National Geographic has just announced the results of its prestigious 2017 Nature Photographer of the Year contest (2016 here), and the winning shots are the perfect celebration of Mother Earth. 11,000 photos were submitted, competing in four categories: wildlife, landscapes, aerials, and underwater.
The grand-prize winner will receive $7,500 and their winning image will appear in an upcoming issue of National Geographic magazine. Also, one first-place winner will be selected from each of the four categories, all of them earning $2,500. To feed your passion for the living world, Bored Panda has collected some of our favorite shots from the competition, presenting them together with its prizewinners. Scroll down to take a closer look at nature and upvote the images you liked most.
More info: nationalgeographic.com
Grand Prize Winner: Face To Face In A River In Borneo, Jayaprakash Joghee Bojan
A male orangutan peers from behind a tree while crossing a river in Borneo, Indonesia. Rampant palm oil cultivation threatens this critically endangered ape, forcing the normally arboreal species to resort to unusual behavior—such as wading through crocodile-infested rivers—in order to survive.
Pied Falconet Family, Kant Liang
Pied Falconet is a species of bird of prey in the family Falconidae. They're very small (
The Lion In The Sea Of Flowers, Ge Xiao
Early in the morning, the young male lion came to the dense flower sea, and he felt very satisfied. Swinging his head in the breeze, I took the picture.
One Happy Seal Model, Lars Lykke
Went to the very north of Denmark, skagen, at sunrise and found this willing model.
There Is Always Room For One More, Eivor Kuchta
How many Mountain Goats can fit on this rock, if you start stacking them on top of each other? Mount Evans, Colorado, USA
Stealthy Eyes, Melissa Stevens
Ever get the feeling you're being watched? The hair on the back of your neck starts to stand on end, you're checking your surroundings, you look up to see the glorious mountain beast and stare into the soul of this amazing creature while he's carefully analyzing your every move...
Liquid Bear, Mike Korostelev
Bear from the water Kamchatka, Russia
Tornado, Anuar Patjane Floriuk
Bigeye Trevally forming a "tornado" at Cabo Pulmo National Park, Mexico . A few years ago, local fisherman decided to stop fishing and bet all on ecotourism. That bet was successful economically, socially, and ecologically speaking. What used to be an almost lifeless place now has a complete life chain, even bull sharks are back and orcas come and visit often. Cabo Pulmo is a true example that by letting the ocean recover, it will do so by itself.
Crowded, Martin Olson
As the only wild animals being herded in Sweden, once a year the reindeers of the different communities are gathered and separated by their owners and moved to better pastures for the winter. Since thousands of animals are gathered and then divided into handling facility sections, the process may take several days.
First Place Winner, Landscapes: Firefall, Karim Iliya
Shortly before twilight in Kalapana, Hawai’i, a fragment of the cooled lava tube broke away, leaving the molten rock to fan in a fiery spray for less than half an hour before returning to a steady flow.
Play Time, Chandrashekar Kalyanasundaram
On the morning drive in the forests of pench tiger reserve, i found this little one practising his skills. These skills would help him in growing into adulthood successfully. the backlight made this fraqme more interesting. Waiting for the right moment, i clicked this image.
Sneeeze!, M. Engelmann
Galapagos Marine Iguanas sneeze to expel excess salt water after they feed in the ocean.
People's Choice, Landscapes: Kalsoy, Wojciech Kruczyński
Sunset illuminates a lighthouse and rainbow in the Faroe Islands.
No Ordinary Bear, Andy S.
When all other bears are asleep for the winter, in a remote part of the yukon, one mother has learned that the river in her territory does not freeze and the fish keep coming into late november. covered in ice as her wet coat freezes in the -25C air temperatures, she raises her family in the most extreme of conditions.
People's Choice: Game Of Stars, Pedro Carrillo
Curves, Ian Nelson
I spotted a moray eel while free-diving off the coast of Maui. I followed the eel from a distance, watching it slither through the reef peering into each dark hole it came across. Finally, the eel found what it was looking for and darted its head into a dark hole and started aggressively attacking. Dark ink shot out and octopus legs begin reaching out of the hole. Out came an octopus darting away from the eel right toward my lens, pausing briefly infront of me before darting off again.
Second Place Winner, Wildlife: Mother's Love, Alejandro Prieto
An adult Caribbean pink flamingo feeds a chick in Yucatán, Mexico. Both parents alternate feeding chicks, at first with a liquid baby food called crop milk, and then with regurgitated food.
Swimming Over The Sleepers, Franco Banfi
Free diver swimming over a pod of sleeping sperm whale, Physeter macrocephalus, Vulnerable (IUCN). The sperm whale is the largest of the toothed whales. Sperm whales are known to dive as deep as 1,000 meters in search of squid to eat. Image has been shot in Dominica, Caribbean Sea, Atlantic Ocean.
Lavender Waves, Ernie Black
Monster From The Deep, Paul Kingston
Winter In Transylvania #1, Calin Stan
Wintertime in Transylvania! Yes, you're right: it's THAT Transylvania and this is the road that leads you to Sighisoara, the birthplace of Count Dracula!
People's Choice, Underwater: Drift, Matthew Smith
A Portuguese man-of-war nears the beach on a summer morning; thousands of these jellyfish wash up on Australia’s eastern coast every year.
Honorable Mention, Wildlife: Macaque Maintenance, Lance Mcmillan
A Japanese macaque indulges in some grooming time on the shores of the famous hot springs.
People's Choice: Showtime, Bence Mate
I have shot Great Cormorants flying off for hundreds of times. However, this was the only moment when I caught the perfect lights and background, when the bird flew in the right direction, close enough to me, making this exciting sight possible. I have never managed to shoot a similar scene however hard I tried. It is a memorable photographic achievement because the image was made with a manual focus, 1.4 intensity Zeiss lens and open blende which make depth of field almost impossible.
Chin Up, Paul Goldstein
The African Buffalo And His Companions, Ge Xiao
One morning, the buffalo came to the river to drink water. Many oxpecker also come together
People's Choice, Wildlife: Great Gray Owl, Harry Collins
A great gray owl swoops to kill in a New Hampshire field.
Plunder, Wanling Tang
Second Place Winner, Landscapes: Dushanzi Grand Canyon, Yuhan Liao
Sunlight glances off mineral strata of different colors in Dushanzi Grand Canyon, China.
Honorable Mention, Landscapes: Cold And Misty, Gheorghe Popa
Morning fog blurs the dead trees of Romania’s Lake Cuejdel, a natural reservoir created by landslides.
People's Choice: Sparkling Spider's Nest, Kousuke Kitajima
Honorable Mention, Underwater: Jennifer Oneil Predators On A Bait Ball, Jennifer Oneil
Preparing to strike, tarpon cut through a ribbon-like school of scad off the coast of Bonaire in the Caribbean Sea.
Third Place Winner, Underwater: Flying Fish In Motion, Michael O'neill
Buoyed by the Gulf Stream, a flying fish arcs through the night-dark water five miles off Palm Beach, Florida.
Second Place Winner, Aerials: From Above, Takahiro Bessho
Snow-covered metasequoia trees, also called dawn redwoods, interlace over a road in Takashima, Japan.
The Big Friendly Giant, Katia Benini
On cloudy days, the surface of the ocean has a mysterious and eery nature. Penetrating the navy layer, your sparkling momentum disperses, leaving you breathless in the deep blue abyss. from the darkness emerges the living indigenous painting, accompanied by his most loyal entourage.Gently he swims forward providing protection and company. Occasionally revealing the vortex of his mouth, sending his friends into a chaotic frenzy. Bamboozled my friend clears his mask in AMAZEMENT!
Lost World, Arvind Ramamurthy
Under beams of imagination, creatures that were said to be lost in time, come alive! Amboli is truly a lost world, with new species being discovered every year. It had just stopped raining and this specimen was dripping wet. I Illuminated the background with a beam of torch to get the mild drizzle in my image.
People's Choice: Kirkjufell Spirit, Johns Tsai
I lost everything the first time traveling to Iceland because of a thief stole my camera. I didn't give up but a successful crowdfunding made me able to go back once again to gather the lost pieces of my memory. This day I drove half circle of the Iceland in order to see the light, otherwise the weather is not permitted to see the northern light for the rest of my journey. All the blood and tears, painful and joy, I devote all my spirit in this photo, I believe the nature do hear my voice.
Arctic Majesty, Frank Joa
People's Choice, Aerials: Meandering Canyon, David Swindler
Green vegetation blooms at the river’s edge, or riparian, zone of a meandering canyon in Utah.
Alien, Adam Silverman
This is one of my favorite photos of my favorite critter. Shot with a +25 magnifier, it really brings out the detail in this otherwise very small skeleton shrimp. It's face is clear, it's reddish eyes are visible, and the way it faces my camera with it's arms wide makes it almost symmetrical. It's clear color matches the hydra that it is living on. Plus the colors in the background really make this an interesting and beautiful photo. Don't think there are aliens on earth? Look no further!
First Place Winner, Aerials: Rock Pool, Todd Kennedy
In Sydney, Australia, the Pacific Ocean at high tide breaks over a natural rock pool enlarged in the 1930s. Avoiding the crowds at the city’s many beaches, a local swims laps.
Three White Rhinos, Alan Smith
Sunset On The Savanna, Holly-Lynn Latimour
My tour group was about to head back to our lodge for the evening when we came upon two giraffes courting during this incredible sunset. I was lucky enough to capture the two giraffes at the same time as a flock of birds took flight from a tree in the background.
People's Choice: Volcano, Vladimir Voychuk
There is a rumor that you can watch forever on two things: fire and water, but when it comes to exploding lava fountains, - it is sempiternity multiplied to infinity. The eruption of Klyuchevskaya sopka. Kamchatka.
Third Place Winner, Wildlife: White Fighters, Bence Mate
Two grey herons spar as a white-tailed eagle looks on in Hungary.
People's Choice: Kayakers On The River, Karim Iliya
Look closely and you will see two Kayakers. The smooth misty water is a result of a long exposure, yet it is a single image. It is one of the most challenging photos I have ever taken. Just after sunset when the light was balanced, between rain showers they set off and stopped in the eddy current and held their position for as long as they could while I took long exposure photos. As I was flying the drone back to change battery, the rain returned and darkness consumed the valley.
Rice Terraces, Evgeny Vasenev
Flight Of Angels, Vikram Ghanekar
While on safari in mana pools national park, zimbabwe, i was following a bull elephant on foot with my guide. the idea was to photograph him in the beautiful golden light of the setting sun. there was a flock of egrets feeding on insects disturbed by the elephant. suddenly they took flight and as they crossed the elephant, i could take a picture with the birds in flight on a beautiful backdrop.
Snow Cranes, Kenny Chen
A pair of Japanese cranes dancing in the snow.
River Crossing - Bike Bridge, T. Sweetman
As I flew my drone over the ping river I caught this moment of two elderly people take the scooters home over the bridge in chiang mai.
Guidance, Zach Parker
Mother and calf humpback whale cruising through the deep blue waters off tonga
Highlander, Andro Loria
Highlander... a lone hiker on the top of the hill in the midst of the beautiful geothermal Kerlingarfjöll area, 🇮🇸 Iceland'17
Smile For The Camera, Gary Peart
Honorable Mention, Aerials: Life After Life, Agathe Bernard
Migratory gulls take flight from a cedar tree being washed downstream by a glacial river in British Columbia, Canada.
Third Place Winner, Landscapes: Illuminate, Mike Olbinski
A summer thunderstorm unleashes lightning on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Third Place Winner, Aerials: Drip, Greg C.
On the flanks of Kilauea Volcano, Hawai’i, the world’s only lava ocean entry spills molten rock into the Pacific Ocean. After erupting in early 2016, the lava flow took about two months to reach the sea, six miles away.
People's Choice: In Transit, Christine Lai
This is a leopard who walked past our vehicle in the Okavango Delta. I admired the intensity of this leopard's eyes as it moved quietly through the grass.
Sea And Salt, Wellington Rodrigues
First Place Winner, Underwater: Fluorescent Anemone, Jim Obester
Blue-filtered strobe lights stimulate fluorescent pigments in the clear tentacles of a tube-dwelling anemone in Hood Canal, Washington.