The best nature photos of 2016 according to National Geographic

Ecco quali sono i migliori scatti naturalistici dell’anno, divisi in quattro categorie, secondo il National Geographic.

Blue-footed boobies and dolphins hunting together among sardines, an explosive thunderstorm above the Pacific Ocean, a lone polar bear looking for sea ice. The beauty of nature has been depicted in its multifaceted magnificence in the winning photos of the National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year 2016.

marcio cabral national geographic
Anteater feeding on termites with terrestrial bioluminescent. Animal Portraits category (Marcio Cabral/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year)

The contest

The judges were National Geographic magazine’s photo editor Kathy Moran and National Geographic photographers Joe Riis and Jim Brandenburg. They judged thousands of pictures from all over the world, divided into four categories: Action, Animal Portraits, Environmental Issues, and Landscape.

The winning photos

Each category features three photographs awarded and a few honourable mentions (First place: $2,500, Second Place: $750, Third Place: $500).


Greg Lecoeur took the grand prize and first place in the Action category with this shot named Sardine Run. The photograph was taken off the coasts of South Africa and features two blue-footed boobies and two dolphins feasting during the annual migration of sardines, which lures a number of predators.


Jacob Kapetein placed first in the Landscape category for his photo named Struggle of Life, which features a beech tree in a river.

Animal Portraits

Varun Aditya placed first in the Animal Portraits category for a photo of a green vine snake (Oxybelis fulgidus) captured in India.

varun aditya national geographic
First place, Animal Portraits category. “I took this photo in Amboli, Maharashtra, India, during a morning stroll into the blissful forest. And there I spotted this 20cm beauty. I wondered if I needed more reasons to capture this with the habitat. For I was blessed to see this at the place I was at. I immediately switched from the macro to the wide angle lens.” (Varun Aditya/2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year)

Environmental issues category

Vadim Balakin placed first in the Environmental Issues category for his photo named Life and Death. The shot features a polar bear remains in Svalbard, Norway. The bear has probably starved to death due to the lack of sea ice. This phenomenon is linked to climate change and forces bears to travel longer distances for food.

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