Who will be the Nature Photographer of the Year?
It's that time of year again! The 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year competition is officially underway, and both amateurs and professionals alike are flurrying to submit their best photography. This year, the categories are Landscapes, Animal Portraits, Environmental Issues and Action.
"We’re looking for photos that showcase the awe-inspiring and diverse natural world around us," the organizers explain on the contest website. "That could be a powerful wildlife shot, a stunning landscape, or a look at a complicated environmental issue — whatever nature means to you."
For photographer Aaron Baggenstos, it means the gorgeous shot above — titled "Bear Hug" — in which a mama brown bear and her cub cuddle up in Katmai National Park, Alaska.
The grand prize winner will win a 10-day trip for two to the Galápagos Islands, while the winners and runners-up in each category will receive a cash prize. Think your nature photography has what it takes to rise to the top? The contest is accepting entries until Nov. 4.
Want to see what kind of competition you'd be up against? Continue on a look at some images that have already been submitted, accompanied by captions provided by each photographer.