National Geographic, known for its stunning photography, always showcases the outstanding beauty and wonder of our planet. And their annual photo contest is a prestigious and hotly-contested event.
Again this year, judges had to pour through thousands of breathtaking images from around the world to find the eventual winners. The categories include Wildlife, People, and Places. Check them out below:
Grand prize winner
This year’s grand prize winner was Jassen Todorov, a violinist and professor of music at San Francisco State University; it’s also the first place winner in the Places category. Jassen’s aerial shot shows a vast boneyard in Southern California’s Mojave Desert.
Well known for storing retired aircraft before dismantling, what many are unaware of is the huge stretch of land nearby that is set aside for recalled Audis and Volkswagens that cheated emissions tests between 2009-2015.
“I have flown and explored the Mojave Desert area quite a few times,” said Jassen. “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.”
Wildlife winners of the National Geographic Photo Contest
Pim Volkers’ epic capture of wildebeests crossing Tanzania’s Mara River took the Wildlife prize. The layering of dust and light within the chaos gives this picture a sense of mystique.
Winners in the People category of the National Geographic Photo Contest
Mia Collis’ portrait of Kenyan photographer David Muyochokera took first place in the People category.
National Geographic Photo Contest winners for Places
Nicholas Moir captured this rusting Ford Thunderbird blanketed by red dust from a supercell thunderstorm in Ralls, Texas that took second place in the Places category.