NatGeo Photography Winners Remind Us That The World Is Beautiful

National Geographic (NatGeo) has been showing us what the rest of the world has to offer for over a century now.

It has been exposing us to the beauty of the world through photos.

Recently, the winners of the 2016 NatGeo Travel Photographer of the Year have been named.

Annually, NatGeo hosts this contest so avid photographers who are not part of the NatGeo team can showcase their talent.

Here are the winners. And their amazing photos remind us how beautiful the world is.

Honorable Mention, Cities (Photo and caption by Kathleen Dolmatch)

NatGeo Divide

Divide

“From a doorless helicopter looking south on Central Park West, dividing the architecture and Central Park, on November 5, 2014, a day before my 27th birthday. The flight was my birthday gift.”

Third Place Winner, Cities (Photo and caption by Jeremy Tan)

NatGeo Celestial Reverie

Celestial Reverie

“Lightning seemingly strikes Komtar Tower, the most iconic landmark of George Town, capital of Penang state in Malaysia, during a thunderstorm. It is symbolic of the rejuvenation that the city, famous for a unique blend of centuries-old buildings and modern structures, has enjoyed in recent years. While many of its old neighborhoods fell into neglect in the 1990s and early 2000s, a UNESCO World Heritage listing in 2008 sparked a transformation.”

Second Place Winner, Cities (Photo and caption by Takashi Nakagawa)

NatGeo Silenced

Silenced

“This photo was taken on my last trip to Guangzhou, China. This place is the school dormitories of South China Normal University. When I was hanging around, most of them were taking a break. After lunchtime, they needed to go back to study.”

First Place Winner, Cities (Photo and caption by Takashi Nakagawa)

NatGeo Ben Youssef

Ben Youssef

“Marrakesh, Morocco, is an exciting city for any traveler, but I was tired of walking on the crowded street and being asked for money from local people, so I was looking for a place to settle down. Even though there were a lot of people in Ben Youssef Madrasa, it was still a more quiet and relaxing place than outside. Suddenly a beautiful reflection appeared on the shallow pool when I was taking a rest.”

Honorable Mention, Nature (Photo and caption by John Rollins)

NatGeo Bears on a Berg

Bears on a Berg

“The location is on the sea ice in Davis Straight, off the coast of Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic, on April 2, 2016. This mother polar bear and her yearling are perched atop a huge snow-covered iceberg that got socked in when the ocean froze over for the winter. To me, the relative smallness of these large creatures when compared to the immensity of the iceberg in the photo represents the precariousness of the polar bear’s reliance on the sea and sea ice for its existence.”

Third Place Winner, Nature (Photo and caption by Victor Lima)

NatGeo Lagunas Baltinache

Lagunas Baltinache (Atacama Desert)

“I made this photo during my recent photographic expedition in Atacama Desert, in April 2016. I embarked alone on this adventure to find images not yet published of the most arid desert in the world and its contrasts. Despite the Atacama Desert being one of the best places on the planet to do night photography, in my prior research I discovered that there were not many night photos in the main tourist destinations there.”

Second Place Winner, Nature (Photo and caption by Massimiliano Bencivenni)

NatGeo Double Tapping

Double Tapping

“I was in the Brazilian Pantanal along the Rio Negrinho. I realized that the river, at certain points of the loops, created places where there were many yacare caimans. I saw a yacare sink suddenly, and I immediately looked for the best location to photograph when it resurfaced. The whole thing lasted only a fraction of a moment.”

First Place Winner, Nature (Photo and caption by Hiroki Inoue)

NatGeo Wherever You Go I Will Follow

Wherever You Go, I Will Follow

“It was when I drove back home feeling disappointed with the fact that I had finished the day in vain without any anticipated subject that I heard the joyful voice from the car window like “quack, quack!” There they were: red foxes. Around the end of the winter, they meet the season of love; they care for and love each other enough to make us jealous.”

Honorable Mention, People (Photo and caption by Dotan Saguy)

NatGeo Winter Muscle Bench Gym

Muscle Beach Gym

“A weightlifter lifts a barbell loaded with heavy plates while a bodybuilder performs an aerial handstand at the Muscle Beach Gym in Venice Beach, California.”

Third Place Winner, People (Photo and caption by Mattia Passarini)

NatGeo Winter Remote Life

Remote Life

“An old woman in a remote village in Himachal Pradesh, India, carries a big log back home to warm up her house.”

Second Place Winner, People (Photo and caption by Yasmin Mund)

NatGeo Winter Rooftop Dreams, Varanasi

Rooftop Dreams, Varanasi

“It was 5:30 a.m. and I had just arrived in Varanasi, India, off a sleeper train. I got to my guesthouse and instinctively climbed the seven flights of stairs to see the sunrise over the famous Ganges River. As I looked over the side of the rooftop terrace, my jaw dropped in disbelief. Below were mothers, fathers, children, cats, dogs, and monkeys all sleeping on their roofs. It was midsummer in Varanasi and sleeping without air-conditioning was pretty difficult. Can you spot the curry?”

Grand Prize Winner (Photo and caption by Anthony Lau)

NatGeo Winter Horseman

Winter Horseman

“The winter in Inner Mongolia is very unforgiving. At a freezing temperature of minus 20 and lower, with a constant breeze of snow from all directions, it was pretty hard to convince myself to get out of the car and take photos. I saw horsemen showing off their skills and commanding the steed from a distance. I quickly grabbed my telephoto lens and captured the moment when one of the horsemen charged out from the morning mist.”

***All images are from National Geographic

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