People, places and nature look amazing in these pictures from the National Geographic photography competition.
A bonobo chimpanzee looks at a camera with the frankness of a human stare, while a joey looks up from his mother's pouch with fresh wet baby eyes.
Ethereal spider webs spin a silver lining to the suffering in Pakistan after the floods, while a robin's puffed breast dazzles as if made of sequins.
Some pictures tell a story, like the man dangling in an underwater cage, nose-to-nose with a great white shark. Fans of Frozen Planet will love the glacial shots and the dancing seals.
Nature's ability to inspire is behind the National Geographic's 2011 Photography Contest. Just one snapshot could earn the winning entrant $10,000.
Last year, snappers from 130 different countries submitted more than 16,000 photographs. This year, the contest is expected to attract even more images. Only one recommendation: keep it real.
"We want to challenge photographers to capture true moments enhanced by composition, lighting and mood - without enhancement through digital effects, photo stitches, HDR and fisheye lenses," said Kurt Mutchler, National Geographic magazine’s executive editor for photography.
One winner will be selected in each of the three categories: people, places and nature.
The Grand Prize Winner will be chosen and receive in addition to the $10,000, a trip to National Geographic headquarters in Washington DC, to participate in the annual National Geographic Photography Seminar.