Here Are the Amazing Winners of National Geographic's 2015 Photo Contest

National Geographic anounced the winners of its 2015 photo contest today and they are spectacular. Thousands of talented photographers from around the world submitted their amazing images in the following three categories: People, Places and Nature. Here are the Grand Prize, First Place and top Honorable Mentions.

Visit the National Geographic photo contest website to view the galleries and to share and download wallpapers of your favorite images.



Grand Prize: Dirt by James Smart

“A rare and jaw-dropping anti-cyclonic tornado touches down in open farmland, narrowly missing a home near Simla, Colorado.”


First Place Winner, Places: Asteroid by Francisco Mingorance

“While preparing a report on Spain’s Rio Tinto from the air, I decided to include the phosphogypsum ponds located in the marshes of red, whose radioactive discharges has destroyed part of the marsh. As an environmental photojournalist I had to report this story, but had to do with an image that by itself attracts the viewer’s attention. On a low-flying training flight; this image caught my attention for its resemblance to the impact of an asteroid on its green waters.”


First Place Winner, People: At the Play Ground by Joel Nsadha

“Bwengye lives in a slum called Kamwokya in Kampala, Uganda's capital city. He cherishes his bicycle more than anything and brings it to this playground in the slum every evening, where he watches kids playing soccer.”


Honorable Mentions:

Honorable Mention, Nature: Orangutan in the Rain by Andrew Suryono

“I was taking photos of orangutans in Bali, Indonesia, when it started to rain. Just before I put my camera away, I saw this orangutan take a taro leaf and put it on top on his head to protect himself from the rain! I immediately used my DSLR and telephoto lens to preserve this spontaneous magic moment.”


Honorable Mention, Nature: Acrobats of the Air by Alessandra Meniconzi

“A flock of Alpine choughs (Pyrrhocorax graculus), a species of mountain-dwelling bird, performs acrobatic displays in the air. During a windy day, I was able to immortalize their impressive flight skills.”


Honorable Mention, Places: Hill of Crosses by Hideki Mizuta

“There are many hundreds of thousands of crosses on the Hill of Crosses near Šiauliai, Lithuania. It represents Lithuanian Catholicism’s peaceful resistance to oppression. Many spirits of the dead are thought to live here on this small hill. When I visited this place, a girl in a pink dress ran through as if she brought peace, hope, and love.”


Honorable Mention, Places: From Generation to Generation by Jackson Hung

“This photo was taken during Chinese New Year's Eve of 2015 in Taiwan. I noticed how the light was coming into the room as our family members passed incense sticks to each other, sending our prayers and paying respects to our ancestors. The photo is symbolic, as the passing of incense sticks represents the knowledge and wisdom passed down from generation to generation.”


Honorable Mention, People: Overlooking Iraq from Iran by Yanan Li

“In October 2014 in Khuzestan, Iran, I came across a group of female Iranian students on the border between Iran and Iraq. Some of them climbed up the tanks left after the war between the two countries and took pictures of themselves. I pressed the shutter when I saw this girl stretch out her arms and turn to face the Iraqi border.”


Honorable Mention, People: Nothing to Declare by Lars Hubner

“After a family member passes away in Taiwan’s countryside, their body is kept in the house or in a tent built specifically for this purpose. After a set period of time, the deceased is given a funeral procession before their burial.”