Whether you're an avid global traveller or a dreamer, the National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year contest is one of the most eagerly anticipated competitions in travel journalism.
From more than 10,000 entries, the judges selected the best photographs according to creativity, composition and quality. Entrants competed in four categories: wildlife, landscape, underwater and aerials.
This auspicious contest celebrates everything that makes our world vibrant, exciting and vast.
From every corner of the globe, there's a story to be told, and the nature photographer of the year captures the breathtaking –– and sometimes tragic –– snapshots of a world that desperately needs a voice.
The winners of the National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year 2017 have managed to capture most beautifully the emotional complexities of our natural world.
1. Overall Winner (Wildlife):Jayaprakash Joghee Bojan, Singapore
A shy male orangutan peeps out from behind a tree in this close encounter with an endangered species. "I was really excited that this particular image won the contest, because I think the orangutans needed it more than me... I think this will put some spotlight back on this endangered species and help to save their habitats," Bojan said.
2. Overall Winner (Aerial): Todd Kennedy, Australia
A lone Australian swimmer swims laps across a tidal pool in Sydney. The crashing waves reflect the vast majesty of the ocean.
3. Overall winner (Landscape): Karim Iliya, Hawaií
The splatter and spray of molten lava in the Hawaií Volcanoes National Park is a testament to the restless energy still churning away beneath our feet.
4. Overall Winner (Underwater): Jim Obester from the United States of America
This magnificent sea anemone pulses and shows off its adaptive bioluminescence, a vivid and striking feat in the depths of Hood Canal in Washington State, U.S.
Feeling inspired? The 2018 National Geographic Photographer of the Year contest is now open to the public. Take a photographic safari in Africa, and perhaps you could be next year's winner.