National Geographic Photo Contest 2012: The Winners

National Geographic Photo Contest 2012: The Winners [Big Picture]

Grand-Prize Winner and Nature Winner. The subject's name is Busaba, a well cared for Indochinese Tigress whose home is at Khao Kheow Open Zoo, Thailand. I had taken many portraits of Busaba previously and it was becoming more and more difficult to come up with an image that appeared any different to the others. Which is why I took to observing her more carefully during my visits in the hope of capturing something of a behavioural shot. The opportunity finally presented itself while watching Busaba enjoying her private pool then shaking herself dry. In all humility I have to say that Mother Nature smiled favourably on me that day! Photo and caption by Ashley Vincent

2012 was a year for stunning photography. Professional and amateur photographers from all over the world submitted entries to this year’s National Geographic Photography Contest, vying for $10,000 and a trip to National Geographic headquarters in Washington D.C.

This year’s competition brought 22,000 entries from over 150 countries. Photographs were submitted in three categories: people, places and nature; and entries judged on creativity and photographic quality by a panel of experts.

There was a Grand Prize winner, a winner in each category and a collection of Viewer’s Choice Winners as well.

In the end, however, it was this gorgeous image, captured by photographer Ashley Vincent, that took home the grand prize. Here, an explosion of water droplets surrounds an Indochinese tigress named Busaba as she dries off following a dip in the pool at Thailand’s Khao Kheow Open Zoo.

Check out all the other stunning submissions to receive top honors!