Last year (2010) National Geographic arranged a photo contest where great inspirational photographers from all around the world participated. The showcase from which judges had to select the winner was extreme inspirational and wonderful. I had a look at that showcase today and couldn’t resist to post some pictures from that here, to inspire my readers. Many of these images could also be used in postcard printing.
Here are about 50 pictures from National Geographic’s 2010 Contest.
The baboon in front was harassing one of the babies in the troop. This male facing the camera attacked him. The whole fight was over in a few seconds but it was loud and seemingly vicious. The rest of the troop was scrambling around trying to get out of their way. There is, needless to say, always a lot of drama going on in a baboon troop.
Unsafe Journey. A woman is riding between the railway carriages of a local train heading north from Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. Her luggage is tucked under the carriage in front of her. It is the month of Ramadan, a fast which culminates in Eid-ul-Fitr, a three-day celebration. Tens of thousands of people leave the city to go to their home village and celebrate with their families. Trains are packed and many who fail to get tickets before they sell out or can’t afford buying them at the black market ride on the roof of the train or, like this woman, finds a quiet spot between the carriages.
Lightning Strike NY Harbor. This shot was captured during a major electrical storm. There was little wind and no rain which allowed me to stay safely inside and shoot from an open window. This was the 82nd exposure out of 150 made that night. The camera was mounted on a tripod, exposures made with a cable release for 5 seconds at f10. Except for a some minor level adjustments and a square crop this was what came out of the camera.
Boise Sunrise. With the fog and morning light this looks like a place I’d love to be. If you look very closely, you can see a deer in a clearing in the center left area of the picture.
Yes it’s spring. Fishing on the end of the bridge.
The Look. There are only 400 of these birds in existence.
Against the windstorm on Mont Blanc. My friend Laszlo Varkonyi is leading a group on Mont Blanc, he died on Everest this April in a fatal accident: a big serac fell down.
Mystery Bug. This was on my clothesline. I have no idea what it is. I have used a macro lens as the insect was only an inch or so long. We live in the Northern Rivers district of New South Wales, Australia. The rainforest around our house sometimes brings forth intriguing creatures like this. I know it looks like a studio shot but it isn’t. The photograph was was taken in natural light. The background is a sheet that was serendipitously drying on the clothesline at the time. I have rotated the image to make the insect easier to examine. If anyone can tell me what it is I would be grateful.
Pure Elements. I drove my 4×4 over rivers to get a view of the Volcano eruption at “Fimmvorduhals” in Iceland. It was a full moon and strong winds gave me problems standing still outside the truck. I had my camera with me and zoom lens but no tripod, suddenly there was a magical moment, I was experiencing a display of nature rarely seen by man. I found my camera with the zoom lens, rushed out of the truck, trying to fight the strong wind. I pushed the camera on to the hood of the truck trying to stand still, holding my breath, I shot 30 frames, and only one shot was good.
Bicycle Crash. Zestful BMX (Bicycle Moto-Cross) rider crashes after a failed attempt to grind the handrail. When in pain, even the ambitious, strong, extreme sports loving man looks like a simple, tired, vulnerable person.
The Serra da Leba Road near Lubango (Huíla, Angola). This is Serra da Leba, a landmark in Angola. A road built in the 70′s, it’s been in the country’s postcard images for decades, but all shots were taken by day. I wanted something different and tried a night shot. But it seemed impossible: pitch dark, foggy, altitude of 1,800m (5,000ft). I wanted no more than 60sec of exposure, max, to avoid digital noise. But a car takes a few minutes to climb or descend this section of the road. The fog was dense and blocking the view! Suddenly the fog cleared, a few cars went down, others went up, they met in the middle in under 60sec… Painting done!
A Llama stands at the crest of a hill as the sun sets behind it at Chavín de Huántar, Peru.
Fallen Angel. A legionnaire from the French Foreign Legion’s 2REP (Foreign Parachute Regiment) sits in an armored personnel carrier en route to an operation near Badpash Kusa Kala, Afghanistan on June 16, 2010.
Foot and Thistle, Mountain Gorilla of Rwanda. I was fortunate to visit the rare and endangered Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda, February of 2010. This young gorilla had fallen asleep with a thistle grasped in his foot. The thistle is one of their food sources. They learn to extract the pith from the spine-defended inedible stem. This particular gorilla demonstrates syndactyly of the third and fourth toes, a common congenital malformation also found in humans.
Lightning Crashes. A lightning bolt strikes the antenna of The Center building in Central Hong Kong during a storm on September 13, 2009.
Me’enit Boy, Southwestern Ethiopia. One of our neighborhood friends, Sintiyu, looking on. A rare opportunity to see him undistracted by the camera, and absorbed in his family.
Amidst the road flares, confetti and police barricades, a Chilean soccer fan intently watches the match against Spain from the jumbotron on the corner of Moneda and Nueva York June 25.
Moths to Light. Moths attracted to a light in front of my home.
This is a portrait of Emily. I took this photo beside a pond on a cold autumn day. Emily put her hands to her mouth to warm them with her breath.
Ki Gompa. This picture was taken when I visited the Buddhist Monastery of Ki. Ki is a tiny village in the middle of the Himalayas, and next to it is Ki Gompa (Ki Monastery). I lived with the monks for about a week, and this picture reflects the peaceful, almost heavenly atmosphere that characterizes this place. The Monastery is almost 4,000 meters high, and I had to climb almost 500 meters more to get this panorama. This place is a touch of heaven.
Haunting Glimpse. An encounter with an elusive Canada Lynx is said to be a rare privilege. I am honored to have had the opportunity to see a Lynx up close and personal. As I photographed this beautiful cat, I felt transfixed by its wild, untamed, haunting eyes. This is a once in a lifetime chance that I will cherish forever.
Suradita Village, West Java, Indonesia. Children playing with their roosters. Actually it was not a real cockfight because the roosters didn’t wear blades on their feet. Children like to play this game because they almost never have toys in their life.
A young monk in training walks through the sleeping quarters at the Kalaywa Tawyakyaung Scriptural Learning Centre and Monastic Education School in Yangon, Myanmar. The boys’ living space is quite spartan. They sleep on thin sleeping mats that get rolled up and put away during the day. Each boy has a trunk with his belongings, and sheets hang on ropes to divide sleeping areas.
Silhouetted against the headlights of their engine, Firemen attempt to put out a blaze caused by a gigantic natural gas line explosion near San Francisco in September of 2010. The fire destroyed 37 homes, and resulted in seven fatalities.
A blacksmith almost disappears in clouds of smoke as he shoes a horse at a farm in East Sussex, England.
Power of childhood. City: Lençois; Estate: Bahia; Country: Brazil.
North Atlantic seals enduring winter storm. It was already -1 and with a strong wind it was colder still, Had to position myself so as to shield the camera from the wind to keep the image sharp the snow was being blown horizontally away from me.
A walk along the river bank. This photo was taken in Zhenyuan, Guizhou Province, China this summer. I was taking a walk along the river bank of Wuyang in the mist of a late afternoon shower. Refreshing smell after rain was mixed with the aroma from nearby food stands. In the distance, kids were playing and laughing. The tranquil and harmonious life of the local people reminds me of the joyful time I grew up in a similar small town in Southwest China.
eavy load. One morning in August, I was on my way to pick up the newspaper. Everything was moist and wet, and I spotted this little fly on a small white flower, just outside my bedroom window. Two hours after I shot this picture I went outside again, and the fly was still sitting on the same flower – still not able to fly.
I happenned to be in the right place at the right time when I took this picture. The place was Nichols Bridgeway leading to The Modern Wing of The Art Institue of Chicago, with beautiful views of downtown Chicago, while the time was sunset. I love the architecture, the vibrant city life and the light, all captured in the same frame.
A US 101st Airborne gunner looks out over the landscape in north-eastern Afghanistan, just outside Jalalabad. The landscape is timeless, rugged, and unforgiving. To sit and watch it unfold from this unique perspective is a gift. These are the valleys Ghengis Khan travelled among other invaders over the millennia – little has changed since those days.
A worker in a Bangladesh market taking a much deserved smoke break.
Giraffes at Savannah. Unusual perspective shot depicting two giraffes and a tree in Masai Mara, Kenya.
After the Crash. My dear friend, Laura, fell from the sky. The helicopter she was traveling in crashed into an open, dry field and burst info flames, killing three of the six passengers on board, including the pilot. Laura survived, but barely. She was burned, crushed, and near death. She broke 45 bones. She was pulled from the burning wreckage by her hair. To this day, she still cannot walk. While there wasn’t a part of her body that was unharmed, her spirit and determination to live a full, happy life remains stronger than ever. This image taken in a lush, green field is meant to signify her rebirth.
Cloud and ship. Ukraine, Crimea, Black sea, view from Ai-Petri mountain.
The child in us. Traveling from Zhangmu (Nepal-Tibet border) to the Tibetan capital – Lhasa you can see road workers all along the Friendship Highway. The Chinese industrialization has affected Tibet a great deal. But despite the Chinese government’s attempts to settle Chinese population across the Tibetan Plateau, the Roof of the World still remains a place where only the Tibetans can survive its harsh climate conditions. A Tibetan boy holding the hand of his father who works on the road construction, Tibet.
Cosmic. Mother nature doing what she does best.
The archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, Brazil is considered a wildlife sanctuary, but today, even in this isolated archipelago dolphins are victims of the bad habits of consumption.
This picture was taken in Suradita Village, West Java, Indonesia (2010). A boy sitting on a buffalo is not a rare scene in most of the village in Java, Indonesia.
A Wrinkle in Time. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Fleet week 2010, standing on Alcatraz island as the Blue angels fly over head.
Brown bear, Buskin River, Kodiak Alaska. This bear had been fishing in the river on this morning. It climbed onto the bank and laid down in the grass. This photo was taken about an hour after sunrise just as the sun was starting to clear the trees. The temperature was near the dew point and steam was rising off its body. It didn’t seem at all concerned by the fishermen in the river or the photographer on the bank.
Liquid Planet. Another picture from the Liquid Vision Series, which shows a different point of view of waves. An angle that people are not used to seeing.
The Music Of Love. This picture was taken in Tenganan Village, Bali (2010). Tenganan is the most famous Bali Aga (original Balinese) village and is located close to Candi Dasa in East Bali. A man was playing bamboo music to entertain a disabled child which is not his son, but he loves this child likes he loves his own son.
The Great Pyramids. The people of Ancient Egypt believed that death on Earth was the start of a journey to the next world. The embalmed body of the King was entombed underneath or within the pyramid to protect it and allow his transformation and ascension to the afterlife.
Freediver waiting over 800 ft of water for something substantial to come up from the depths.
A supercell thunderstorm rolls across the Montana prairie at sunset.
An Indian wrestler smears mud on his head before starting wrestling in Kolkata, India, March 30, 2010. Wrestling is one of the oldest sports in India.
Aren’t these pictures just awesome?