The 2013 National Geographic Photography Contest Winners

National Geographic presents the winners of its 2013 photo contest. There were over 7,000 entries from more than 150 countries. Of those, this picture of a polar bear rising in the frigid waters of the Arctic by Paul Souders took the Grand Prize. From a short interview with Souders:

The bear swam up to the iceberg, ducked under and stayed underwater for several seconds as I moved my zodiac into position and then held out the camera on a six-foot boom near the entrance. I didn’t fire until she came up to breathe and take a look at me, and I kept firing the shutter as she submerged again. She hung there, just below the surface, watching me, then came up for another breath before swimming away. I couldn’t see her from where I sat in my small zodiac boat; I was shooting blind with the wide angle. I sensed it was a unique situation, but the first thought in my mind was that I really didn’t want to screw up. I’d already dunked the remote radio trigger and camera into the salt water, and had to jury rig a replacement cable by chewing off the copper wires and hand-splicing it together. I don’t know how, but somehow it worked.

There are galleries full of category winners and finalists to look through as well. 

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