographic Photo Contest 2015
8

Overlooking Iraq From Iran
In October 2014 in Khuzestan, Iran, I came across a group of female Iranian students on the border between Iran and Iraq. Some of them climbed up the tanks left after the war between the two countries and took pictures of themselves. I pressed the shutter when I saw this girl stretch out her arms and turn to face the Iraqi border.
Credit: Yanan Li

Winners of the National Geographic Photo Contest 2015
9

Surrealist Painting in Nature
As the largest system of mountain ranges in Central Asia, Tian Shan—which translates to “sky-mountain” in Chinese—has one of the best collections of natural landscapes in the world and is considered a paradise for outdoor adventures. Thanks to the richness of the land’s sediments, compounded by the power of erosion caused by rivers flowing down the mountains, the north face of Tian Shan is carved into stunning plateaus and colorful canyons hundreds of meters deep, resulting in this surrealist painting in nature.
Credit: Tugo Cheng

Winners of the National Geographic Photo Contest 2015
10

Asteroid
While preparing a report on Spain’s Rio Tinto from the air, I decided to include the phosphogypsum ponds located in the marshes of red, whose radioactive discharges has destroyed part of the marsh. As an environmental photojournalist I had to report this story, but had to do it with an image that by itself attracts the viewer’s attention. On a low-flying training flight, this image caught my attention for its resemblance to the impact of an asteroid on its green waters.
Credit: Francisco Mingorance

Winners of the National Geographic Photo Contest 2015
11

Acrobats of the Air
A flock of Alpine choughs (Pyrrhocorax graculus), a species of mountain-dwelling bird, performs acrobatic displays in the air. During a windy day, I was able to immortalize their impressive flight skills.
Credit: Alessandra Meniconzi

Winners of the National Geographic Photo Contest 2015
12

Changing Shifts
In Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, the cubs of the famous cheetah Malaika learned to hunt. They moved from one hill to another, scanning the lands. Here, they seemed to change shifts as one cheetah left the hill while another took her place.
Credit: James Smart

Winners of the National Geographic Photo Contest 2015
13

Nothing to Declare
After a family member passes away in Taiwan’s countryside, their body is kept in the house or in a tent built specifically for this purpose. After a set period of time, the deceased is given a funeral procession before their burial.
Credit: Lars Hübner

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