Every year, the National Geographic Society is inviting photographers from around the world to participate in their huge annual photography competition. On average they received about 60,000 photos for the 3 photo categories: nature, people, and places. The winner in each category will receive a prize of $2,500. One grand prize winner will receive an additional $7,500. That's a total prize of $10,000, which is pretty significant. To enter, each photographer must pay an entry fee of $15 for a single image. As part of the selection process, the editors will pick about 25 to 30 favorite photos to be featured on their website every week.
As a hobbyist, I have been participating in this competition since I started doing photography in 2009. Each year, I submitted a single photo and I've been lucky to have a photograph selected as editors favorite in 2009, 2010, and 2012.
In 2012, I submitted this photo which got selected as the editors favorite on week 5. I took this photo on my trip to the Komodo Island National Park. This is the link to the National Geographic website.
- Nikon D4
- Nikon 80-400mm
For the year 2010, I entered this photo of my kids flying a kite in a kite competition near Chicago. They got distracted when an entertainer wearing a leg extender walking past by and surprising them in the process. I happened to have a camera handy and I snapped their smiling expression just in time. Well, here is the photo:
- Nikon D90
- Nikon 18-200mm
Finally, back in 2009, when I just started photography, I took a close-up photo of a small yellow flower in a nature center just across the street from my house. It was the best photo that I've ever taken at that time and I submitted it to the photo competition a few days after. It got picked as an editors favorite the week after, but the most surprising thing, the photo was featured by a number of websites and newspapers around the world. Boston.com even considered that photo as one of the best entries for the year. You can see their posting here. In fact, this photo became my most popular photo in the web. The last time I checked (through google image), there were more than 1,000 blog sites posting this photo as a content. This is the photo that I'm talking about:
- Nikon D90
- Nikon 18-200mm
- Canon 77mm Close-up Diopter Lens
So that's it. As an amateur, getting my photo picked by the editors of National Geographic is a huge privilege. You feel great when you get a feedback from them, because it feels like you're going in the right direction. Surprisingly, two of all the photos that got picked were taken not far from home. Nowhere exotic. This tells me that photography opportunity can be found anywhere. I just need to keep training my artistic eye to improve.
Thanks for visiting,