National Geographic Photo Contest 2013, Part II

Time is running out to enter this year's National Geographic photo contest, the deadline for submissions is Saturday, November 30. One first-place winner will be chosen from each of the three categories, and the winning photographs will be published in National Geographic magazine. The overall grand-prize winner will be announced in December of 2013. National Geographic was once more kind enough to let me choose among its entries so far, for display here on In Focus. Gathered below are 36 more images, with captions written by the individual photographers. Be sure to also see Part I, earlier on Pixtale. [36 photos total]

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Light From Heaven: Taken around Mount Bromo, East Java, Indonesia in the morning. (© Pimpin Nagawan/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
Hungry Eyes: On a trip to Bandhavgarh, India, while chasing tell-tale monkey alarm calls in search of tigers we huddled up in an open gypsy on a chilly, though sunny, morning. As we waited in silence we heard a crashing through the bushes right behind the car and a frightened sambhar ran out. As the bush behind us rustled again we turned towards the sight and photo opportunity of a lifetime. The bush right behind our car crackled and suddenly parted as a tiger thrust his neck out and snarled at us from about a meter from the car. (© Vamini Sethi/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
The Messengers: Taken on May 26th, 2013, this was a dissipating low precipitation thunderstorm near Broken Bow, Nebraska, that produced one of the best lightning shows I have ever witnessed in my storm chasing career. Even more beautiful was when the lightning lit up these incredible mammatus clouds in the night sky. These type of clouds are often associated with severe thunderstorms, and their ominous and foreboding appearance is a message to all that severe weather may be on its way. (© Anne Goforth/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
The Suri Tribe: The Suri tribe lives in the southwest Omo valley in Ethiopia. They grow sorghum and cattle work, and are nomadic, changing area regularly. The government intends to relocate the villages in order to exploit their land. There have been many victims due to clashes with the government, the worst incident taking place in December of 2012, when almost the whole village of Beyahola was murdered. (© Sergio Carbajo/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
Rice Field Terrace: A view of a rice field terrace taken from the highest hill near Yuanyang, Yunnan, China. (© Thierry Bornier/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
The Chase: Driving from the Ghaghra River toward Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh, India, I noticed a huge cloud of around 300 or 400 bats that began to scatter in all directions. It was only when I zoomed in that I realized that the flying mammals were being chased by honey bees. Eventually some of the bats settled on nearby trees with the bees hovering around. (© Satpal Singh/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
Fanfare: Winter season means big waves on Kauai and slightly cooler temperatures. When the first large swell passed through the islands I embarked on my inaugural wave hunting expedition. It's a tricky dance of timing, being patient, and juggling settings on the camera. (© Lace Andersen/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
Keeping Warm: The Konomiya Naked Festival, held annually in cold winter weather, is one of the oldest Japanese festivals dating back to the Nara Period (710-794 A.D.). The participants are men, mostly of the ages 24, 42 and 61 which are considered unlucky in Japan. By taking part in the festival they are hoping to avoid the bad luck. Photographed in Konomiya, Japan. (© Julian Krakowiak/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
Curious: The Cassowary was as curious in me as I was in him/her. Photographed in Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, Jakarta. (© Simon Chandra/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
Fishing Huts (Rorbuer) in the Lofoten Islands: I was walking in late January across a bridge in Reine, a town in the Lofoten Islands in northern Norway, during one of the few hours of daylight at this time of year. Looking across the fjord, I saw these traditional fishing huts (rorbuer) and wooden racks to dry cod perched on top of the craggy rocks. (© Mia Bennett/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
Before the Holy Bath: Naga Sadhus, considered by many to be holy people in India, are waiting to start a parade to the holy waters of Ganges river during Kumhb Mela in Allahabad, India. (© Konstantino Hatzisarros/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
Ray of Hope: A break in the jungle canopy above allowed a large beam of sunlight to penetrate into the cave, near Cancun, Mexico. This happen only very briefly each day. It is a magical moment to watch the curtain of light dance in the water. A free diver swims across the scene to show the scale of the place. (© Aaron Wong/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
Sense of Metal: I wanted to take photos of heater elements. When I entered this factory, I saw the metal sheets and I formed an image of my photo. I wanted a lifting crane to take a the best photo. I directed the man in the orange shirt to count the heater elements and I took the photo of him at work. (© Melih Sular/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
Red Howler Monkey Being Shy: Red Howler Monkeys are usually aggressive and territorial but this your male seems almost shy. Photographed in Trinidad and Tobago. (© Quinten Questel/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
Circle of Light: A 180 degrees rainbow paints the sky, creating a bridge between earth and sky. I was hiking under the rain up in the Dolomites, in the Catinaccio Range close to Paolina hut, Trentino, Italy, waiting for a summer sunset, when the sky magically opened up and the sunlight made the rest. (© Alessandro Gruzza/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
I Know He Will Watch Over Me From Above: This picture is of my mother embracing my granddaddy's hands one last time before we left his bedside before his passing. They had an amazing bond and I know he was squeezing her hand and telling her it was going to be okay even if he wasn't able to speak the words. (© Sara Albin/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
Red Hill: This hill is covered with Kokia. It is planted in summer, and grows red in autumn. Sunlight was shining on the Kokia at dusk. It looks like a burning hill. Photographed in Hitachi Seaside Park, Japan. (© Hideyuki Katagiri/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
Frozen Frog: After a some days with temperature below freezing point, I was out skating at some lakes at the outskirts of Oslo in Norway. After a while I noticed something on the ice. To my astonishment it was a dead frozen frog. (© Svein Nordrum/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
Namgyal Tsemo Monastery, Ladakh, India: The last rays of the day light up Namgyal Tsemo Monastery above Leh, Ladakh, India. (© Robert van Sluis/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
Paddling Dreams: What I love so much about stand up paddle boarding is its ability to transport one, surrounded by nature, to a quiet, meditative state. I had the opportunity to photograph a night time version of this on a moonlit, windless September evening. Specially made waterproof LED lights are attached to the base of the boards which illuminate the water below allowing the paddlers to see fish like squid, striped bass and blue fish otherwise invisible in the darkness. The paddlers headed out around sunset and standing on a nearby jetty photographing down, what I saw was just beautiful and surreal. Photographed in Sesuit Harbor in Dennis, Massachusetts. (© Julia Cumes/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
Reflection: Kanas, China, a beautiful place in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, is a paradise made by nature. (© Shihan Wang/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
Inside the Brushwood: A stream of water flows through a couple of logs covered with moss in a misty and dark underbrush. Foreste Casentinesi National Park, Tuscany side - Italy. (© Stefano Spezi/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
Goodbye: As if she was saying goodbye the last sperm whale we encountered on our expedition to Sri Lanka dives down to deep, dark depths. (© Shane Gross/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
Fisher Village : View taken from high hill above a fishing village near Xiapu, China. (© Thierry Bornier/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
A Fine Balance: Walking in the forests of Mana Pools in Zimbabwe is a massive privilege, and even more so when you can spend time with the gentle giants that call this little Eden home. The older bulls of the Zambezi Valley have a few tricks up their sleeves... and this is the one I love to see best. Seeing these behemoths rock up on their hind legs with the grace of a ballerina is something to behold. To witness this on foot only a couple of meters away is mind-blowing. (© Morkel Erasmus/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
Arctic Ice: A thin line of sea ice on the horizon divides the almost perfect reflection of stunning calm blue sea and clear sky. Taken in the Arctic Ocean during a scientific research cruise on board the RRS James Clark Ross the ripples created by the ship can just be seen in the bottom right corner. An iceberg floated past soon after and broke the symmetry. (© Helen Smith/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
Entering the Inferno: Forced to find new river crossing points in the Serengeti-Mara region of Eastern Africa, the wildebeest descend into individual despair and collective chaos. Fast currents and steep banks all but deny escape onto the tree-covered banks. New arrivals try unsuccessfully to scramble over the lead group that cannot climb quickly enough onto the available dry ground. Such scenes may become more common as the Great Migration faces more variable climate and narrower corridors from changing land-use. (© Karen Lunney/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
Death of a Village: 2013 marks the 5th year villagers have passively resisted a hostile land grab from real estate developers. Xian cun sits as the last remaining thousand year old village to be demolished, replaced by a shopping mall. The remaining three hundred villagers have endured their livelihoods being disrupted, their neighborhoods demolished and their friends and family under constant harassment as they try to keep their village from becoming just another statistic in China's Real Estate boom. (© Steve Bromberg/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
Back to the Sea: A yellow-wing flying fish (Cypselurus poecilopterus) glided back to the smooth surface with reflection. Photographed near Hualien, Taiwan. (© Ray Chin/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
Gold Miners: Young gold miners from Abangares, a small town of unfulfilled golden promises, in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. (© Guillermo Barquero/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
Perfect Storm: Wedged between the rocks just out of reach of these 10 meter, waves the camera's tripod held down by large rocks against the 120 kph winds, I was drenched in no time. waiting for the sun to break through the storm clouds was a cold experience and when it did I could only fire off a few shots before the lens became a blur of salt water. Worth it to capture an intimate moment with one of the first of the Atlantic Winter storms on Ireland's west coast. (© Chris May/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
Funeral and Shaving: Hinduism in India is one of the most popular religion with million of devotees. Every good Hindu, when a relative dies, goes to Varanasi, the holiest city in India, to burn the body and place the bones into the Ganga river. The whole cremation is guided by the entire family, who have to be completely shaved. In my portrait I show only one member of the family (daughter), who is having her head shaved. I remember the eyes of this child conveying sorrow and sadness caused by the recent loss and the brutality of the impatient hairdresser. (© Alessandro Iovino/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
Summer Loving: I'm a happy person living in a tropical underwater paradise, the Cayman Islands. In summertime, thousands of silvery fish arrive and going for a dive is all the travel I need! Wonderful time! (© Ellen Cuylaerts/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
A Node Glows in the Dark...: In the last 10 years, mobile data, smart phones and social networks have forever changed our existence. Although this woman stood in the center of a jam-packed train, the warm glow from her phone tells the strangers around her that she's not really here. She manged to slip away from here, for a short moment, she's a node flickering on the social web, roaming the earth, free as a butterfly. Photo was taken on a 5 minute Captain Nemo ride connecting two playgrounds in Ocean Park in Hong Kong. (© Brian Yen/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
Generations: A little lion cub watching the zebra with his mother one lazy afternoon. Masai Mara, Kenya. (© Mark Bridger/National Geographic Photo Contest) #
Stranger Beneath the Sea: A young village boy leaps from his dugout canoe and dives down to investigate me in my scuba gear, as I exhale bubbles and hold out my a huge underwater camera dome! The villagers of Alor, Indonesia continue to live off the sea, mostly fishing with hand-lines and handmade wooden fish traps. The joy and innocence of the children in these communities is inescapable. (© Shawn Heinrichs/National Geographic Photo Contest) #

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