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12 Winning Pictures Of National Geographic Photo Contest 2016 That Will Take Your Breath Away 

National Geographic held the Travel of the Year Contest 2016 and received more than 10,000 entries. The winner along with the honorable mentions was announced, and the photographs are one in thousands, literally. It's said that takings a picture is more difficult than makings a video because in a photo all you have is that one still to tell the story and it has to be taken at the perfect timing.

Just looking at these pictures you can just imagine how difficult it would have been to pick out the winners. Here are the winners of the national photo contest of National Geographic.

12 Winning Pictures Of National Geographic Photo Contest 2016 That Will Take Your Breath Away 

12 Winning Pictures Of National Geographic Photo Contest 2016 That Will Take Your Breath Away 

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1. Winter Horseman - Grand Prize Winner

1. Winter Horseman - Grand Prize Winner

"The winter in Inner Mongolia is very unforgiving. At a freezing temperature of minus twenty and lower, with a constant breeze of snow from all directions, it was pretty hard to convince myself to get out of the car and take photos. When I saw Inner Mongolia horsemen showing off their skills and commanding the steed from a distance. I quickly grabbed my telephoto lens and captured the moment when one of the horseman charged out from morning mist."

Anthony Lau won the Nation photo contest of National Geographic Travel Photographer of the year 2016. The horsemen of Inner Mongolia love to demonstrate their incredible herding skills to the tourists. The horsemen often ask for reasonable compensation from the photographers for getting their picture taken. 

2. Rooftop Dreams, Varanasi - Second Place Winner, People

2. Rooftop Dreams, Varanasi - Second Place Winner, People

"It was 5:30 a.m. and I had just arrived in Varanasi, India, off a sleeper train. I got to my guesthouse and instinctively climbed the seven flights of stair to see the sunrise over the famous Ganges River. As I looked over the side of the rooftop terrace, my jaw dropped in disbelief. Below were mothers, fathers, children, cats, dogs, and monkeys all sleeping on their roofs. It was midsummer in Varanasi and sleeping without air-conditioning was pretty difficult. Can you spot the curry?"

It's quite common practice for people in India to sleep on their rooftops during the summers. This one picture captured the simplicity of middle-class families, and to see the closeness they have is heart-touching. It's a perfect candid photo.

3. Remote life at- 21 degree - Third Place Winner, People

3. Remote life at- 21 degree - Third Place Winner, People

"Kinnaura tribal old woman in a remote village in Himachal Pradesh, India, carries a big log back home to warm up her house."

Winters in Himachal can be very harsh. But the people there know how to adapt and survive with nature. The lady is the only living soul you can see for miles. The picture captured the loneliness of an old lady working hard even in such extreme weather. 

4. Muscle Beach Gym - Honorable Mention, People

4. Muscle Beach Gym - Honorable Mention, People

"A weightlifter lifts a barbell loaded with heavy plates while a bodybuilder performs an aerial handstand at the Muscle Beach Gym in Venice Beach, California."

Just looking at the picture you can feel the strain the weightlifter is putting on his body and cannot help but marvel the skill of the bodybuilder right behind him. So much power in one photo.

5. Wherever you go. I will follow you!! - First Place Winner, Nature

5. Wherever you go. I will follow you!! - First Place Winner, Nature

"Romance is in the air. It was the time of day immediately following sunset. I heard a voice. "Wherever you go, I will follow you" the voice says."

Fox like to travel alone, but even they seek companionship during the mating season. The photographer was able to capture the love between these two Red Fox, one chasing another. This picture deserved to win the national photo contest.

6. Double trapping - Second Place Winner, Nature.

6. Double trapping - Second Place Winner, Nature.

"Picture was taken in the Brazilian Pantanal when I downloaded the CF did not want to believe it. Nature knows we always give magnificent events but sometimes extraordinary."

Nature will surprise you at every turn. It has one simple rule of survival, kill or get killed. It's amazing to see a predator in action.

7. Lagunas Baltinache (Atacama Desert) - Third Place Winner, Nature.

7. Lagunas Baltinache (Atacama Desert) - Third Place Winner, Nature.

"The Baltinache Ponds, also called Hidden Ponds are a set of seven salt ponds located in the area of the Salt Cordillera, near San Pedro de Atacama, in the second region of northern Chile, in the Atacama desert. After much research, I believe to be the first photographer to publish night photos of this place, but it is still necessary to confirm this information. Tech Details: Photography done in one shot. The foreground was illuminated by the moonlight."

Nature at its most beautiful. It's so perfect that you'd think that it's photoshopped. You can see the sky filled with millions of stars. This picture captured the allure of nature.

Bears on a Berg - Honorable Mention, Nature.

Bears on a Berg - Honorable Mention, Nature.

"This photo was taken far out on the sea ice in the Davis Straight off the coast of Baffin Island. This mother polar bear and her yearling are perched atop a huge snow covered iceberg that got "socked in" when the ocean froze over for the winter. To me, the relative "smallness" of these large creatures when compared to the immensity of the iceberg in the photo represents the precariousness of the polar bear's reliance of the sea and sea ice for its existence."

I love the way the photographer compared the vastness of nature in comparison to us tiny beings. Even the white polar bears contrast against the pure white snow.

9. Ben Youssef - First Place Winner, Cities.

9. Ben Youssef - First Place Winner, Cities.

"Even though there were a lot of people in Ben Youssef, still here was more quite and relaxing in comparison to the street outside in Marrakesh. I was waiting for the perfect timing to photograph for the long time."

Calmness is what you feel when you first look this picture. There is something peaceful about the photo, maybe it's the still water or the plain but beautiful background or that man in the white robe just passing by minding his won business. Congratulations to Takashi Nakagawa for winning the national photo contest in the "cities" category.

10. Silenced - Second Place Winner, Cities.

10. Silenced - Second Place Winner, Cities.

"This photo was taken on my last trip to Guangzhou, China. This place is the school dormitories of South China Normal University. When I was hanging around, most of them were taking a break. After lunchtime, they needed to go back to study."

There is a sense of laziness in the photo. You can imagine the students resting before starting the tedious task of studying. The photo is dull and colorful at the same time.

11. Celestial Reverie - Third Place Winner, Cities.

11. Celestial Reverie - Third Place Winner, Cities.

"Lightning seemingly strikes Komtar Tower, The most iconic landmark of George Town, capital of Penang state Malaysia. It is symbolic of the rejuvenation that the city, famous for a unique blend of centuries-old building and modern structures, has enjoyed in recent years. While many of its old neighborhoods fell into neglect in the 1990s and early 2000s, UNESCO World Heritage listing in 2008 sparked a transformation, and today, they are all part of a vibrant tourist destination."

Captured at the perfect moment. Looks like the light striking the building. The caption perfectly goes with picture.

12. Divide - Honorable Mention, Cities.

12. Divide - Honorable Mention, Cities.

"In the helicopter looking south on Central Park West - dividing the architecture and Central Park, on November 5th 2014, a day before my 27th birthday. The flight was my birthday gift."

It looks like two photos were merged. The contrast between the green trees and the buildings is amazing. The photo is worthy for the honorable mention in the national photo contest.

Recommended Story - Astounding Winners Of National Geographic Photo Contest 2014

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