Every year, photographers around the globe submit throngs of groundbreaking digital photographs to National Geographic’s prestigious photography contest.
A selection of photos from this year’s competition — the 2015 National Geographic Photography Contest — have just been released, and they are absolutely spectacular.
Judges evaluate these photographs on their creativity, photographic quality, and authenticity of the content. They are sorted into three categories of people, places, and nature. All images were taken within the past two years.
Here are 12 of our favourite photographs from this year’s competition. The contest is accepting entries through November 16.
Two women become lost in the fabric of a fishing net in Vinh Hy, Ninh Thuan, Vietnam. They are sewing the net for a new fishing season while their husbands are out fishing.
Men take part in a bathing ritual in the Tirta Empul Temple in Bali. The temple's fresh spring water is believed to be holy water that purifies the body and soul.
An inquisitive and playful female Humpback whale calf in Neiafu, Vava'u, Tonga measures photographer Matthew Draper with her pectoral fin. By measuring how close he is, the whale can determine if her tail is going to come into contact with Draper as she swims past.
A baby elephant disguised in sand pokes through a line of elephants that had just crossed the Chobe River in Botswana, Africa on a hot day. They relax and cool down by flicking cool sand onto their backs.
Children in The Port Paotere play near a centuries-old shipwrecked wooden boat, Pinisi, which once explored the boundaries of Makassar in South Sulawesi, Indonesia.
Six bears feast on salmon during the fish's annual spawning return to their birthplace in King Salmon, Alaska.
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