The winners of the 2014 National Geographic Photo Contest have been announced, and the final photographs are among the best we’ve ever seen.
Nineteen images were selected from over 9,200 submissions from both amateur and professional photographers hailing from 150 different countries.
Winners and honorable mention photographs were selected from three categories: nature, people, and places. They were chosen by an esteemed panel comprised of National Geographic photographers and other creative professionals.
Grand Prize winner Brian Yen will receive $US10,000 and a trip to Washington, DC, for his image “A Node Glows in the Dark.”
Nat Geo shared the images with us here.
'In the last ten years, mobile data, smartphones, and social networks have forever changed our existence. Although this woman stood at the center of a jam-packed train, the warm glow from her phone told the strangers around her that she wasn't really there. She managed to slip away from 'here' for a short moment; she's a node flickering on the social web, roaming the Earth, free as a butterfly. Our existence is no longer stuck to the physical here; we're free to run away, and run we will.'
'Jump of the wildebeest at the Mara River.'
'The thermal spas in Budapest (are) one of the favourite activities of Hungarians, especially in winter. We were fortunate to gain special access to shoot in the thermal spa thanks to our tour guide, Gabor. I love the mist, caused by the great difference in temperature between the hot spa water and the atmosphere. It makes the entire spa experience more surreal and mystical.'
Honorable Mention, Nature: 'Glass Fish,' Christian Miller, Cairns, Great Barrier Reef, Flynn Reef, Australia
'On a windy day right after a cyclone passed the far northern Great Barrier Reef, I took some friends out to the reef. Never before have I seen that many glass fish on this particular coral 'bommie'. Just as I set up my camera, this Napoleon Wrasse swam right through the school of fish, building a living frame.'
'A wild short-eared owl completes a shoulder check in case something was missed. Northern harriers were also hunting in the field and these raptors will often steal a kill from the owls.'
'Stag Deer bellowing in Richmond Park.'
Honorable Mention, Nature: 'Muscle Power,' Archna Singh, Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh, India
'This playful fight amongst two young sub-adult Tigers was indeed a brilliant life time opportunity that lasted exactly four to five seconds. The cubs were sitting in the grass as dusk approached when suddenly one of them sneaked up behind the other and what happened next is captured in this image.'
Honorable Mention, Nature: 'Zebras and the rim of the Crater,' Zik Teo, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
'Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania, is the world's largest inactive volcanic caldera. It is a collapsed volcano that harbours a range of African wildlife that live in relatively close proximity and competition with each other. Zebras are amongst the most common animals in the crater, along with wildebeests, gazelles, hyenas, and lions. On a clear day, a 360º view of the crater rim can be seen whilst being inside.'
'Disabled children living in Syria war.'
'The chef of Ramnami people in Chhattisgarh, India. Ramnami tattoo the name of the lord 'Ram' on their bodies. Their entire focus is on the name of Ram, the name of God that is most dear to them. The Ramnami Samaj is a sect of harijan (Untouchable) Ram. Formed in the 1890s, the sect has become a dominant force in the religious life of the area. The tattoo is the result of their devotion and also a gift and an acknowledgment from Ram.'
'A young girl throws a temper tantrum in a Bangkok shopping mall.'
'Seekers of eternal youth coat themselves in mineral-rich mud at the Dead Sea in Israel.'
'Little discussion with a doll in a plastic box. Not inherently beautiful, but with this slice of light, it looks like a bubble invented to dream in an imaginative world.'
'He was waiting on the bed, lost in thought, while his wife was preparing the bread to be blessed for the Orthodox Eucharist.'
'Our road trip down to Miami traversed this outlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We rested on this ridge overlooking the mountains. Though we argued consistently throughout the journey, here we were, reminded of our brotherhood.'
'Birds fly over the destroyed houses in Khalidiya district in Homs, Syria. In the vast stillness of the destroyed city center of Homs, there are large areas where nothing moves. Then, suddenly, wind blows a ripped awning, or birds fly overhead.'
'While I was taking photos with my nephew, a storm came and I caught this beautiful moment.'
Honorable Mention, Places: 'Tokyo -- Shinagawa Station,' Peter Franc, Shinagawa Station, Tokyo, Japan
'I was up at an ungodly hour to make it to the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo. With so many amazing things to see in the city, I had hardly slept, and managed to get off at the wrong station. Wave after wave of people kept coming through the station passageway. I spied a coffee shop with a vantage point and managed to snap a few shots, camera resting on the ledge. After the caffeine kicked in, I was ready to brave the river of people...'
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