Out of this world: Winners of National Geographic competition capture stunning images of nature at its most beautiful
National Geographic announced their 2011 global-wide photography contest awarding not only a warm financial prize to its three winners but world-wide publication in their magazine.
The winners were taken from digital submissions on three categories of people, places and nature while judged by three National Geographic photographers.
The judges gave equal weight to both creativity and photographic quality when the deciding the winners, including the grand prize, first place winner to a photo of a dragonfly.
Winner: Splashing, the grand prize winning photo as well as Nature category winner, was taken in the city of Batam in Indonesia's Riau Islands
The water flinging dragonfly photo titled Splashing, was captured by Shikhei Goh, a photographer in Indonesia's Riau Islands while they were both caught in a sudden downpour.
It was described as a 'very striking macrophotography image that rose to the top of the nature category for me because of its originality, beautiful light, rare action in a close-up image, as well as its technical perfection,' according to judge Tim Laman to the National Geographic.
According to judge Peter Essick, he said that the photograph gave the insect 'character us humans can relate to.'
'It's rare indeed to see a photograph that causes the viewer to feel a bond with a member of the animal world seemingly,' Mr Essick told the magazine, 'but maybe not, so unlike our own.'
In the places category, a photo titled Into the Green Zone won for its capture of a rainbow bending over a smooth ocean at the Philippines' Onuk Island.
According to Mr Laman, the photographer George Tapan 'showed a perfect sense of timing and composition in the way he captured the two small human subjects in this beautiful scene, and that really made the shot.'
Mr Essick noted his captivation of the woman's hair over her shoulder as it, 'fills a fraction of the picture's real estate, but by capturing the movement at the apex, the photographer has documented a sense of style and flair.
For the category of People, a photo titled The Fjellman Family by Izabelle Nordfjell captures a Swedish reindeer hunter seeking food for his family using a rifle.
According to judge Amy Toensing, the photo captured a quick moment 'real and mysterious at the same time.'
'In the Sami culture,' Mr Essick added, referring to the hunter, 'these events are repeated many times every year, even though they are never quite the same. However, by using a careful composition and skillful timing, the photographer made this one encounter with a Sami hunter memorable.'
Posing: From Up Here, by Helen Pearson, shows the Huntsville rap duo G-Side on a fire escape in Manhattan which shows today's independent music scene according to the caption
The grand prize winner of the National Geographic contest, Shikhei Goh for his photo titled Splashing, wins $10,000 in addition to a paid trip to Washington D.C. to attend a photography seminar and tour of their building.