The winners of the National Geographic’s prestigious annual 2013 Photo Contest have been announced, with the top prize awarded to Paul Souders for his striking photo of a polar bear peering through melting ice.
The four-week competition, which concluded on November 30, saw both professional and amateur photographers from some 150 countries submit more than 7,000 unique entries under the categories of people, places and nature.
All entries were judged on creativity and photographic quality by a panel of experts, including National Geographic Magazine Senior Photo Editor Susan Welchman and documentary photographers Stephanie Sinclair and Ed Kashi.
Paul Souders, who also won the 2013 BBC Wildlife photographer of the year award, will see his photo of a polar bear in Manitoba, Canada, published in the National Geographic Magazine. He will also be awarded $10,000 and travel to National Geographic headquarters in Washington, DC, to take part in an annual photography seminar.