What do a volcano straddling the border of Chile and Bolivia, a 97-year-old woman dressed in her Sunday best at a bus stop in Chamblee, Georgia, and a peppermint shrimp in a sponge at the bottom of Bonaire’s Margate Bay all have in common?
Each is the subject of a winning photograph (categories People, Places, and Nature, respectively) in National Geographic’s International Photography Contest 2009.
The spectacular images by Hugo Machado, Debra Jansen, and William Goodwin took top honors amid a field of thousands submitted by photographers worldwide. National Geographic magazine has published weekly highlights on its website since August.
Standout submissions included images of animals galore, including (among many others) a brown vine snake
a newborn silver-leaf langur
a dusty elephant
a crabeater seal
curious mountain goats
a dwarf minke whale
and this Arctic fox.
Forces of nature held their own, too. Contest contributors served up fire
and hmm, is this a tornado conjured up by Industrial Light & Magic? Well, no, it’s actually a space shuttle launch!