Every year, National Geographic holds an international photography contest. Photographers from all over the world submit their photo in the hopes of winning the overall grand prize, or winning best photo in one of their three categories: people, places, and nature.
The photo that won the grand prize and won first place in the nature category was captured by James Smart, and is entitled "Dirt".
Smart took the photo in Simla, Colorado, and gave it the following caption:
A rare and jaw-dropping anti-cyclonic tornado touches down in open farmland, narrowly missing a home.
"Asteroid", shot by Francisco Mingorance, won first place in the places category.
The photo was taken in Cardenas, Andalusia, Spain. Mingorance gave the photo the following caption:
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 it 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.
The next photo is called "At the Playground", and it was the first place winner in the people category.
Captured by Joel Nsadha, the photo was taken in Kampala, Central Region, Uganda. Nsadha says:
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.
Since art is subjective, and your favourite might not be the same as what the judges decided, here are the honourable mentions in each category.
The following image is called "Orangutan in the Rain", and it was taken by Andrew Suryono in Bali, Indonesia.
"Acrobats of the Air" depicts Alpine choughs in flight, and was captured by Alessandra Meniconzi in Switzerland.
Mohammed Yousef took the following photo, entitled "Changing Shifts", of cheetahs in Rift Valley, Kenya.
"Colorful Chaos" was taken by Bence Mate in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and depicts a flock of white-fronted bee eaters.
The next photo is entitled "Surrealist Painting in Nature" and it was taken by Tugo Cheng. The image is of the north face of the mountain Tian Shan in China, which is "carved into stunning plateaus and colorful canyons".
"Hill of Crosses" was taken by Hideki Mizuta of the Hill of Crosses near Siauliai in Lithuania.
Entitled "From Generation to Generation", this photo taken by Jackson Hung depicts the passing of incense sticks from one family member to the next, which is symbolic of the passing of knowledge and wisdom along generations. The photo was taken in Taiwan during Chinese New Year's Eve.
The next photo is called "The Game" and it was taken by Simone Monte of a soccer game in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
"Overlooking Iraq From Iran" depicts a few female Iranian students taking pictures of themselves on an old tank left behind after the war. It was taken by Yanan Li in Khuzestan, Iran.
Last, but certainly not least, is "Nothing to Declare", taken by Lars Hubner in Taiwan.
Which one did you find to be wallpaper worthy? Let us know in the comments!