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Being shortlisted by National Geographic is a dream for every photographer. To be able to get on this list you not only need to have an amazing eye and incredible skill, you also need an understanding of the planet around you and how to capture the collective mood of the time in a single shot.

All of these photographs managed to do exactly that, whether they're in the action, landscape, animal or environmental categories, they all succeed in making a statement and creating an emotion in the viewer.

The first prize this year, which came with a 10-day trip for two to the Galapagos Islands, two 15-minute image portfolio reviews with organisation's photo editors and a $2,500 cash prize went to Greg Lecoeur for his shot of predators hunting sardines underwater.

Check out Greg's photo, along with all the other amazing winners, below:

1) Proud Momma, Florida

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2nd Place Winner: Animal Portraits

2) The View Outside Facebook Hq, California

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Second Place Winner: Environmental Issues

3) American Flowers #1, Greenland

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Honourable Mention: Environmental Issues

4) Toxic Vanity, United Kingdom

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Third Place Winner: Environmental Issues

5) Wildfire At The Beach, Spain

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Honourable Mention: Environmental Issues

6)  Wild Rink, Italy

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Second Place Winner: Landscape

7) Friendship Knows No Color, Spain

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Third Place Winner: Animal Portraits

8)  Life And Death, Svalbard And Jan Mayen

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First Place Winner: Environmental Issues

9) Changing Fortunes Of The Great Egret, Hungary

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Third Place Winner: Action

10) Approach, Wray, Colorado

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Second Place Winner: Action

11) Dragging You Deep Into The Woods!

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First Place Winner: Animal Portraits

12)  Sardine Run

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Grand Prize Winner

13) Puffin Studio

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Honorable Mention: Animal Portraits

14)  Crow Chasing Puffy Owl

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Honorable Mention: Animal Portraits

15) No Snow, No Ice?

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Honourable Mention: Environmental Issues

16) Pacific Storm, Pacific Ocean

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Third Place Winner, Landscape

17) Serendipitous Green Meteor, India

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Honorable Mention, Landscape

18) Struggle Of Life, Netherlands

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First Place Winner, Landscape

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