The deadline for entries for this year's National Geographic Photo Contest is November 30. Photographers of all skill levels (last year more than 16,000 images submitted by photographers from 130 countries) enter photographs in three categories: Nature, People and Places. The photographs are judged on creativity and photographic quality by a panel of experts. There is one first place winner in each category and a grand prize winner as well. The following is a selection of 54 entries from each of the 3 categories. The caption information is provided and written by the individual photographer.
More photos @Boston.com
More photos @Boston.com
LONE TREE YELLOWSTONE: A solitary tree surviving another harsh winter in Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.
IS HE STILL THERE?!: A little gecko, hidden between the ridges of the leaf. Holualoa big Island, Hawaii
LANDSCAPE IN THE RAIN: It was raining heavily when I took the photo, but the sun illuminated the landscape parochially. Bergueda, Catalonia, Spain.
WINTER LOLLIPOPS: Winter is extremely beautiful in Lithuania. It was an early morning and minus 25 degrees Celsius outside.
MOSAIC: Patterns of sea stars as exquisite mosaics, attractive, and each time is different. Cambodia
NONI NECTAR FOR GREEN GECKO: Madagascar Gold Dust Day Gecko licking nectar from a young noni fruit in Kailua, Hawaii.
FLESH AND BONES: In a world where no one understands the importance of nature, all that is left of our nature is just these flesh & bones. Toronto, Canada.
LOVE OF PARENTS: The emperor penguins fight for survival and to protect their only baby in the frozen Antarctic ice desert. Antarctica: Atka Bay, Weddell Sea.
THE CLOUD: At safari not only animals can attract attention. South Africa, Western Cape, Aquila Safari park.
RHEA'S PORTRAIT: A different angle from an American Rhea (Rhea americana) seen in Pantanal, Brazil, on a cloudy day. Pantanal, Miranda, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil.
SAND SPHERES: The food filtered 2-3mm sand ball creations of a tiny Sand Bubbler Crap. Done so that it knows which sand has been filtered for food. Daintree Rainforest region, Cairns, Austrailia.
OXPECKER'S PUZZLE: I've always been intrigued by the markings of giraffes--how they vary between individuals and how they look like pieces of a puzzle. South Africa.
GOOD MORNING: Jabulani the elephant greeting his caretaker, Stavros Chakoma, before heading out on safari. Kapama Game Reserve, Kruger region of South Africa.
CLASH OF CIVILISATIONS: Walking down a main street in Addis, I met this young character. We started talking and soon became friends. One day, he invited me to his home to try some famous Ethiopian coffee, prepared traditionally.
YUENGLING, 2011: This is the first photo that I took of my friend, Robert, when he got back from serving in Afghanistan for one year. He didn't talk much. We just sat together, and he showed me what he was feeling when I put my camera in front of him.
DUSK IN THE BALE MOUNTAINS: A kitten and an elderly woman stand outside their hut deep in the subalpine Bale Mountains of southeastern Ethiopia. Bale Mountains, Ethiopia.
SUMMER AT GRANNY'S: This is a heart-shaped stawberry in the hand of my grandmother. Love is the message. Gyula, Hungary.
DAY OF YOUTH: Muslim girls at the day of the youth on the 11th of February. The girls are walking in a procession to the mayor of the village and are singing about the power of Cameroon. Lagdo, Cameroon.
SUNBATHING UNDERWATER: The sun gives us energy even underwater. This image was captured during freediving (diving on a single breath without scuba gear) in the Red Sea. Eel Garden, Dahab, Sinai, Egypt.
WEATHERED HANDS: The Kara women collect the water, cook for family, harvest the fields, make the clothing, and are the backbone of the tribe. Omo River Valley, Ethiopia.
THE PENITENTS: The day of Friday, there is the traditional procession of penitents through the village streets beating their backs with the discipline of rings and metal plates. San Lorenzo Maggiore, Benevento, Italy.
THE UNTOLD STORY: A young Afghan refugee girl living, with her family, in a village named Bhaun near district Chakwal in Punjab, Pakistan. Village Bhaun, Punjab, Pakistan.
WRESTLER'S HANDS: A wrestler at the US Olympic Training facility in Colorado Springs, CO, stops to rest and catch his breath after a hard training session. Colorado Springs, CO.
AUBURN PRIDE: Young men driving into a patch of reflected light along Auburn Rd. Part of a larger personal project documenting the western Sydney suburb of Auburn. The series provides a glimpse into the life of the next generation of Australians living in Auburn.
ROSA: My 89-year-old Great Aunt sits in the living room of her second floor apartment. Philadelphia, PA.
CHILDHOOD: When does childhood become adulthood? When does snack time become lunch at your desk? When did safety shift from blankies to insurance? When did magic turn into illusion? Childhood. When the whole world is magic. Portland, Oregon.
FLAT OCEAN: Just before a huge monsoon downpour, the ocean became flat as I have never seen before. Makassar, Indonesia.
THE PIGEON FEEDERS: Photographs taken at the entrance to the New Mosque in Eminonu districkt of Istanbul.
FALLING LEAVES: This photo was taken in Bruges, Belgium in September in 2011. Bruges, Belgium (Brugge).
NATURAL LANDSCAPE PAINTING: The Landmannalaugar is probably one of the most impressive place in Iceland, a popular tourist destination. Located near the volcano Hekla in southern section of Iceland's highlands.
NEW ORLEANS STREETCAR: This is a streetcar in New Orleans traveling back towards The Quarter on St. Charles Ave.