Photos: National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Highlights

“The image was taken from Hallstat Village in Austria right after sunrise. I had to walk some distance to reach this village view point.” (Shanof K. / National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year contest)

[Yahoo News}- From the heights of the Arctic to the depths of Africa, week two of the National Geographic Nature photographer of the year contest features a range of Earth’s most fascinating and beautiful creatures and landscapes.

The annual competition is split into four subsections: Wildlife, Landscapes, Underwater and Aerials.

A winner will be selected from each category at the end of November, before one overall winner is selected in December.

Patrick Witty, National Geographic’s Deputy Director of Digital Photography, said of the competition so far: “The strength and diversity of the submitted photos are always astounding, and this contest gives those incredible entries a platform that is seen by millions ­– including National Geographic’s photo editors.”

Here are some of the best entries so far.