From the Hidden Ponds of the Atacama desert in Northern Chile to the electrical storms of George Town in Malaysia, the finalists of this year’s National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year contest have showcased the farthest flung destinations around the globe.
The photographers have spent months travelling the world to capture extreme differences in cultures and environment in order to secure their place in the final. Two of the most entrancing pictures were a simple image of two foxes chasing each other across a snowy landscape at sunrise and an action shot of an alligator catching a meal of fish, which was in turn was about to catch its own supper.
But the competition didn’t just focus on wilderness shots, as a breathtaking aerial view of New York’s Central Park by Kathleen Dolmatch won one of the coveted spots, as did a photo of Indian families sleeping on their rooftops in the city of Varanasi.
This year’s winner though, was a picture of an Inner Mongolian horseman whipping his team of horses in the early morning mist called Winter Horseman. The image earned the photographer Anthony Lau the grand prize of a seven-day Polar Bear Photo Safari for two at Churchill Wild–Seal River Heritage Lodge, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World.