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: