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These breathtaking photos are up for the National Geographic Travel Photo of the Year

The contest carries a $7,500 first prize.

THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Travel Photo contest is continuing to accept entries and it said the beautiful images are filing in.

There are three categories in the contest – Nature, People and Cities. As well a cash prize of $7,500 and the prestigious title, the winning photo will also be featured on the @NatGeoTravel Instagram account.

The magazine has shared a selection of entries it has received so far and some commentary from the photographers behind them:

Source: Johnathan Lee

St Andrews Bay, Sub Antarctic, South Georgia Island: “It is moments like this that make the arduous expedition worth it. It takes three and a half days at sea to get to South Georgia—truly a final frontier. So, when you do get there, you just hope conditions work in your favor. You better be prepared to make it count.”

Source: Nicolas Lagos

“Before reaching adulthood, sub-adult pumas need to train their skills, which will later be useful when hunting by themselves. This one-and-a-half-year-old puma is just at the age to leave its mom’s protection to play with and chase siblings.”

Source: Darryl MacDonald

“I spent several months working on a research project on South Georgia island located in a remote area of the Atlantic Ocean. The weather on South Georgia is notoriously harsh and it’s not uncommon to have winds gusting above 100 km per hour, rough seas, snow, rain, sleet and fog.

“One amazing result of this unique weather are lenticular clouds. These clouds formed over and hour or so, and happened to coincide with sunset, creating one of the most amazing natural displays I have witnessed.”

Source: David Edgar

“I took this photo of an adolescent humpback whale in the South Pacific, several miles off the coast of Tongatapu, Tonga. I captured this as a split-shot with half my dome port submerged, and the other above the surface.

“This playful whale came right up to me and looked directly into my eyes as the tip of his rostrum glistened in the afternoon sun. Looking closely, you can see Loni, our expert skipper, lining up a surface shot of this incredible encounter from the roof of our dive boat.”

Source: Michelle Valberg

“Nothing better than being in my kayak in the rain, watching beautiful moments like this unfold.”

Source: Jon Anderson

“Occasionally, divers are in exactly the right place at the right time to witness an inexplicably beautiful event unfold. While watching a school of fish expand and contract in the Revillagigedo Islands, I suddenly realised a once in a lifetime moment was occurring.

“A giant oceanic manta ray entered the school from the left, and as it neared the center, the fish morphed into a near perfect sphere. The wings of the manta rose as it crossed the center of the sphere and I squeezed the shutter.”

Source: Gary Cummins

“Above the fog in Toronto: Illuminated from the city light below, a disco takes place.”

Source: Allesandra Meniconzi

“This winter, the breathtaking Khuvsgul Lake in Mongolia—called by locals, the ‘dark blue pearl’ has signs of climate change. The frozen surface melts faster than usual and the ice was not very thick. The sounds were scary: thundering, cracking, shaking, but locals keep moving across the ice as their means of transportation.”

Source: Matt Horspool

“India’s Holi festival is unlike anything seen on earth. It’s a time for great celebration and one that transcends socioeconomic class with a week of festivities. We had lined up for 2 hours to enter the Banke Bihari temple, Vrindavan for Phoolon wali Holi.

“A 20-minute moment of chaos, where thousands of people spill into the temple and are showered in color and flowers. The pressure from the crowd was so great that it crushed my phone when I was pinned against a ledge.”

Source: Azril Azam Abdul Rahim

“I was travelling on Oigawa Line Steam Locomotive Express. It was not a peak season, therefore seats were almost empty. I tried my best to capture this authentic coach—including its preserved 1920s details.

“My activities were observed by the train master to ensure I observed the no-tripod rules. At first, her presence was disturbing, but it is kind of perfect too – her uniform is authentic, and it completes the historic scene.”

The contest is accepting entries until 3 May. 

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