National Geographic’s stunning photographs have secured a distinctive name for them. So, it is no wonder that NatGeo became the first brand to reach 100 million followers on Instagram. To toast the victorious feet, they opened up a photography contest worldwide using the hashtag #natgeo100contest.
Within the first 24 hours, the magazine was bombarded with more than 94,000 entries from passionate photographers. After going through all of the photograph entries, the editors and the photographic community at National Geographic selected 10 entries as the finalists. Their 100 million followers were given the obligation to vote for the grand prize winner.
Scroll down to see the photograph that won the stupendous grand prize, the finalists, and some of the other impressive entries that didn’t make it to the finals.
#1 Grand Prize Winner Ketan Khambhatta
Photographer Muhammed Muheisen: The image is so dynamic, with a powerful depth that keeps me looking. A moment well captured.
#2 Finalist Adam Kiefer
Photographer Ami Vitale: The image is sublime because we immediately understand that it’s a metaphor for unspeakable brutality but also great tenderness. This image illustrates our complex bond with the natural world.
#3 Chaitanya Deshpande
#4 André Musgrove
#5 Anuroop Krishnan
#6 Sebastien Nagy
#7 Brent Stirton
#8 Maxime Israel Collier
#9 Finalist Frank Haluska
Photographer Cory Richards: This moment is so bizarre and confusing that I had to zoom in to make sure another animal’s foot wasn’t sticking straight out of the water to block the distressed frog from certain death.
#10 Yuri Choufour
#11 Nicholas Parker
#12 Majed Sultan Alza’abi
#13 Devon Fox
#14 Finalist Francisco J. Perez
Photographer Charlie Hamilton James: This is an exceptional image of lightning striking the Grand Canyon. It is muddy, dramatic, and demonstrates the excellent technical ability.
#15 Jacintha Verdegaal
#16 Finalist Matt Potenski
Photographer Cristina Mittermeier: I have done a lot of swimming with whale sharks, and you never get to see an absolutely beautiful moment like this that exemplifies the abundance of healthy oceans.
#17 Nicholas Parker
#18 Finalist Sandra Cattaneo Adorno
Photographer Michaela Skovranova: A surreal scene—this image highlights an eclectic mix of light, human impact, and the power of the environment. It’s as if the heat of the Earth and the humans is radiating off the sand, creating their own micro-climate.
#19 Sebastian Scheichl
#20 Finalist Chris O’bryan
Photographer Wayne Lawrence: Of all of the images of wildlife, this one seems less clichéd and stood out because of the masterly use of color and composition.
#21 Juan Quinteros
#22 Andri Laukas
#24 Finalist Sara Stein
Photographer Tasneem Alsultan: I enjoy photos that aren’t that obvious. Is it wasps of hair? Or shards of wood? The mass of horns rushing my way seems lethal, and yet the photographer made us see the image from an artistic view.
#25 Ulla Lohmann
#26 Caine Delacy
#27 Ken Geiger
#28 Finalist Khatia Nikabadze
Photographer David Guttenfelder: This photograph wasn’t made in the wild, yet the picture, in one moment, tells the seemingly bittersweet story of the young lambs.
#29 Finalist Felice Simon
Photographer Maggie Steber: This photograph of skaters large and small somehow reminds me of a memory from childhood. The way the pristine light shoots across the ice creating long shadows feels symbolic of how we have to stay the challenging course of raising our children, always being there to catch them if they fall.