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The most amazing photographs of 2014; National Geographic unveils competition winners


The photos of the year have been revealed, and what a bunch they are. 

From stunning wildlife shots to stark depictions of the way we live now, the National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest looks back at the 12 months that was around the world.

One of the most respected photography competitions, it drew in more than 9,200 entries from professionals and amateurs in over 150 different countries. 

The winning entry is a captivating photo of a woman spotlit by the light of her phone on a crowded train. An eerie glow reflects from the phone onto the girl who is consumed by the device - an image that could equally represent one of us.

Other spectacular moments captured in the shortlist of photographs include a wildebeest jumping off a cliff to join its herd and a beautiful intricate pattern formulated in ice on a window.

The competition which is divided into three categories - nature, people and places - was judged by a panel of experts including National Geographic photographers and is based on creativity and photographic quality.

Take a look at the stunning winning entries below.

A Node Glows in the Dark (Grand Prize and People Winner)

A Node Glows in the Dark

Photo and caption by Brian Yen  / National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
 Hong Kong

In the last ten years, mobile data, smartphones and social networks have forever changed our existence. Although this woman stood at the center of a jam-packed train, the warm glow from her phone told the strangers around her that she wasn't really there. She managed 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. Our existence is no longer stuck to the physical here; we're free to run away, and run we will.

The Great Migration (Nature winner)

The Great Migration

Photo and caption by Nicole Cambré /National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
Location: North Serengeti, Tanzania

Jump of the wildebeest at the Mara River.


Bathing in Budapest (Places Winner)

Bathing in Budapest

Photo and caption by Triston Yeo /National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
Location: Budapest, Hungary 

The thermal spas in Budapest [are] one of the favorite activities of Hungarians, especially in winter. We were fortunate to gain special access to shoot in the thermal spa thanks to our tour guide, Gabor. I love the mist, caused by the great difference in temperature between the hot spa water and the atmosphere. It makes the entire spa experience more surreal and mystical.

Unnamed (Honourable Mention Nature)


Photo and caption by Christian Miller /National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest 
Location: Cairns, Great Barrier Reef, Flynn Reef, Australia 

On a windy day right after a Cyclone passed the far northern Great Barrier Reef I took some friends out to the reef. Never before I saw that many glass fish on this particular coral 'bommie' . Just when I setup my camera, this Napoleon Wrasse swam right through the school of fish building a living frame.

Shoulder Creek (Honourable mention nature)

Shoulder Creek

Photo and caption by Henrik Nilsson /National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
Location: Boundary Bay, BC, Canada.

A wild short-eared owl completes a shoulder check in case something was missed. Northern harriers were also hunting in the field and these raptors will often steal a kill from the owls.

Dragon (Honourable Mention Nature)


Photo and caption by Maie Kirnmann /National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
Location: Estonia Tabasalu 

Ice art on the window.

Stag Deer Bellowing (Honourable Mention Nature)

Stag Deer Bellowing

Photo and caption by Prashant Meswani /National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
Location: Richmond Park, London, UK 

Stag Deer Bellowing in Richmond Park

Muscle Power (Honorable Mention Nature)

Muscle Power

Photo and caption by Archna Singh /National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
Location: Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh, India 

This playful fight amongst two young sub adult Tigers was indeed a brilliant life time opportunity that lasted exactly 4-5 seconds. The cubs were sitting in the grass as dusk approached when suddenly one of them sneaked up behind the other and what happened next is captured in this image. 

Zebras and the rim of the Crater (Honorable Mention Nature)

Zebras and the rim of the Crater

Photo and caption by Zik Teo /National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
Location: Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania. 

Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania, is the world's largest inactive volcanic caldera. It is a collapsed volcano that harbours a range of African wildlife that live in relatively close proximity and competition of each other. Zebras are amongst the most common animals in the crater along with wildebeest, gazelles, hyenas, and lions. On a clear day, a 360º view of the crater rim can be seen whilst being inside.

Children in the darkness (Honourable Mention People)

Children in the darkness

Photo and caption by Abdullah Alghajar /National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
Location: Syria - Termanin 

Disabled children living in Syria war

Biltigiri (Honourable Mention People)


Photo and caption by mattia passarini /National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
Location: India, Chhattisgarh 

The chef of Ramnami people in Chhattisgarh, India. Ramnami tattoo the name of the lord “Ram” on their body. Their entire focus is on the name of Ram, the name of God that is most dear to them. The Ramnami Samaj is a sect of harijan (Untouchable) Ram. Formed in the 1890s, the sect has become a dominant force in the religious life of the area. The tattoo is the result of their devotion and also, a gift and an acknowledgement from Ram.

Temper (Honorable Mention People)


Photo and caption by Adam Birkan /National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
Location: Bangkok, Thailand, Southeast Asia

A young girl throws a temper tantrum in a Bangkok shopping mall. June, 2014

Dead Sea Mudbathing (Honourable Mention People)

Dead Sea Mudbathing

Photo and caption by Nick Riley /National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
Location: Dead Sea, Israel 

Seekers of eternal youth coat themselves in mineral-rich mud, at the Dead Sea in Israel


Tea Time in the Hut (Honourable Mention People)

Tea Time in the Hut

Photo and caption by K  /National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
Location: Paris 

Little discussion with a doll in a plastic box, not inherently beautiful. But with this slice of light, it looks like a bubble invented to dream in an imaginative world.

Waiting (Honourable Mention People)


Photo and caption by Roberto Fiore  / National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
Location: village of sarbi, Maramure (romania) 

He was waiting on the bed, lost in thoughts, while his wife was preparing the bread to be blessed for the orthodox Eucharist.

My brothers and I (Honourable Mention People)


Photo and caption by Tyler G  / National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
Location: Blue Ridge Parkway 

Our road trip down to Miami traversed this outlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We rested on this ridge overlooking the mountains. Though we argued consistently throughout the journey, here we were reminded of our brotherhood.

Destroyed Homs (Honourable Mention Places)

Destroyed Homs

Photo and caption by Sergey Ponomarev  / National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
Location: Homs, Syria. 

Birds fly over the destroyed houses in Khalidiya district in Homs, Syria. In the vast stillness of the destroyed city center of Homs, there are large areas where nothing moves. Then, suddenly, wind blows a ripped awning, or birds fly overhead.


The Storm (Honourable Mention Places)

The Storm

Photo and caption by Aytül AKBAŞ  / National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
Location: Kocaeli, TURKEY 

During I was taking photo with my nephew, the storm came and I caught this beautiful moment.

Tokyo – Shinagawa Station (Honorable Mention Places)

Tokyo – Shinagawa Station

Photo and caption by Peter Franc / National Geographic 2014 Photo Contest
Location: Shinagawa Station, Tokyo, Japan 

I was up at an ungodly hour to make it to the Tsukiji Fish Market, in Tokyo. With so many amazing things to see in the city, I had hardly slept, and managed to get off at the wrong station. Wave after wave of people kept coming through the station passageway. I spied a coffee shop with a vantage point and managed to snap a free shots, camera resting on the ledge. After the caffeine kicked in, i was ready to brave the river of people...



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