National Geographic unveils Pictures of the Year Photo Contest winners

KABC logo
Friday, February 17, 2023
NatGeo reveals 'Pictures of the Year' winner
National Geographic opened its "Pictures of the Year" contest to professionals and amateurs for the first time.

National Geographic unveiled the winner of its first-ever Pictures of the Year Photo Contest.

From packs of penguins to neon-orange lava explosions, thousands of breathtaking photo submissions were up for consideration.

"Our submissions included a wide range of technology, from everyday iPhone to robust long lens," said Breann Birkenbuel, National Geographic senior photo editor and primary photo contest judge.

Yet the lucky grand prize winner was "Dance of the Eagles," captured by Karthik Subramaniam, a San Francisco-based software engineer with a passion for wildlife photography.

Subramaniam told NatGeo he camped out for a week near the shore of the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve in Alaska, waiting for the perfect moment.

According to the magazine, the area hosts the largest congregations of bald eagles in the world every fall, when around 3,000 arrive in time for the salmon run.

"Wherever there's salmon there's going to be chaos," Subramaniam said. "Hours of observing their patterns and behavior helped me capture moments like these."

A bald eagle arrives to steal a perch on a tree log that offers a strategic view of the shoreline at the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve in Alaska.
Karthik Subramaniam

His winning picture was taken the moment one eagle attempted to steal the perch of a tree log -- with a prime view of the shoreline -- from another bird.

Subramaniam's photograph will be included in an upcoming issue of National Geographic magazine (the United States edition) and receive a six-month digital subscription to the magazine.

Nine honorable mention winners will have their photo included on National Geographic's YourShot Instagram account, with more than 6.5 million followers, and receive a six-month digital subscription to the magazine.

You can find the full list of winners and winning photographs at