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winners of the National Geographic Photo Contest 2013

Grand Prize and Nature Winner --- Photo and caption by Paul Souders/National Geographic Photo Contest --- Seattle, Washington --- The Ice Bear --- A polar bear peers up from beneath the melting sea ice on Hudson Bay as the setting midnight sun glows red from the smoke of distant fires during a record-breaking spell of hot weather. The Manitoba population of polar bears, the southernmost in the world, is particularly threatened by a warming climate and reduced sea ice. 8BIM

Winners of the National Geographic Photo Contest 2013

Proof, National Geographic’s online photography experience, has announced the winners of the 2013 National Geographic Photography Contest. A stunning photograph of a polar bear peering up from beneath the melting sea ice on Hudson Bay as the setting midnight sun glows red from the smoke of distant fires has captured the grand prize. The photographer of “The Ice Bear” is Paul Souders of Seattle, Wash. He has won $10,000 (USD) and a trip to National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C., to participate in the annual National Geographic Photography Seminar in January 2014.

Cecile Baudier of Jylland, Denmark, placed first in the People category for the image “Together, Alone.” Adam Tan of Selangor, Malaysia, placed first in the Places category for his image “Long Road to Daybreak,” and Souders’ “The Ice Bear” took first place in the Nature category. The three winning images will be published in National Geographic magazine.

“The caliber of entries in the National Geographic Photo Contest continues to impress every year,” said Keith Jenkins, director of photography for NationalGeographic.com. “We were thrilled to see a global community of picture lovers connect and share each other’s photos of our world.”

The annual photo contest attracted more than 7,000 images from over 150 countries. Contestants submitted photographs in three categories: People, Places and Nature. Judging consisted of multiple rounds of evaluation based on creativity, photography quality and genuineness/authenticity of the content.