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12 beautiful images from the National Geographic Photo Contest

Beauty, wonder, wisdom.

ALL ENTRIES HAVE now been received for the 2012 National Geographic Photo Contest with the deadline for applications passing yesterday.

Winners from the nearly 20,000 entries will be selected mid-December. The following images were chosen – and republished here with the kind permission of National Geographic – from the People, Places, and Nature categories.

All photo titles and captions were written by the individual photographers.

Red Land: Sunset Cloud Village is one of the most picturesque places in Red Land, China. As its name indicates, it’s best to see before sunset. The reddish brown soil turns redder after raining and after farmers plow the land. (© Photo and caption by Peng Jiang/National Geographic Photo Contest)

Nursing Mama: This female brown bear came into the Lake Clark National Park area in late July with her triplet Spring cubs and seemed quiet relaxed as she sat nursing her cubs. (© Photo and caption by Ruth Steck/National Geographic Photo Contest)

Farmers’ Wisdom: This spectacle which everyone in the world has not seen until now! The farmers who live in Hokkaido invented it using wisdom. The potato which passed winter is sleeping under snow. A sugar content increases. Moreover, it is very delicious! The thing which is visible to a cross is a pipe for emitting outside the gas emitted from the potato. (© Photo and caption by Kent Shiraishi/National Geographic Photo Contest)

Hello World: A tiny mantis larva in an american poppy flower. (© Photo and caption by Fabien BRAVIN/National Geographic Photo Contest)

80 Year old sea gypsy spear fisherman: When he was young he remembers the Japanese passing through during WWII. He was spear fisherman then, and still today at around 80 years old, he remains a spear fisherman. He earns little from his catch maybe 2-3 dollars a day for spending hours in the water. This time in the water is keeping him young though, able to hold is breathe for 2 minutes while chasing fish with no-fins. I could barely keep up with him and I had fins on. (© Photo and caption by Caine Delacy/National Geographic Photo Contest)

The Godfather: He is big 4 meters tall and over 4 ton in weight, he is the “Godfather” I have visualized this scene many times.I have checked and rechecked my equipment and decided upon the camera and lens combination. I now relax and control my breathing as they come in to view.The next ten minutes are a bliss of forgetfulness as I zone in to the task at hand; only one moment stands out. He stands still before me in all his magnificence, raising his trunk filled with the red Kalahari dust. In one fluid movement he sprays his forehead and for one brief moment he is covered in the magic of dust and light. (© Photo and caption by Michael LAM /National Geographic Photo Contest)

Dusty Hands: Aluong lives in Duk Payuel, a small village in South Sudan. The dust on her hands is from shoveling maize from one bag provided by WFP, into another to take for her family. Her mother has been diagnosed with Tuberculosis. As part of a feeding program the family receives a small amount of food to supplement the temporary loss of a care giver. In between cupped hands full of maize, as sweat grew on her forehead, Aluong looked at me cheekily with her hands pressed together. In the face of such challenges for her family, the spirit of determination and excitement still flashed in her eyes. (© Photo and caption by Kristopher Schmitz/National Geographic Photo Contest)

The Great Escape: During a lovely morning in July I was out photographing Great White Sharks in False Bay, South Africa. We had two days when the sea was so still you could barely see a ripple. (© Photo and caption by Tonya Herron/National Geographic Photo Contest)

Libyan Rebel at the Old Shipyard of benghazi: During the Libyan revolt again Muammar Qaddafi, the city of Benghazi was liberated early on, and became the base for the rebels and the transitional governing body. Armed rebels were seen all over the place. Many of them had no previous war experience but joined the revolt willingly to get rid of the regime. This rebel, with his spick span boots and outfit, was gaurding the old shipyard. (© Photo and caption by Mohannad khatib/National Geographic Photo Contest)

Trapped! The reindeer (Rangifer tarandus)is a species of deer native to Arctic and Subarctic regions. In summer 2012 I saw some reindeers in a very small sand island…but not worry they are excellent swimmers, and for sure they escaped from a mosquitos bite! (© Photo and caption by Meniconzi Alessandra/National Geographic Photo Contest)

mental handicapt man of 62 waking by his dying 92 year old mother: On the last day of her life. (© Photo and caption by Eric Robben/National Geographic Photo Contest)

Catching Fish: The fishers catched fish in the night.They use the fire that made fish close the boat and got them. (© Photo and caption by Chang ming chih/National Geographic Photo Contest)

-Additional reporting by Paul Hyland

See more entries over at the National Geographic>

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