2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year contest has come to an end, but before the judges pick the winners, let's take a look at the best entries ourselves.

This year, photographers from around the world were competing in four categories: Landscape, Environmental Issues, Action, and Animal Portraits. "The four categories of this year’s contest will give photographers a chance to capture the complexity and beauty found in the world around us," remarked Sarah Polger, senior producer for National Geographic Travel and manager of National Geographic photo contests. "We anticipate compelling and revealing images."

The photographers are competing for a grand prize consisting of a 10-day trip for two to the Galápagos with National Geographic Expeditions, and an incredible chance for two 15-minute portfolio reviews with National Geographic photo editors.

Who'd you give the grand prize to? Shout out in the comments below!

More info: National Geographic (h/t: mymodernmet)

#1

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

"A baby humming bird found his way into my home. He was a bit stunned so I let him recoup on our front porch. While waiting for his nectar to cool I captured a few images of him as he came back to his own."

Emily Riley Report

Misaki Chan
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Before reading the title, I thought it was a picture of a scaled pencil with a long and sharp lead. Exquisite!

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#2

Dancing In The Rain

Dancing In The Rain

"Fox caught in action under the rain"

Vladislav Kamenski Report

#3

Bathing In The Snow Flake

Bathing In The Snow Flake

"The fox was bathing in the snow flake."

Hiroki Inoue Report

#4

Pacific Storm

Pacific Storm

A colossal Cumulonimbus flashes over the Pacific Ocean as we circle around it at 37000 feet en route to South America

Santiago Borja Report

Maggie Bathory
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This has to be my favorite because of it's sheer power, beauty, and challenge to achieve. There are so many stunning photos, I would like to vote for every one, but this one has to be my all time favorite. Well done.

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#5

Moving At A Snail's Pace...

Moving At A Snail's Pace...

"While enjoying the sights of Chicago's Garfield Conservatory found this unlikely traveler taking a closer look at this Bromeliad. Sometimes you have to slow down to appreciate the tiny wonders right in front of you!"

Samira Qadir Report

#6

Icescape

Icescape

Kelly King Report

Maggie Bathory
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I am utterly speechless. Absolutely breathtaking.

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#7

Puffin Studio

Puffin Studio

"This image was taken last summer on Skomer Island, Wales. It is well known for its wildlife, the puffin colony is one of the largest in U.K.The photo shows a detail or study of an Atlantic puffin resting peacefully under the rain. As Skomer is inhabited, puffins do not feel afraid of humans, and so people can be close to puffins and the photographer can think about the right composition and take this kind of intimate portraits. Also that morning the conditions came together: rain and light."

Mario Suarez Porras Report

#8

Under The Waves

Under The Waves

"Waves of fog roll over a neighborhood in Mill Valley, California, as seen from the top of Mount Tamalpais."

Christopher Markisz Report

Ruzhica
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is my favourite 😍 I admire to this photo.

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#10

Ocean Guest

Ocean Guest

"Every autumn walruses swim to this rookery place in the North of Russia (Chukotka, Vankarem cape). One day, walking along the beach away from the rookery, I came across a lone walrus, who was sleeping on the shore, its tusks sticked in the sand. I carefully crept up to it and photographed it with a wide-angle lens. At some point it woke up and noticed me."

Mike Korostelev Report

#11

Dragging You Deep Into The Woods !

Dragging You Deep Into The Woods !

"A morning stroll into the blissful forest ! Ceaseless drizzles dampening the woods for 12 hours a day; The serene gloom which kept me guessing if it was a night or a day. Heavy fog, chilling breeze and the perennial silence could calm roaring sprits; And there I spotted this 20cm beauty the Green vine snake ! I wondered if i needed more reasons to capture this with the habitat; For I was blessed to see this at the place I was at. I immediately switched from the macro to the wide angle lens."

varun aditya Report

Misaki Chan
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I don't normally like pictures of snakes, but this is striking.

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#12

Crocodile Waterline

Crocodile Waterline

"An American Crocodile on the surface in Gardens of the Queen, Cuba."

Brett Lobwein Report

#13

Alien Lights

Alien Lights

Russell Wiltshire Report

Shinomi Chan
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Wow.. It's like something straight out of a dream.

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#14

Great Horned Owl Returning

Great Horned Owl Returning

"This Great horned Owl is returning to her nest in an urban area near the busy Citrus county sheriffs office where the county deputies come and go pretty much on a regular basis. As well as it be near the highway leading to the high school campus."

Robert Strickland Report

#15

Engagement Present

Engagement Present

"Kingfisher ( Alcedo athis) male with an engagement present for the female."

Andrés Miguel Domínguez Report

Tawni Halfon
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Aww congratulations to the happy couple 😁😁

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#16

Aerial Autumn

Aerial Autumn

"Aerial view of Fall colors, New Hampshire (09/10/2016)"

Manish Mamtani Report

#17

A Portrait Of "Trapper"

A Portrait Of "Trapper"

"Trapper...she is a Great Horned Owl that has recently been fighting cancer of her eye lids (squamous cell carcinoma), but that doesn't stop her in any way.Trapper gets her name being used as a decoy to attract Swallow Tail Kites, where the research team will catch the kite and fit with telemetry and gain lots of helpful information about kites and their migration. But that's not her only trait. Trapper also serves as a foster mother for orphaned Great Horned Owlets at Avian Recondition Center."

Graham McGeorge Report

alumania
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

that looks like a typical Monday morning selfie without coffee before work :)

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#18

Wild Horses

Wild Horses

"Taking place every year across Galicia, Rapa das Bestas, or "Shearing of the Beasts," involves cutting the manes of semi-feral horses that live in the mountains. Horses are rounded up into enclosures called curros, foals are branded and the adults groomed before being freed. The best known is the Rapa das Bestas of Sabucedo, which occurs on the first weekend in July."

Javier Arcenillas Report

Rosemary Savage
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Look again Kat McDonald. Beautiful wild creatures disfigured by man. The clipped ears, the veins standing out on the dark horse's neck as it bites the other horse's neck, distress in it's eyes as the herd are crushed together not understanding what is being done to them. A portrait both beautiful but horrific.

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#19

Sandstorm

Sandstorm

"As I was photographing this young grey seal, we both got caught up in a sandstorm."

Eugene Kitsios Report

#20

Hair Lines Of Zebra

Hair Lines Of Zebra

"Hair lines of zebra"

Yu huiping Report

#22

Confrontation

Confrontation

"A White-tailed eagle swoops in on a Hokkaido red fox to set it straight for stealing a fish. This confrontation happened out on frozen Lake Fuhren in Hokkaido, Japan. The fox escaped with the fish."

Karen Prisby Report

#24

Great Egret Against The Setting Sun

Great Egret Against The Setting Sun

Arun P. Report

#26

Fire Dancer

Fire Dancer

Brina Bunt Report

Sakata Gintoki
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Looks like the Night King raising Wights, only it is on fire.

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#29

Under The Milky Way

Under The Milky Way

Ignacio Carrera Report

#31

From The Shadows

From The Shadows

Harry Lyndon-Skeggs Report

#32

Larger Than Life

Larger Than Life

Alex Wiles Report

Vera de Veyra
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

awww that's the grasshopper from a storybook! 😁

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#33

Proud Momma

Proud Momma

Michael O'Neill Report

#34

Covered With Mist

Covered With Mist

pradeep raja Report

#36

Tequilla Sunset

Tequilla Sunset

Zhayynn James Report

#37

Long Shadows

Long Shadows

Jassen T. Report

Ellen Browning
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The Grand Prismatic, Yellowstone national park

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#38

Huge Scale Of Bats Hibernation

Huge Scale Of Bats Hibernation

Kei Nomiyama Report

See Also on Bored Panda
#39

The Zebra And The Oxpecker

The Zebra And The Oxpecker

YARON SCHMID Report

#40

The Glacier Pattern

The Glacier Pattern

Takashi Tsuneizumi Report

#41

Never Bother Dad When He's Sleeping

Never Bother Dad When He's Sleeping

"During our trip to Botswana, we came across two lionesses and their six cubs, resting under a bush during mid-day. This male lion came along to visit the den. The females were very wary at first. We were told that a male lion will kill cubs that aren't his offspring. Fortunately, he laid down with the cubs and closed his eyes to sleep. The cubs were VERY excited to see their Dad! This little guy was trying so hard to get him to play! Dad was definitely NOT happy to be woken up."

p. Kuhn Report

#42

Life And Death

Life And Death

"These polar bear remains have been discovered at one of the islands of Northern Svalbard. Unfortunately we do not know definetely wether the bear died from starving or aging, but more likely if we see the good teeth status - from starving . They say nowdays such remains to be founded very often - global warming and ice situation influence the polar bear population a lot. Svalbard, Norway, august 2014"

Vadim Balakin Report

#45

Wet! Wet! Wet!

Wet! Wet! Wet!

Gillian Lloyd Report

Hans
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Look at the ears! They like it as little as we would like this weather.

#46

Colorado River Trees

Colorado River Trees

Stas Bartnikas Report

#47

Empire Rising

Empire Rising

Sam Morris Report

#48

Land Of Everlasting Salt

Land Of Everlasting Salt

A TOM Report

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#49

Our Beloved Possessions

Our Beloved Possessions

Jassen T Report