National Geographic has just consummated its annual photo contest and selected its roster of fine winners. The choice for its prestigious annual 2013 Photo Contest is a stunning image of a polar bear as it attempts to look through melting ice.
The four-week competition concluded last November 30, and professional and amateur photographers from all over the world, specifically around150 countries, sent in photos in excess of 7,000 diverse entries. There were three categories in the prestigious competition, namely;people, places and nature.
The photo contest was judged on criteria that focused on creativity as well as photographic quality. Judges were the usual panel of experts that the magazine is never wanting for, which included documentary photographers Stephanie Sinclair and Ed Kashi, and National Geographic Magazine Senior Photo Editor Susan Welchman who had the difficult job of selecting the winners from the thousands of entries.
Paul Souders‘s entry (first photo) garnered the grand prize for capturing a glimpse of a polar bear in Manitoba, Canada. Souders will be awarded $10,000 in addition to a trip to the National Geographic headquarters in Washington, DC. There he will participate in an annual photography seminar to be held early 2014. Among the other privileges the winner will get is having the selected photograph published in National Geographic Magazine.
Other than Souders’ polar bear floating in icy waters, which garnered top honors, three other exceptional prints got honorable mentions from the distinguished judges of the magazine. These were a surreal shot of egrets in a fog, a rhino taken up-close, and an unusual image of a crow’s nest in Tokyo, Japan made out of clothes hangers.
Souders who is from Seattle, also won the Nature category. The other two winners are “Together, Alone” by Danish photographer Cecile Baudier who was awarded 1st place in the People category with her photograph and “Long Road to Daybreak” by Malaysian-based Adam Tan who was given 1st place in the Places category.
The 2013 entries were a showcase in diversity, providing many pictorial examples on the human condition, featuring the beauty of distant and unusual locales the way only National Geographic does.