Thousands of photographs stand up to the judges of the annual National Geographic Photographer of the Year Contest. Covering nature, cities, and people, some entries surprise or astonish. All images transport us to the far reaches of the globe. So what does it take to win?
Take a look back at some of the jaw-dropping winners that dominated the competition in recent years. Then try your best shot at the 2017 National Geographic Photographer of the Year Contest which just opened for entries. The grand prize winner will embark on a 10-day trip to the eye-catching Galápagos Islands with National Geographic Expeditions.
FIRST PLACE WINNER: CITIES, 2016 Marrakesh, Morocco
PHOTOGRAPH BY TAKASHI NAKAGAWA
FIRST PLACE WINNER, 2015 Revillagigedo, Mexico
PHOTOGRAPH BY ANUAR PATJANE FLORIUK
FIRST PLACE WINNER, 2014 Colorado, U.S.A.
PHOTOGRAPH BY MARKO KOROSEC
SECOND PLACE WINNER, 2015 Chittagong, Bangladesh
PHOTOGRAPH BY FAISAL AZIM
MERIT WINNER, 2015 Namibia
PHOTOGRAPH BY BETH MCCARLEY
THIRD PLACE, 2014 Tragöss, Austria
PHOTOGRAPH BY MARC HENAUER
THIRD PLACE, 2011 Kenya
PHOTOGRAPH BY ROBIN MOORE
SECOND PLACE, 2013 Canyonlands National Park, Utah
PHOTOGRAPH BY MAX SEIGAL
MERIT WINNER, 2015 Thailand
PHOTOGRAPH BY SARAH WOUTERS
MERIT WINNER, 2014 Banos, Ecuador
PHOTOGRAPH BY SEAN HACKER TEPER
MERIT WINNER, 2012 Portland, Oregon
PHOTOGRAPH BY FRED AN
HONOURABLE MENTION: PEOPLE, 2016 Venice Beach, California
PHOTOGRAPH BY DOTAN SAGUY
MERIT WINNER, 2010 Louisiana, U.S.A.
PHOTOGRAPH BY L.A. RENO
FIRST PLACE WINNER, 2013 Brazil
PHOTOGRAPH BY WAGNER ARAUJO
Header Image: GRAND PRIZE WINNER, 2016 Mongolia. PHOTOGRAPH BY ANTHONY LAU