18 Standouts from the 2017 Nat Geo Nature Photographer of the Year Contest

National Geographic invites photographers from around the world to enter the 2017 Nature Photographer of the Year contest. Here are some of the notable entries from the contest. Enjoy!

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    This photo was taken in amboseli, kenya. a group of hyenas were the aggressors in attempting to take on two female lionesses who they had sensed to be old or injured. The standoff lasted about 30 minutes, but in the end the hyenas were no match for the two lionesses who were able to get away unscathed. 

    Photo and caption by Adam Zaff / National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest

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    Polar bear visiting


    Who has a black nose and black paws? Polar bear visiting our cabin at night. Hammering on door and windows, luckily the cabin was strong enough and we were armed with two guns and a flair gun. Regards Snorre Olaussen, Lars Stemmerik and ErikP.Johannessen from Overgangshytta, Austfjorden, Svalbard. Photograph by Erik P. Johannessen

  • 3

    Up Close and Personal


    Stare down with an elk as it rests in the snow at the National Elk Refuge in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Photograph by Julia Wheatley

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    Family Portrait

    Brown bear

    Mother with her four cubs enjoying the late afternoon sun on the shores of Kuril Lake. 

    Photograph by michael v.

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  • 5

    Great Gray Owl


    A great gray owl hunting rodents in a field in New Hampshire, US. This bird was a rare visitor to this area and was worth the 7 1/2 hour drive to see it. The owl was not baited or called and this photo is during a natural hunt. Baiting has become a hot topic recently and it is very unfortunate that many people do it for the sake of a photo. With these owls in particular if you are patient enough you will see them hunt. They are not shy nor very intimidated by people. 

    Photo and caption by Harry Collins / National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest

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    Sunrise of maasia mara


    During month of AUGUST and SEPTEMBER, there are millions of WILD BEASTS, zebra, and other animal in Maasia mara game reserve. On this september morning, a wild beast eating glass intersected the sun coming out of the horizon, creating this image. It was one of the most beautiful sunrise i had seen so far. 

    Photo and caption by Jay ruan / National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest

  • 7

    Swimmer over the sleepers

    Marine biology

    Free diver swimming over a pod of sleeping sperm whale, Physeter macrocephalus, Vulnerable (IUCN). The sperm whale is the largest of the toothed whales. Sperm whales are known to dive as deep as 1,000 meters in search of squid to eat. Image has been shot in Dominica, Caribbean Sea, Atlantic Ocean. Photo taken under permit n°P 17-01/02 Fis-4.

    Photo and caption by Franco Banfi / National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest

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  • 8

    Three giraffes in a sandstorm


    The African savannah in the sandstorm, the visibility was very low, the three giraffes showed up in my lens, they also saw me, looked up, I took this picture.  Photograph by Ge Xiao

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    Namibian Sunset


    There is something magical about the sunsets in etosha National Park. I was sitting at a waterhole around sunset, waiting for some wildlife activity. Luckily a southern white rhino showed up to quench his evening thirst. it was a perfect opportunity for me to capture the image of this beautiful animal with one of the most spectacular back drops. i have included some branches of a tree in the foreground to give the image perspective and layering effect.

    Photograph by: Sonalini Khetrapal

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    Storm ahead


    Taken in Inner Mongolia, shepherd is rushing his flock home, storm is coming. Photograph by Albert Tan. 

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    This photograph is taken at Ecuador. It's very difficult to take sharp photograph of hummingbird when the bird is in action. Light conditions was very bad and to get higher shutter speed I used higher ISO. The sword-billed hummingbird is the only species of bird with a bill longer than the rest of its body. This adaptation is to feed on flowers with long corollas such as Passiflora mixta. The tongue is therefore also unusually long.

    Photo and caption by sanjeev bhor / National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest

  • 12

    Over the lake


    The picture was taken from a helicopter over lake natron. A flock of flamingos were flying over the lake.

    Photo and caption by Philip Chang / National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest

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    Phantom night


    A crane sleeping in the summer night. Photograph by HIROTO FUKUDA

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  • 14

    Horse and tree


    Taken in Paris outskirts cauliflower field. Photograph by Albert Tan. 

  • 15

    Rush Hour


    Isla del Coco, or Cocos Island is a National Park off the shore of Costa Rica. The marine ecosystem is locked in a time-capsule and everything is huge; from the underwater currents to the biodensity of marine life. In this photo, I encountered a 25 meter giant school of horse-eyed jack fish. As I approached, a predator must have spooked the school from the other side. The massive school suddenly swam towards me and before I knew it, I was engulfed in this storm of silvery fish.

    Photo and caption by Wai Hoe Mok / National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest

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    Shy Little cowry

    Marine biology

    Calpurnus verrucosus Little Cowry eating soft coral @ Pulau Weh, Indonesia. 

    Photo and caption by Kenny Lee / National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest

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  • 17

    Atlantic Puffin


    An Atlantic Puffin on the remote nesting island of Machias Seal Island off the coast of Maine.

    Photo and caption by Harry Collins / National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest

  • 18

    Don't come any closer

    Sea anemone

    Orange Anemonefish, (Amphiprion Sandaracinos) or most commonly referred to as "Nemo" to most was shot amongst this vibrant, iridescent and highly toxic anemone. This reef habitat was situated in the pristine waters of Sipadan Island, Sabah Borneo Malaysia. Photo and caption by Marc Hornig / National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest

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