In Photos: Winners of the 2018 National Geographic Nature Photographer

2nd Place, Wildlife: A few miles from Qaanaaq (Thule), Greenland, I was on a hike in search of musk oxen when I came upon a group of them. This ox was running on a hillside in deep snow, which exploded underneath them—an amazing sight. The photo came together in a few seconds. I was lucky enough to be at the right spot to observe them frolicking, and then I had the incredible experience of watching them closely for about an hour. I love photographing musk oxen against the wintry landscape: They’re extremely tough Arctic survivors. This photo shows their beauty and their power—and the snow they deal with for about eight months of the year.

Jonas Beyer / National Geographic Photo Contest

3rd Place, People: A Hindu devotee kisses his newborn baby during the Charak Puja festival in West Bengal, India. Traditional practice calls for the devotee to be pierced with a hook and sometimes swung from a rope. This painful sacrifice is done to save their children from anxiety. While covering the festival, I was able to view the religious practice from the perspective of Hindu devotees. I tried to capture the moment of love and bonding between a father and his child—and show a father’s concern for his little son.

Avishek Das / National Geographic Photo Contest

2nd Place, Places: A rusting Ford Thunderbird is blanketed by red dust from a super-cell thunderstorm in Ralls, Texas. The dry, plowed fields of the Texas Panhandle made easy prey for the storm, which had winds of more than 90 miles an hour ripping up the topsoil and depositing it farther south. I was forecasting and positioning a team of videographers and photographers on a storm chase in Tornado Alley—this was our last day of a very successful chase, having witnessed 16 tornadoes over 10 days. The target area for a storm initiation was just south of Amarillo, Texas. Once the storm became a super-cell, it moved southbound, with outflow winds that were easily strong enough to tear up the topsoil and send it into the air.

Nicholas Moir / National Geographic Photo Contest

 

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