NatGeo photo contest yields spectacular images from around world

The image of a tigress named Busaba shaking herself dry and vividly revealing the eye of the tiger won the grand prize of the 2012 National Geographic Photo Contest announced Monday. More than 22,000 images from photographers in 150 countries were entered in the contest featuring the categories people, places, and nature. View the winners or the entire gallery of entries at National Geographic. For a taste, here’s a few incredible shots that were among the winners:

Grand Prize: The Explosion!

Photo by Ashley Vincent/National Geographic Photo Contest

Vincent has photographed Busaba many times at the Khao Kheow Open Zoo in Thailand. The timing couldn’t have been better on this image of the tiger enjoying its private pool, as it keeps an eye on Vincent, who won $10,000 and a trip to Washington, D.C., for a photography seminar.

Honorable Mention: Red Fox catching mouse under snow

Photo by Michael Eastman/National Geographic Photo Contest

A red fox in Squaw Creek, Park Country, Wyoming, goes headfirst to catch a mouse hidden under two feet of snow. A real heads-up, er, head-down play.

Viewers’ Choice for People: Expedition Amundsen

Photo by Kai-Otto Melau/National Geographic Photo Contest

On the Hardangervidda mountain plateau in Norway, contestants in a race follow the path taken by famous explorer Roald Amundsen. It could also represent what a polar bear sees: food.

Honorable Mention: Stilt Fishing

Photo by Ulrich Lambert/National Geographic Photo Contest

This is how they fish in Sri Lanka. Lambert’s long exposure shows how unstable their positions are as they fish in Midigama. Unique, for sure, but we’ll still use a boat, thank you.

Honorable Mention: Predation up close and personal

Photo by Fransisca Harlijanto/National Geographic Photo Contest

Harlijanto was surrounded by thousands of fish in Komodo, Indonesia, and called it “an incredible experience.” The fish version of rush hour?

Viewers’ Choice for Nature: Tender Moment

Photo by Sanjeev Bhor/National Geographic Photo Contest

Malaika the cheetah is known for her habit of jumping on vehicles, something she learned from her mother, who learned from her mother, according to Bhor. So is this “tender moment” actually a teaching moment at the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya?

Photos are copyrighted and used here with permission from National Geographic Photo Contest.