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Baby blue eyes, Oxford Circus and a stretching squirrel: 10 perfect pictures from the world's best amateurs

Another selection of stunning images.

PEOPLE, PLACES AND Nature – they are the three broad categories that photographers across the world are scouting in the hope of winning the prestigious National Geographic Photo Contest 2015.

The eventual winner will receive $10,000, be published in National Geographic magazine and be invited to National Geographic headquarters in Washington, DC to participate in the annual National Geographic Photography Seminar.

We already brought you 12 brilliant photos from among the first of the entries as a way of introduction. And the ante has just been upped by this second crop of photographers.

Here is just a selection of those (with captions from the photographers themselves):

Oxford Circus Crowd

Oxford Circus Crowd Source: Yifei Zheng/2015 National Geographic Photo Contest

Taken immediately after a Jessie J performance when the Tube station was closed due to overcrowding. Members of the public could be seen entertaining themselves in various ways at the entrance to Oxford Circus Station. A rare moment in an ever-bustling city.

Location: London, England

After the race

After the Race Source: Bram Paulussen/2015 National Geographic Photo Contest

Cx rider just after the finish line.

Evening streeeeeeettttch

Evening streeeetch. Source: Ian Duncan/2015 National Geographic Photo Contest

This was one of the most curious interactive squirrels I have ever come across. We sat down to enjoy the view and have a snooze and we were interrupted by this little guy scurrying over our camera bags. He was trying to reach for a friend’s camera that was also taking pictures just out of my frame.

Location: Banff, Canada

The Blue Universe

The Blue Universe Source: Hiroki Kondo/2015 National Geographic Photo Contest

“I took this picture at Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan last year. The flowers are baby blue eyes and there are 4.5 million of them in the park. The best season is usually from the end of April to the first week of May. I am going to the blue universe again this year to photograph. It’ll be worth just visiting the world. Camera shutter or your eye’s shutter. You would be happy in this world.”

Location: Mawatari, Ibaraki, Japan

Golden Gate Crossings

Golden Gate Crossings Source: Ross Barringer/2015 National Geographic Photo Contest

“I was very fortunate to be given the opportunity to take a ‘tower tour’ of the Golden Gate Bridge south tower. Just as I was about to take the long elevator ride back down, I saw an approaching cargo ship and I quickly set up my tripod for what was my very last shot atop the iconic bridge.”

Location: San Francisco, California, United States

The Hunter

The Hunter Source: Aaron Rosa/2015 National Geographic Photo Contest

A P-3 Orion submarine hunting aircraft takes off on a mission. Operational since 1954, the P-3 still performs antisubmarine warfare in locations around the world. Set to phase out by 2020, this aircraft will be over 65 years old.

Location: Kailua, Hawaii, United States

Here, humans are the minority…

Here, humans are the minority... Source: Steffen Flügel/2015 National Geographic Photo Contest

“This was shot in South Georgia in December 2014. It was probably the most intense moment of my whole trip to Antarctica – it is just overwhelming standing in there between hundreds of thousands of penguins. It is not a bad “minority feeling”, but more of a peaceful reassurance that – at least in some places – our planet is still as beautiful as it was before mankind started having a go at it. THANK YOU to all those countries and individuals involved in keeping places like these intact!”

Location: South Georgia, Antarctica

Caretaker

Caretaker Source: Jessica Orlowicz/2015 National Geographic Photo Contest

“This is my youngest daughter, combing my middle daughter’s hair while she eats lunch on a lazy Saturday. This was an unplanned moment that illustrates how much my toddler loves and cares for her big sister. She was tenderly petting her and asking if she was OK in between strokes.”

Location: East Falmouth, Massachusetts, United States

Dressed for Adventure

Dressed for Adventure Source: jennifer jo stock/2015 National Geographic Photo Contest

“Whilst shooting the majestic Southern Stingray in the crystal clear water of the Sandbar in Grand Cayman, I was stunned when this newlywed couple arrived, the bride was still in her wedding dress! This shot Dressed for Adventure, for me, captures the beginning of a new life together, one where a couple will brave the troubles of the world hand in hand. The couple march confidently towards the clouds in the frame ignoring the beasts at their feet, this is an adventure they will seek together.”

Follow the Leader

Follow The Leader Source: Anthony Ponzo/2015 National Geographic Photo Contest

“It’s just past 6am and it’s -25° on our last day in Antarctica. With wind so strong it’s difficult to walk and stay upright, I decide to lay flat on the frozen ground to watch Gentoo Penguins move from the water to their nests on Cuverville Island. As the strong winds whip up fine layers of ice and snow over the horizon, two lone penguins follow each other battling with Mother Nature in one of the harshest environments on the planet.”

See more here>

PICTURES: The stunning winners of National Geographic’s travel photo competition

These images will make you want to travel… and become a photographer

Earlier: 12 stunning images already in as the National Geographic Photo Contest gets started

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