15 Breathtaking Photos of the Natural World

Crystalline waters, active volcanos, and animals on the move: our latest favourites from the 2017 Travel Photographer of the Year contest.

Photographers from around the globe have been submitting their best images of people, places, and nature for a chance to win the 2017 Travel Photographer of the Year contest. Here, we share our favourites from the nature category submitted this past week.

"The afternoon light couldn't have been more perfect as I quietly sat and watched this crocodile survey his dinner. The patterns the reflections made in the afternoon sun were stunning and the moment was so tranquil. There was no indication of the ferocity to come as the crocodile devoured his meal."—Alison Langevad
PHOTOGRAPH BY ALISON LANGEVAD, YOUR SHOT

"Since ancient times, the Nenets have led a nomadic life, engaged in deer farming and travelling the vast tundra. Reindeer harnessed to a sledge is the most reliable form of transport on the tundra. The Nenets wander in harsh weather conditions for eight months of the year. The deer are a resource for food, clothing, housing and money."—Kamil Nureev
PHOTOGRAPH BY KAMIL NUREEV, YOUR SHOT

"Each year between the months of December and March, northern California becomes the winter home to thousands of migratory birds— geese, egrets, ducks, herons, and others."—Jassen T.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JASSEN T., YOUR SHOT

"A man rides in a boat across the Baral river during the winter. In the winter months, the river moss is more visible than in any other season."—MD Tanveer Hassan Rohan
PHOTOGRAPH BY MD TANVEER HASSAN ROHAN, YOUR SHOT

"It'd been two years since I had been home to visit my family. I turned the trip into a photography vacation as well. One evening I adventured into the sand dunes just south of Pismo Beach, California. I found this perfectly shaped sand dune with no footprints."— Lace Andersen
PHOTOGRAPH BY LACE ANDERSEN, YOUR SHOT

"I was cruising in a zodiac along the Antarctic Peninsula when we encountered this Adelie penguin walking up a steep iceberg. I quickly composed the photo as we approached the iceberg before veering off past the penguin. I had time for six photos in succession before we passed by the iceberg and cruised through the iceberg-laden waters. This photo best conveyed the composition of the angular iceberg as well as the most pleasing position of the penguin."— Larry Malvin
PHOTOGRAPH BY LARRY MALVIN, YOUR SHOT

"At Nakuru lake, we had to stop our vehicle when a family of baboons were sitting in the middle of the road. I noticed one of the baboons was not moving and was giving her back to us. After getting closer we noticed that she was holding her baby and was trying to protect it from us. After giving them sometimes the mum safely got her child and herself out of the road."—Diego Cacho
PHOTOGRAPH BY DIEGO CACHO, YOUR SHOT

"Thermokarst? Spawn of moss in water? It is the beautiful view of nature in Hong Kong."—Samantha Chow
PHOTOGRAPH BY SAMANTHA CHOW, YOUR SHOT

"A wildebeest runs in the Ndutu plains located in the southern Serengeti during the migration. A slow shutter speed was used to create a 'prehistoric painting' of these wonderful animals."—Chris Schmid
PHOTOGRAPH BY CHRIS SCHMID, YOUR SHOT

"As the sun set in Jardines de la Reina, golden sun rays pierced through the surface of the water. It painted a spectacular backdrop for the pelagic silky sharks that came out to hunt. I was under a lot of pressure to take the shots. As the window of the golden light shrunk, the boatman hurried me to exit the water. Shark waters can be dangerous on the surface when it gets dark. It was also too dangerous to navigate around shallow reefs to return to the mother boat."—Wai Hoe Mok
PHOTOGRAPH BY WAI HOE MOK, YOUR SHOT

"An old yucca brevifolia —commonly referred to as a Joshua tree—bends back toward the earth and frames the Mojave desert's setting sun."—Robert Welsted
PHOTOGRAPH BY ROBERT WELSTED, YOUR SHOT

"After a five-hour hike up Volcano Acatenango, I had this beautiful view of Volcano Fuego in Guatemala."—Martin Engelmann
PHOTOGRAPH BY MARTIN ENGELMANN, YOUR SHOT

"I love the ocean and consider it my second home. I believe that all beaches should be protected.The majority of this world is taken up by the ocean. We would be nothing without it! Pollution is slowly damaging our beaches and it is up to us to protect these lands!"—Danny Sepkowski
PHOTOGRAPH BY DANNY SEPKOWSKI, YOUR SHOT

"I saw the beautiful grove reflections in the early morning on the blue pond."—Masahiro Hiroike
PHOTOGRAPH BY MASAHIRO HIROIKE, YOUR SHOT

Header Image: "This is Cheia, the road that takes you to Transylvania. Yes, that Transylvania, the birthplace of the legendary Count Dracula (Vlad Tepes). The legend says that this shot is what he might have seen on his nocturnal flights! Nevertheless, it's a breathtaking view of a magnificent road."—Calin Stan PHOTOGRAPH BY CALIN STAN, YOUR SHOT

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