The National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest is now under way, and entries will be accepted until June 30.
The grand-prize winner will receive a 10-day trip for two to the Galápagos Archipelago with National Geographic Expeditions.
National Geographic was once more kind enough to allow me to share some of the early entries with you here, gathered from three categories: Nature, Cities, and People.
The photos and captions were written by the photographers, and lightly edited for style.
Flower Fox – On one spring day, he took a nap. After that, he appeared from a flower nest.
Powerful Cloud – Mount Fuji is a treasure trove of mysterious shaped clouds. Various forms of clouds appear when a fast air current blows over the Mount Fuji. I stayed in the car during the night at the Inokashira forest road about 0.8 miles above sea level [and] about 25 miles west of Mount Fuji. The small clouds that appeared before dawn grew bigger and bigger. Just before sunrise they had become a huge cloud covering Mount Fuji. The shadows of them in the backlight were the most powerful masterpieces.
The Old Wise One – Last year, I had the opportunity to fulfill a dream for 8-year-old me. As a child, I remembered my dad watching a news show which spoke of the table-sized endangered tortoises of the Galapagos. I was captivated! So began a long-term desire to see these ancient creatures of size. I like to think that “The Old Wise One” (as I named him) was waiting for my visit decades later. It really was a childhood dream come true!
Everlasting Love – In winter in Japan, the event of illumination begins in various places. Among them, the light tunnel of Nabana no Sato is particularly popular and attracts people.
Bull Elephant in the Forest – It was the end of a very long day when we ran across a herd of elephants on the way to the lodge. This was the scene behind me. Never forget to turn around!
River Twists – [This] aerial shot of [an] Icelandic glacial river was taken from a small plane.
Tide Fighter – A young boy playing in the Niger River by fighting the tide helped by a rope.
My Beloved King – She stayed there for almost half an hour, not moving, analyzing every single image of her beloved king, in complete peace. (Bangkok Art and Culture Center (BACC), January 2017).
At the Mercy of Mother Nature – As we were getting ready to leave the Serengeti, we spotted the largest lion we had seen on our journey; however, he was fast asleep. He was curled up into a ball and facing away from our vehicle. We waited a good 20 minutes, hoping he would wake. It took Mother Nature and a wind storm to disturb this majestic creature. He awoke quite perturbed and when the wind died down, he went right back to his cat nap.
Unsung Heroes – Riggers clean the facade of Singapore architectural icon of a performing arts center, the Esplanade.
Chienbäse – Chienbäse is a Fasnacht tradition of Liestal, Basel-Landschaft in Switzerland synonymous of the expulsion of the winter and one of the most spectacular events among the country. The night before the Morgestraich in Basel city, a parade begins with people carrying burning bundles of pinewood chips (also called Chienbäse) entering the town center through the city south gate of Liestal.
Lost in White – This photo captures the moment that I, along with three other Sami reindeer herders become a little lost while migrating with 350 reindeer. They were rounded up from a section of forest around 30 kilometers south of this point. Our goal was to take them, via rivers, northwards to pastures new using the network of rivers and lakes that flow through Sweden. This was taken on Randijaur lake, Jokkmokk, Sweden.
Seaweed Farming – The Ariake Sea has the vast tideland. In late November, seaweed farms spread out around the Ariake Sea. Seaweed farming is being done in many regions of Japan; however, Saga prefecture is renowned for the quality and quantity.
Facing Sunset – During a short trip in Nungwi beach of Zanzibar. The sunset was so massive that this photographer preferred to live the moment and watch it. On the other side, I preferred to take the shot and share it with you! Once in a lifetime experience.
Caught by the Wave – I took this photo at a remote beach on the Pacific coast of Choco, Colombia. She was swimming near the shore during high tide. A strong wave suddenly came up and engulfed her. She became one with the ocean.
Ray of Light in the Dark Kingdom – Giant snow cave on the slope of Mutnovsky volcano. The length of the cave is about 1 kilometer. The thickness of arches 1 to 6 meters.