The years 2010 and 2011 were already a great year for the National Geographic photo contest. The "National Geographic Photo" competition is one of our very favorites, and it showcases some truly stunning travel photography. Could a spectacular shot of Indochinese tigress Busaba shaking herself dry in a Thailand zoo win this year's National Geographic photography contest?Or will an awe-inspiring image of a pair of bangled feet planted on the vivid pink floor of a temple in India's Maharashtra take first prize?National Geographic sets the standard for photographic excellence, and 2012 is no different, with the organisation calling professional and amateur photographers from across the globe to send in their most breath-taking entries in the categories of people, places, and nature. 2012 National Geographic Photography Contest: Aditya Waikul shot this photograph at an ancient temple dedicated to lord Jyotiba, in Maharashtra, India. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. Over 22,000 photos by professional and amateur photographers from 150 countries competed in three categories a€” people, places and nature.
The top winner was selected among the finalists in these groups and awarded $10,000 among other coveted prizes.
The guidelines for entries required that photographs be un-manipulated and real, and that they capture those special moments in time.
National Geographic and James Cameron have released the first footage of what was seen deep inside the Mariana Trench – a crevasse 7 times larger than the Grand Canyon. An unexpected side-effect of the 2010 flooding in parts of Sindh, Pakistan, was that millions of spiders climbed up into the trees to escape the rising flood waters; because of the scale of the flooding and the fact that the water took so long to recede, many trees became cocooned in spiders webs. Sarah and the Cincinnati Zoo’s other four cheetahs in the Cat Ambassador Program were at the Zoo’s Regional Cheetah Breeding Facility as part of a project that will be featured in the November issue of National Geographic Magazine, which will include never-before-seen high speed photographs of cheetah movement.  The documentation of the run was also supported by National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative, a long-term effort to halt the decline of big cats in the wild through assessment efforts, on-the-ground conservation projects, education, economic incentive programs and a global public-awareness campaign. Cameras captured the record-breaking run on Sarah’s first attempt as she chased a fluffy dog toy lure on a specially designed course certified by the Road Running Technical Council of USA Track & Field. Cheetahs are built for speed.  Their flexible spine allows their front legs to stretch far forward on each stride, covering 20 to 22 feet in one stride, about the same distance as a racehorse.
Cheetahs are endangered, and their population worldwide has shrunk from about 100,000 in 1900 to an estimated 9,000 to 12,000 cheetahs today.
The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. A rare view of the epic ridge on the Chinese side of K2—so remote and difficult that most climbers tackle the Karakoram Range peak from the Pakistani side.

A lone chimney is all that remains of a sugar plantation in Frechal, which was partially deeded to former slaves in 1925. United States—On Fourth lake in new york's adirondacks, a crush of 1,902 canoes and kayaks attempts to break a "largest raft" world record. When chicks are a few weeks old, parents leave them in a crèche and go in search of food, taking turns returning day and night to feed them. A tiny pinprick of light emanates from the tent of the successful summit team (on the peak at center left), signaling their return to the bivouac site at 8,300 meters after 15 hours of climbing. It took dozens of camels and eight Kyrgyz drivers to haul 2.2 tons of gear across the bed of the Shaksgam River to Chinese Base Camp. Roused before dawn and herded into an enclosure to be banded, young flamingos huddle in Mexico's Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve. Greenland—Snow-covered ice saturated with winter twilight sets the stage for recreational soccer in the village of Aappilattoq. Pigments in brine shrimp, abundant in the Yucatán where these flamingos were photographed, lend the birds' feathers their coral hue. After Brazil's coastal forests were leveled for sugarcane plantations in the 16th century, millions of slaves were imported from Portuguese Africa.
Kaltenbrunner (in red), Zaluski (orange), and Zhumayev follow Vassiliy Pivtsov up a snow slope below Camp II. Spain—A poppy's ardent color provides the perfect complement to a brilliantly hued Psilothrixbeetle. Hennessy, 58, has "a passion for photographing wildlife, and anything strange and unusual." A two-headed albino Honduran milk snake filled both bills. The 2012 contest is over and we are within days of jury deliberations for the next winners of the National Geographic Photo Contest 2012 and wait, that’s 50 great shots to the delight of your eyes. People in the area had never seen this phenomenon before, but they also reported that there were less mosquitos than they would have expected, given the amount of standing water that was left.
The Cincinnati Zoo has been dubbed “The Cheetah Capital of the World” because of its conservation efforts through education, public interpretation, and the captive cheetah breeding program. Since 1990 the Cincinnati Zoo’s “Angel Fund,” named after our first cheetah ambassador, “Angel,” has directly supported cheetah conservation in Africa.  From South African and Namibia in the south, up through Kenya and Tanzania in East Africa, The Angel Fund has contributed more than $1 million in support for cheetahs in the wild.

The Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) and the American Public Gardens Association (APGA), is internationally known for its success in the protection and propagation of endangered animals and plants, and engages in research and conservation projects worldwide. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society’s mission is to inspire people to care about the planet. Here, members of the 2011 expedition ferry equipment to the base of the 28,251-foot summit. Rules dictate that the mega­ structure float freely for at least 30 seconds, held together only by hands.
Though watched by a few adults, babies are vulnerable to predators such as dogs and jaguars.
Photographer Tommy Heinrich's 14-minute exposure was made from Advanced Base Camp, more than two miles away. On Ikaria island, he set his camera on a tripod and took repeated 20-second exposures, then combined 70 of them into a single frame. Athletic moves in bundles of warm clothing can prove more challenging than maneuvering on the frozen surface.
Today farms like this one in the northeast near Rio Formoso produce sugarcane for ethanol, a major export. Springtime foraging is common for the insect in the semidesert Bardenas Reales, a UNESCO biosphere reserve.
Not being bitten by mosquitoes was one small blessing for people that had lost everything in the floods. The Zoo’s Regional Cheetah Breeding Center is one of only four similar facilities in the United States managed by the Species Survival Plan.
National Geographic has funded more than 10,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy.

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