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25/09/2015 11:43 BST | Updated 10/11/2015 10:59 GMT

2015 National Geographic Photo Contest: 44 Stunning Entries In The World's Biggest Photographic Competition

The 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest is now open and accepting entries.

The grand-prize-winning image will be published in National Geographic magazine, and the winning photographer will receive $10,000 (USD) and a trip to National Geographic headquarters in Washington, DC, to participate in the annual National Geographic Photography Seminar.

“National Geographic uses photography to inspire, illuminate and teach our readers about our world and beyond,” said Sarah Leen, National Geographic magazine’s director of photography. “The National Geographic Photo Contest is an exciting opportunity for our photo community to participate in documenting the Earth, its creatures and its people. We look forward to seeing photographs that are passionate, skillful, surprising and beautiful. I’m very excited about seeing the entries we receive this year.”

Judging consists of three rounds of based on creativity, photographic quality and genuineness/authenticity of the content. One first-place winner will be chosen from each category, and the winning photographs will be published on nationalgeographic.com.

The overall grand-prize winner, announced in December 2015, will be chosen from the three category winners, and the grand-prize-winning photo will be published in National Geographic magazine.

Photo gallery2015 National Geographic Photo Contest See Gallery